Recently, Google held an online Google for Games Keynote and quite a lot of new information came out of it including new games to come to Stadia. The majority of it was aimed at developers, although plenty of info for consumers came with the various presentations.
Firstly, what could be quite a big one, Splash Damage have announced they've teamed up with Google to make an exclusive Stadia game. Splash Damage worked on Gears of War, Halo, Dirty Bomb, Wolfenstein Enemy Territory and more. Probably safe to say it's going to be some sort of shooter.
We’re thrilled to finally announce that we’re working on an exclusive title in partnership with Google Stadia. At Splash Damage we’re always looking to innovate, and always looking for partners and platforms that allow us to do just that. We’ve been huge fans of Stadia ever since it was announced and have been amazed by both the technology and passion for gaming that the Stadia team has.Splash Damage
They're obviously not giving out any other details just yet, although they did say more will be shared over the coming months and the way it sounded was that it's well into development. We will let you know more about the Splash Damage game when it's announced.
They reiterated that 120+ games will come to Stadia this year, and they showed off the below image mentioning that "the support from the game development community only continues to grow, we have hundreds of titles in active development from the best studios in the world - from teams with incredible history like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft":
Some pretty big names up there, I think we're going to see quite a lot of surprises come along to the Stadia game streaming service this year.
Also announced is Stadia Makers, a partnership with Unity for funding from Stadia including development hardware (and they're not asking for exclusivity, only a launch on Stadia at the same time) plus technical support and so on. This is open to developers using Unity 2019.3 or later and anyone can apply on Stadia.dev.
With Stadia being out for a while now for Founder/Premier Edition purchasers and Buddy Pass receivers, they've worked on improving the Stadia back-end. They've now integrated Backtrace for crash reports, Vivox for game voice communication and PlayFab.
It gets quite interesting when you listen to Bungie talking about porting to Stadia in the second video. They mention Vulkan, Linux, PulseAudio and more and it only took them about 6 months to port Destiny 2 over to Linux for Stadia with the bulk of the work being getting it working with Vulkan. However, that's a short time for such a massive game as they did have on-site help from Google.
Google also announced two free and open source services they've been working on for game developers:
- Open Match (Apache license) - "an open source game matchmaking framework that simplifies building a scalable and extensible Matchmaker". This is something Google co-founded with Unity.
- Agones (Apache license) - "a library for hosting, running and scaling dedicated game servers on Kubernetes". This was co-founded with Ubisoft.
In one of their older Stadia announcements, they showed off Crowd Play, which let people watch a video and then click a button to jump into that game at the point shown in the video. Google said that will be rolling out later this year. That's going to be a big pull for Stadia. Watching a game on YouTube from a favourite creator, then jumping in yourself. I don't think we should underestimate how much power that will have for the regular viewer.
Other special Stadia features will be coming soon, like allowing "content creators" to share special links to allow followers to click and get into a game on Stadia which includes a feature to have a link to a specific 30-second section. Google said that could be useful for games that have random seeds, to share exactly what the streamer has there and then. Plus special features for YouTube livestreamers running a Stadia game, like a live-poll to change what happens.
If you're interested in seeing all the Stadia videos, they're up on this YouTube playlist. That's just some of the highlights and stuff coming to Stadia across this year.
As always, we hope you find our Stadia round-ups interesting, helping you to keep up to date as the game streaming service expands. It currently works great on Linux, as we've shown a few times now. You can see our own Stadia Playlist on YouTube.