Everything We Know About the Future of Stadia… It’s a Lot!

Stadia Heart Beat

Welp… this article didn’t age well at all did it?! If you aren’t aware, Stadia is, in fact, shutting down on January 18th, 2023 – no matter how bright the future looked (or didn’t). Read on and enjoy the laughs from your position of situational irony.


Can we find all of this in London? If you know where to look…

There is a tremendous amount of information available about Stadia – about the technology underpinnings of the platform, about how it is being used, about the game library, the users and the community.

Because Stadia is a bonafide platform, you can simply look at things like in game leaderboards to see how many people have played various games on the platform (and how the rate changes week by week)! You can also view a rich set of user data on sites like StadiaHunters.com where active achievement hunters congregate and in various game databases like stdb.games.

Despite what naysayers would have you believe, Stadia is a leading cloud gaming service in terms of activity – it’s of the same order of magnitude as GFN in the territories both are available in and orders of magnitude higher than others like Amazon Luna, Boosteroid, Shadow etc. based on a wide number of metrics we track. For example, GFN has 20 million people who’ve tried it in territories with 2.5x the population that Stadia is available to. We estimate between 5-10 million people have tried Stadia (3 million unique accounts have downloaded the Android App for example).

But what do we know about Stadia’s future?

Answer: Quite a lot!

More Games

First off let’s talk games. We along with several other websites track games that are confirmed to be coming to the platform.

At the moment, there are over 50 games that are confirmed as coming to Stadia. This will put the library well over 300 games. Most of these are coming in the remainder of 2022 and early 2023 but several are slated for later – including games confirmed for as late as 2025. We still expect Stadia to end the year with 100 games released in 2022 (we are well behind at 49 currently) – so expect a bit of a flurry as the year ends.

Of these 51 games we know for sure are coming, 7 are AAA budget games

  • FIFA 23
  • Skull and Bones
  • Far Cry 4
  • Dead Island 2
  • Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
  • Tom Clancy’s XDefiant
  • Resident Evil Re:Verse

And, as an 8th – doesn’t fit the classic mold of a AAA game, but it actually has the budget and revenue of one:

  • Just Dance 2023

And, don’t forget that a lot of major new content is coming to existing AAA games on the platform like Cyberpunk 2077 (coming to Stadia and current Gen platforms only), RE: Village, The Crew 2, Riders Republic, Hitman 3, AC Valhalla etc…. is on its way as well!

Yes, at this moment in time, Ubisoft does not plan to bring AC: Mirage to Stadia (it is conceivable Amazon Luna paid for an exclusive or something else is holding up an announcement). But, in addition to the above AAA games, Ubisoft are still planning on bringing Roller Champions, Oddballers and Trackmania to Stadia – and we’re pretty hyped for all three of these.

These 51 also aren’t all the games that are coming, of course. Stadia is also frequently dropping new games no one saw coming – on the order of 1-2 a month. So, stay tuned for a few surprises as well.

Will Stadia get every big AAA game? No. At this stage in development, no cloud platform will (except remote PC services). Will Stadia get enough quality games to keep players busy? Yes, for all but the very picky gamers. Will players still long to play a game that’s not on the platform from time to time? Yes, for all but the least picky gamers.

Beyond the 51 sure bets, you can also see the list of 12 others games that are likely coming to Stadia because they have been rated for Stadia by PEGI or ESRB or have leaked in some other way.

In addition, the Stadia team was recently out in force at multiple industry conferences (including gamescom) meeting with many developers. New partnerships have already been announced and others cemented.

Roll out to More Territories

Earlier this year, Google announced that Stadia would roll out to Mexico by the end of 2022. From our APK findings and a few other hints, we also know that it is very likely Stadia will be rolling out to Turkey in the near future.

If no other countries are added (and others are indeed rumored within the community) this would bring the population in which Stadia is available to well over 1 billion people from 862 million – a 25% increase.

We know from the last time Stadia added new territories, that activity increased dramatically!

More and More Free Trials

Just earlier in 2022, Stadia started releasing Free Trials for games that don’t even require users to have a Stadia account to try. Over 150 games now have free trials on Stadia.

What better way to introduce perspective users to new games and the platform itself?

And! The trials appear to be working! For example, the Sniper Elite 4 and Zombie Army 4 leaderboards on Stadia continue to grow at impressive rates since they got a free trial. No signs of slowing down. These two games are getting tried by over 120 new players a day on Stadia.

Sniper Elite 4 and Zombie Army 4 Leaderboard Growth on Stadia Per Day. Note the overall sizes of the leaderboards are 237,000 and 117,000.

Extrapolate this to 150 games… You could be talking ~10,000 people trying Stadia Free trials a day!

Stadia continues to add new free trials every week. We expect in the future nearly every game on the platform will be available for anyone to try in their browser for free – Stadia account of not.

New Platform Features!

Stadia has already rolled out a lot of platform features in their third year:

  • Stadia app on LG TVs (December 2021) – An official Stadia app is released for recent LG Smart TVs.
  • Explore Tab Updates (January 2022) – The explore tab gets an update with a trending section and feed for user screenshots.
  • TCL unveils game-center on its TVs which includes Stadia Support (January 2022) – At CES 2022, TCL was one of multiple TV manufacturers showing off Stadia support.
  • Stadia Pro Reaches 50 Concurrent Games (February 2022) – New Stadia Pro subscribers can immediately claim 50 free games.
  • Stadia Play Days go free for everyone (March 2022) – No Stadia Pro subscription required for free play days/weekends on Stadia starting with Dead by Daylight.
  • Stadia Free Trials Arrive (March 2022) – At the Google For Games developer summit. Google announces Free Trials. Over 100 free game trials released since.
  • Google announces Low Change Porting program and partners (March 2022) – Google announced it is using DXVK and a WINE-like/light tool to allow Windows games to run on Stadia nearly unmodified.
  • Complete Stadia Store Redesign (April 2022) – By the end of April, the Stadia Store got a significant glow up. While the previous design was functional, it felt bland. With a gray background and only some text, the only things that brought color to it were the screenshots. But alas! A new layout for the games pages added more visual flavor.
  • Stadia App arrives on Samsung TVs (June 2022) – Samsung joins LG and AndroidTV manufacturers as a produce of TVs with a native Stadia experience.
  • Launch Stadia Games from Search Results (August 2022)
  • Party Streaming for Web (August 2022) – No need to go to YouTube. You can now watch your party members’ stream with near 0 latency.
  • Stadia Mission Based Demos (August 2022)
  • Stadia Controller Gains Full Android TV Support (August 2022)

And, we already know of more features that are in flight:

  • More unique types (completion criteria) for free trials.
  • Party Streaming in the Android Apps
  • Social features on the explore tab (have shown up in lots of recent apk findings)
  • New and customizable touch gamepads (have shown up in lots of apk findings – including gyro support)

And, in the less certain category we have also found the following:

  • Stadia has been testing the platform with NVIDIA GPUs. This doesn’t mean a rollout is guaranteed, but they are certainly looking at other GPUs in testing.
  • 1440p (and possibly 4K) streaming to mobile devices appears to be in the works. In addition, we know from various announcements that Google is working on AV1 support for Stadia as well. This will increase stream quality and decrease bandwidth requirements.
  • The app is prepping for e-Sports and event support across multiple apk releases.

Easier Game Porting for Developers

I saved perhaps the most important direction of progress for last. Stadia has been working their tails off improving the experience for developers bringing their games to the platform. In a keynote presentation and several technical sessions at the Google for Games developer summit, the Stadia team discussed their plans for developer incentives as well as a low change porting kit.

Today, that porting kit heavily uses DXVK with the team developing their own WINE/PROTON like Windows runtime layer similar to what powers Windows/DirectX games on the Steam Deck. This appears to be under rapid development with several publishers testing early versions. Expect this to mature over the next year.

In addition, Stadia rolled out important revenue sharing changes to Stadia Pro that have led to developer success and praise! The Stadia team will now begin to incentivize referrals from developers as well (for example from free trials).

Summary

There is quit alot of information that we know about the current state and future of Stadia. Almost by definition of course, the platform has never been better than it is today. But, the future looks incredibly bright. Google is working on the technological pieces that need improving and games are continuing to flow.

If you think the future of Stadia is completely “unknown” it is because you haven’t bothered to look.


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Jack Deslippe

Jack Deslippe is an HPC professional with a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. As a hobby, he is passionate about consumer technology and Cloud Gaming in particular. He volunteers as an editor for Cloud Dosage in his spare time. See the games Jack is Playing at ExoPhase. Like his content? You can follow Jack on Threads: @jackdeslippe and Buy Jack a Beer.

5 thoughts on “Everything We Know About the Future of Stadia… It’s a Lot!

  1. What bugs me the most about stadia is the fact that claimed pro games cannot be categorised or removed.
    I just have an endless list of games that I’m really not interested in and I’m never going to play again after sampling them.
    Even a favourites toggle box that brings titles to the front of the queue would be a good start.

  2. I just open the app, and go to my games and unselect games here, when I turn on stadia those I unselected are now gone.

  3. Thank you so much for this article. I only have cell service in my area with a max speed of 30mbps and its been a nice 2 years of gaming on stadia since Google sent me a stadia pro setup for free. We are getting fiber in our area installed in 2 weeks [ yay infrastructure bill]. But now that I have a nice little game library built up on stadia I can’t see myself going back to my console full time. I was excited to read how they are working hard at improving the system it runs on and how they are working with developers to make the ports easier. I have even started to see small developer exclusives on Stadia recently. I didn’t think there would be such a big market for Stadia until realized how hard it is to play and keep things updated on a console without proper internet service. I look forward to future updates from you about Stadia. Thanks again.

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