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Google Stadia fans save thousands of hours on a dead service

A person looking at a light pink TV with the Stadia logo on it.

image: Google/Kotaku/Zwa (stock market struggle)

Google Stadia wasn’t really in the spotlight Since its highly publicized launch in 2019. And beyond the bad news and bad reviews, it has pretty much disappeared from most gaming websites and YouTube channels. But gamers who have invested hundreds or even thousands of hours into Google’s video game streaming service don’t seem to care what other people think. For them, Google Stadia is the perfect solution to a hobby that they believe has become expensive, complicated and burdensome.

For most of you reading this, Google Stadia is the cloud-based video game service that Google launched a few years ago that may or may not exist. It’s probably not something you interact with other than reading episodic stories Kotaku and other nearby sites How bad are things going for the streaming service. Of Security of senior executives for reports Google is abandoning the platform entirelyStadia hasn’t had a good few years in the press, and some guys seem to absolutely hate it.

but then Three difficult yearsAnd the ProsecutionsAnd the closed workshopStadia is still alive and continues to receive new features and updates. One would assume that means some people are still paying for and using Google Stadia in 2022. And your first question would probably be…why?

Super Stadia Fans

Marco, a married father of a 16-month-old living in Europe, told me that every free minute he has is precious and that modern consoles don’t work in his daily life.

“When I’m playing on my PS4 right now, I always get updates,” Marco said. “Although I use rest mode, sometimes I have to wait 15 minutes to play.” While that may not seem like much, for Marco it could be half his free time that night. “The update is hell,” he said.

But with Google Stadia, there are no game updates, as everything is handled on Google’s servers. There are also no big installs or downloads. I just pressed play and after a few moments the game starts and that’s it. And that speed and lack of downtime is a major factor why so many gamers I’ve spoken to keep playing Stadia.

The technology is very goodsaid Deaddog52, a Stadia player who has invested 1,800 hours in the service Kotaku. “[Stadia] It starts fast and plays very well. I often forget that I don’t play on local machines.

But for Deaddog52, it’s not just Stadia’s speed that keeps him coming back to play day after day. Another big factor is how much cheaper and flexible Stadia is for him and his family compared to consoles. After years of owning and managing multiple consoles, he’s had enough of it all.

“When the consoles came out, they were very expensive and hard to find,” Deaddog52 said. “Then there are the disappointing consoles. Even a successful console was only about five years old before it started gathering dust. Then the storage space issues and frequent downloads started to bother me, but what really bothered me was the noise the console fan can make”.

The Google

Deaddog52 gave up playing for a few years, until a Stadia friend showed him shortly after release. Loved it, was excited to play games again. And while he knows the quality of Stadia isn’t as good as a powerful PC or new “next-gen” console, the low price and ease of use for him more than makes up for it.

“Besides no fees and no maintenance, I can play on any screen,” Deaddog52 said. “I will literally have three streams at the same time (me and my baby) and have no problem. For the same luxury [without Stadia] I’m going to have to spend $1500 on hardware with controllers.

Deaddog52, like others I’ve spoken to, hasn’t touched a console like the Nintendo Switch or PS4 since joining Stadia. And for some, the idea of ​​returning to traditional games worries them. In the event of Stadia shutting down, some have suggested trying other streaming options, such as Game Pass or Amazon LunaOthers said they would reluctantly return to consoles or computers. But some players feel very attached to the Stadia ecosystem and the freedom it provides, allowing them to play anywhere online and on phones or tablets.

“Honestly, there’s nothing better for me than Stadia right now,” Marko said.

Ravenlock, another Stadia client user from day one, told me that while its library isn’t the best, its flexible streaming offerings are hard to beat.

“I can have mine The Sheikh’s Manuscripts Online Where Destiny 2 “Daily logs are written on any screen, anytime, without worrying about installing huge games in a bunch of places,” Ravenlock said. “The entire Stadia library is as portable as my phone, tablet, Chromecast, and whatever else I want to put in my bag”

The story of the destruction of Google

The elephant in the room when it comes to all things Google is of course the tech giant Long history of stopping or terminating apps and services, just to replace it with different applications that will eventually close. However, when I asked these super Stadia fans if they were worried about Google pulling the plug on the streaming service, none of them seemed worried at all. Many have stuck with the idea that Google rarely shuts down paid services.

“They rarely kill projects that people have actively paid for, and they have so many announced partnerships and plans coming up at least for the next year or so that shutting them down would be more embarrassing and unpleasant because of them than ‘he wouldn’t already,’ Ravenlock said.

It was a sentiment shared by almost every Stadia gamer I spoke to: Google isn’t going to shut down Stadia because people are paying for it and it’s popular. To be clear: Google shut down popular paid services and apps, Like Google Play Music, In the old days. However, I spoke to more than six people and they were all convinced that Stadia wasn’t going anywhere, even though Google seems to be underestimating the future of the service. I felt like some of them were so invested in Stadia that they wouldn’t even dream of a future without it.

An image shows two people looking at a Stadia console with a large Google logo behind them.

image: justin sullivan (Getty Images)

If you’ve ever covered a negative Stadia story or tweet in the comments, you’ve probably come across Stadia superfans who aggressively defend the service and its games against anything they see as attacks. And in my conversations with Stadia users, I’ve come across some of these issues. I wasn’t worried that I would twist their words to fit my “agenda”, while others claimed gaming sites and most gamers were “biased” against Stadia.

“I think a lot of [the press] He’s always been biased and negative about Stadia from the start,” Marco said. “No one has ever tried to explain what Stadia is. Whereas, [they] Focus only on the things that went wrong. But when all is well, no one is there. PlayStation launches two games on PS Plus And they write about it. Stadia releases seven Pro games and not a single one [outlet] Write about it.”

Others pointed out that sites like IGN And popular YouTubers never mention Stadia when listing gaming platforms that get released, or spend time reviewing Stadia versions of games when they’re released. They argue that this is an example of how the press and influencers are trying to paint Stadia in a bad light. (The fact is that most sites, including Kotakuyou don’t have the staff and resources to create ongoing, personalized coverage of a relatively niche platform like Stadia.)

perfect for them

However, the biggest benefit of my time talking to all the different Google Stadia users wasn’t that they were angry or bitter. It wasn’t that they felt neglected or mistreated. I noticed a bit of doom or gloom about the future of the service, or what its streaming model might mean for digital property in the future. Instead, most were just happy the service still existed and even existed in the first place, which seemed like the perfect way to play games in 2022.

They didn’t want to get into discussions about the feasibility of streaming or which platform would be best. No, they just wanted to talk about all the games they played. It’s easy to assume that the only people left playing Stadia are nerds or people who don’t play much, but that’s not hard for casual gamers who have spent thousands of hours on the service.

At this point, they know Google’s video game streaming platform isn’t going to change the world. But they don’t care. As long as they continue to play all of their favorite games on any internet-connected device with no downloads or other downtime, they’re happy to keep investing in Stadia.

“I always play because I like to serve,” Ravenlock said. “Not because I expect you to take over the world.”


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