Google Stadia is drowning in a sea of ambiguity

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Google Stadia launched with high hopes and big promises, but three years later, the service is full of more unknowns than actual games.

How many games are coming this year?

For its first two full years, Google Stadia made a promise to bring at least 100 new games to the platform per year. In 2020 and 2021, that’s a goal Google did meet. And at this point, there are nearly 300 games on Stadia.

But in 2022, that goal has been quietly pulled away. Earlier in the year, Google publicly committed to launching 100 new games on its platform, but it’s abundantly clear at this point that we won’t see that goal met.

In our weekly Stadia Changelog column, we track new games added to Stadia each week. So far this year, fewer than 50 games have been released, and there are fewer than 20 more confirmed to be in the pipeline right now. At this point, it seems like 75 to 80 new games will be coming at maximum, and 100 is almost completely out of the question unless there are at least several new releases each week through the end of the year.

And really, it’s obvious that even Google knows this. Months ago, the company quietly dropped the promise of bringing 100 titles to the platform from its various blog posts.

These are just a few of the 100+ games expected to arrive on Stadia this year from publishers big and small.

We’d love to include a screenshot, but Google went as far as to remove the quote from previous posts.

Where are the big releases?

Another huge point of contention is the quality of games being released on Stadia.

Indie titles are often excellent, can be incredibly fun, and are a great way to fill out your library on a budget. But these are rarely the games that draw a crowd.

So far this year, Google Stadia has had only a handful of new games that can be considered “major” releases. Rainbow Six Extraction, Saints Row, and the upcoming release of FIFA 23 are really all that come to mind for “major” releases so far in 2022. One of those is still yet to be released, and the other two have been critically panned. Meanwhile, the year’s biggest games such as Elden Ring, Spiderman: Remastered, Dying Light 2, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and Stray, as just a few examples, show absolutely no signs of coming to Stadia.

On top of that, Google gave up what have become some exciting games for 2022. The horror game The Quarry released over the summer to great reviews and was originally supposed to be a Stadia exclusive before the shut down of Stadia Games & Entertainment. Another game that was in talks to be exclusive, High on Life, is coming this December with virtually no chance of a Stadia release – but plenty of excitement from players over on Microsoft’s platform.

Big releases aren’t necessarily what make a platform great, but they are central to getting players excited for a platform. And ultimately, they are what sells that platform. People will often buy an entire console for a single game. That…

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