Free as in subscription beer –
Early subscribers now get four of 22 launch titles for free.
Google had some good news to share withStadia streaming’s early adoptersyesterday: their $ 10 / month Stadia Pro subscription will grant access to two new titles –Farming Simulator 19: Platinum EditionandTomb Raider: Definitive Edition–starting next month.
That didn’t come as welcome news to all Stadia owners, though, because those games had already been on sale as Stadia launch titles for the week leading up to the announcement. That means a fair number of Stadia Pro subscribers had spent $ 49. 99 (forFarming Simulator) or $ 9. 99 (forTomb Raider) on games that would be free in less than two weeks’ time.
Google, to its credit, has not ignored these players. “Because of the proximity between the launch of the platform, and the announcement of these titles in Stadia Pro, we’re happy to assist you if you’d like to request a refund if you have purchased either or both of these titles, even if it’s outside of our normal policy, “a Google community managerwrote yesterday afternoon.
The new Stadia Pro freebies come on top of (Destiny 2) and Samurai Shodown , which were offered topre-order customerswho subscribed to Stadia Pro in November. Those games will be accessible for those subscribers as long as they maintain their Stadia Pro subscription. Games purchased directly on the Stadia Storewill not require a continuing Pro subscription to keep(even if they are purchased with a Pro discount). Of course, a Stadia Pro subscription is currently the only way to access Stadia, so that issue is kind of moot until Google launches its planned free tier next year.
The addition of two new Stadia Pro freebies is a welcome sign for Google’s nascent gaming service. Before now, Google was only able to confirm that new Stadia Pro titles would be coming at a “regular cadence” going forward. The current rate of two free games per month would put Stadia Pro on par with PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, both of which charge $ 60 a year for two free monthly titles and other benefits (including online gameplay).
That said, there are only 22 games currently in the Stadia Pro library, with four more announced for the rest of the year. Adding two free games a month would quickly exhaust that initial lineup, and the 14 titles for a 2020 Stadia release so far would only pad things out a bit (especially since brand-new releases seem unlikely candidates for Stadia Pro freebies).
Theinitial dearth of Stadia titlesisn’t out of the ordinary for newly launched game platforms, and Google no doubt has more publisher partnerships and Stadia game announcements in the works (including (planned Stadia-exclusive games from its own internal studios) ). Butrecent examples like the Wii Ushow that major game makers can quickly abandon a platform if players don’t show much inherent post-launch demand to be playing there. If more than 4, 00 0 developers actually expressed interest in developing for Stadia, asGoogle claimed back in July, then Google would be wise to use them to expand the service’s library quickly in the coming months.
Listing image by Kyle Orland