Pioneer to death, Stadia shows what the end of a cloud gaming service looks like

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Stadia no longer exists. Google’s pioneering game streaming service was permanently shut down last Wednesday (18th) and, although it has not written a success story in its little more than three years of life, it made a farewell that can serve as an example for other platforms.

The announcement on September 29 last year that the service would be shutting down was probably the worst moment of its last few days. It fell to Stadia VP and General Manager Phil Harrison to break the bad news to the public, catching many users and developers alike off guard.

Already thinking about the negative effects of the ad, Google immediately revealed measures to reward its customers. Service subscribers were promised that they would get back everything they spent on games and hardware (in this case, the optional Stadia joystick), in addition to amounts spent on pre-sale titles and subscriptions that ended after the end of the service —only the amount paid for the subscription during the period of operation will not be refunded.

The situation for developers with planned releases for the platform, however, was more obscure. There were indications that they could recoup at least part of their investment, which they did, but many still say they lost out.

“With the end of Stadia, Google offered some compensation to us, but nothing that surpassed the launch on the platform,” said Brandon Sheffield, creative director of Necrosoft, to the website Axios. The launch of the Stadia version of his latest game, “Hyper Gunsport”, was scheduled for November 2022 and, as he reported to The Verge, the company relied on the service’s revenue to pay the game’s production costs.

Refunds, however, did not solve all problems. Stadia users were still at risk of losing hundreds of hours of progress in their games. This problem was solved with the help of developers like CD Projekt Red (from “Cyberpunk 2007”), IO Interactive (from the “Hitman” series) and Ubisoft (from the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise), who found technological solutions so that players could transfer progress in your games to versions of your games on other platforms. Ubisoft went further and also released PC versions of games purchased by them on Stadia for free.

Developers who had released exclusive games for the service also moved to take their games to other platforms, preventing them from being lost forever. Those responsible for games like “Hello Engineer” and “Gylt”, for example, have already announced that they will launch new versions of their games this year.

But there are exceptions. Splash Damage, of free-to-play multiplayer combat game “Outcasters”, stated on your Twitter account that has no plans to adapt the game to other platforms, which makes it a kind of “lost game”, inaccessible and destined to be erased from the history of electronic games.

As the last breaths of Stadia, Google has prepared two surprises for its subscribers. The company released an update for its joystick that allows it to be used as a common bluetooth control and launched “Worm Game” as a farewell game for the platform.

The free title, in fact, is a copy of the famous “snake game”, used by Google employees at the beginning of the development of the service to test its functionalities. In the game’s credits, all the professionals who worked on the platform are shown, as well as a final message: “Thank you for playing with us”.


play

game tip, new or old, for you to test

Escape Academy

(PC, Xbox One/X/S, PS 4/5)

Games with local multiplayer seem like an old thing next to modern multiplayers, where players face dozens of opponents simultaneously. But there’s something special about sharing the couch with someone you like for a video game session. Launched in July last year, “Escape Academy” is one of the titles that allows this. The game is a simulator of “escape rooms” in which two people can play simultaneously, dividing themselves to unravel the great puzzles present in each phase. The game (available on Xbox Game Pass) also features a story mode for a single player and online multiplayer for those who cannot be near their gaming partner.


update

news, releases, business and what matters most

  • The European Parliament approved last Wednesday (18) a report with requests for the European Commission to adopt measures against a series of practices that they consider harmful to video game consumers — especially children. Among them are the sale of “loot boxes”, difficulty in canceling subscriptions and lack of information about microtransactions.
  • The European Commission should send an alert to Microsoft in the coming weeks listing points it considers worrying about the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Reuters reported. European authorities’ objection to the deal could add to the FTC lawsuit in the US as yet another obstacle to completing the deal.
  • A wave of layoffs hit major game companies in the last week. Bethesda studios (from the series “The Elder Scroll”) and “343 Industries” (from “Halo”) were some of those hit by the layoff of 10,000 people announced by Microsoft. Engine developer Unity will lay off 284 people, according to The Wall Street Journal. Riot (“League of Legends”) announced that it will no longer have 46 employees due to a “strategic change”, according to the Rock Paper Shotgun website.
  • Despite analysts considering that the Switch is already reaching the end of its life cycle, Nintendo is taking steps to accelerate the manufacture of the console. According to Bloomberg, the company expects an increase in sales with the end of chip shortages and the release of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” in May.
  • “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” was the best-selling PC and console game of 2022 in the US according to the NPD Group, a company that monitors the American market. “Elden Ring”, “Madden NFL 23”, “God of War Ragnarök” and “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” complete the top five on the list (the number of copies sold is not revealed by the group).
  • Housemarque, developer of “Returnal”, said that its roguelike, until now exclusive to PlayStation 5, will be released for PC on February 15th. The game will be available on the Steam and Epic stores.

Download

games that will be released in the next few days and promotions that are worthwhile

24.jan

“Forspoken”: BRL 349.90 (PC, PS 5)

“Risen 1”: price not available (Xbox One, PS 4)

26.jan

“Return Tumble Time”: Free (iOS, Android)

27.jan

“Dead Space (Remake)”: BRL 249 (PC), BRL 339 (Xbox X/S, PS 5)

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