Yes, some games were only available on Google’s cloud service…
Yesterday, Google Stadia went to its grave, its coffin already waiting for it in 2021, after Stadia Games & Entertainment, the in-house development team was disbanded (and poor Jade Raymond, who came over from Ubisoft via EA Motive, had to move on to set up her studio, Haven Studios, working with PlayStation!). For the final week, Google brought out the multiplayer Snake clone for internal testing, Worm Game. Someone who spent over 6,000 hours on Red Dead Online’s Google Stadia port got away with it: Rockstar was able to transfer their save to another platform, and the company even sent them a goodies bag.
A key element of platforms is what exclusive games are available on them. Google Stadia wasn’t open to AAA games in this one (internally, it wasn’t; the company obtained ONE studio, Typhoon Studios, who made Journey to the Savage Planet), but there were still some indie games that were only playable here. One of these was Pixeljunk Raiders from Q-Games. The studio’s founder and chief executive, Dylan Cuthbert, told the BBC that they spent two years developing the game and are doing their best to make sure it doesn’t get lost forever because it would be a shame if their work disappeared. They are now in talks with several publishers to bring it to PC, possibly PlayStation 5, or other platforms because they own the IP. He says Google has been forward-thinking, and the studio would rework the game a little if it had a chance to port it.
Sadly, it is not the case for Outcasters developer Splash Damage, who let us know in a statement that they have no plans to port the game elsewhere because it relied heavily on Stadia features. A lot of love has gone into the game, and they see it as a great chance to be at the forefront of gaming technology, and while they have exciting projects in the pipeline, Outcasters will always hold a special place in their hearts.
Larian Studios has written that for the otherwise non-Stadia-exclusive Baldur’s Gate III, they are looking at other streaming solutions to keep us playing. (Amazon Luna? Xbox Cloud Gaming?) Necrosoft was also on the Stadia with Gunsport, which has since received a revamped Steam version. Their announcement said that with the closure of Stadia, its exclusives, including the original Gunsport, will be lost. Still, they have made an offline version of Gunsport available in the Steam edition of Hyper Gunsport if you enable its beta updates.
If we were shocked by the Stadia-exclusive content of Final Fantasy XV, for example, and could get over the black humor and melancholy of the Stadia subreddit, Stadia’s Twitter even published a credits list. Even Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney reflected on the farewell (even though the company is in a lawsuit with Google over Fortnite!). He says Stadia was a great effort that supported many developers and even supported the development of the Unreal Engine before Fortnite’s explosive success. He thanked the Google Stadia team for closing in style.
Goodbye, OnLine 2.0. At least you can use its controller via Bluetooth.