When I first wrote this article Google Stadia had just been shut down. After just 3 years, it was unceremoniously put to death by Google. At the time, it made me sad. It still does. Not because I was a massive fan of Google Stadia. I really wasn’t. Instead, I lament that the platform has been condemned to history books. Access to the platform is now lost. Some of the games that were exclusive to Stadia are still currently unavailable to play.
Which is why I think Digital Preservation is hugely important. The act of keeping digital goods alive so they are usable in the future after the original hardware or software inevitably becomes obsolete. A practice that is woefully undersupported at the moment. Losing access to Google Stadia is just one small part of a bigger problem.
When I first heard that Google Stadia was being discontinued I wanted to go back onto the platform. To play some of the games that I’d started when I had my original first month’s free trial. However, because I hadn’t bought anything and I couldn’t buy any more Stadia Pro subscriptions, I couldn’t access the games I wanted. The storefront had already been shut down.
Which made it really hard to capture any footage for a YouTube video. Luckily there were a few free-to-play games left on there, and some demos too. Due to this limitation, I played Republique, Outcasters, and Outbreak. Of the three, only Outcasters was an exclusive. The others were either a tech demo or a free game. Both of which can be accessed elsewhere. I wanted to also try Gylt but it was already unavailable. Luckily it is now on Steam.
Another one bites the dust
Ultimately, Stadia is just one more failed Google project and another casualty of their business practice. Credit to Google, it was really good that they basically funded everything back to those people who bought into the platform. Which is ironic. I purchased my Google Stadia controller for £5 from CeX. For the sole purpose of this video and article. In the end, I probably invested more money into Stadia than the most avid fan.
However, I actually really genuinely like this controller now. It feels really nice to hold. The triggers are really good. The buttons and D-Pad are easy to use. The Bluetooth update that Google pushed out was very useful too, although I don’t know why it wasn’t available right from the start. It’s definitely going to be something I use if I need a Bluetooth controller. It pairs extremely well with my Steam Deck of all things.
In truth, thanks to many developers porting their games over to other platforms, not too many games have been lost. Some still haven’t been made playable though. And the experience of playing on Google Stadia is also something people can’t partake in now. It’s almost like someone going around and torching all the remaining Dreamcasts in the world so that nobody can use the original hardware anymore. Which would suck. Because I love the Sega Dreamcast!
If you want to see a video of my playing through some of those Google Stadia games I mentioned, check out my video below.