Stadia is shutting down in less than a month. I originally planned to play some games before its shutdown to get the most out of it (I was playing Ys9), but recently it starts to get too laggy for the game to be actually playable. So I guess that’s it, the wrap comes slightly early.
While I’m already a console gamer, the idea of Stadia is still very appealing to me. So I actually started playing Stadia from the beginning, as a “founder”. But initially there weren’t many games that interested me. The first game I finished on Stadia was SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech. After that I also finished Superhot and its sequel, and played (but didn’t finish) a few other games. At the time there was a bug in my Sony TV that if I kept the Chromecast Ultra plugged into the TV, the TV will eventually crash and need to be manually restarted, and as a result I only plug it in when needed, which also hugely increased the friction I need to play games on Stadia, and defeats the biggest selling point of Stadia: effortless gaming.
Then comes the end of 2022, Cyberpunk 2077 was released. I initially pre-ordered the PS4 version, but because of the huge issues at the time, I decided to return the PS4 version and bought it on Stadia instead. Slightly before that a system update also fixed the issue of my TV, which was perfect timing. So Cyberpunk 2077 became the first game I actually bought on Stadia (all previous games are from Pro “free” games), and also the game I spent most hours on Stadia (almost 266 hours), and also the game that truly showed me Stadia’s potential. I played 2+ walkthroughs on it (one female nomad and one male street kid, I also started a walkthrough of corpo but didn’t finish it as there weren’t enough unique things in it for me).
After Cyberpunk I started to take Stadia much more seriously, bought and played a few other games: Disco Elysium, Jedi: Fallen Order, Judgment, Ys8 (free on Pro), and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (also free on Pro). In the end, in the year of 2021, Stadia became the console platform I played the most hours in, beat PS4 and Switch.
After finished Bloodstained, there wasn’t many games interested me on Stadia, and also I finally bought a PS5 this year and started to play some exclusives there, so I didn’t play Stadia much this year. When they announced the imminent shutdown, I finished the Stadia exclusive Gylt.
In the end, I enjoyed several good paid games “for free” (they refunded all the game and hardware purchases), the original “free” games are actually the ones that I paid for (no refund for Pro subscriptions). I thoroughly enjoyed it in 2021, and can also see why this doesn’t make sense to Google financially, thus why they would shut it down. I think Stadia as a technology had huge potential, and pushed some boundaries in the gaming industry. I thank it for the memories of Night City, of Revachol, of Kamurochō, of Isle of Seiren, …