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Google’s prolonged dabble in the world of gaming has been put out of its misery this week. Stadia will linger in diminished form for a few months, allowing everyone to recoup their spent money, if not their time, from its body. After all the money Google spent on getting big-name games onto its platform, it still couldn’t drum up the necessary support. Not to speak ill of the recently deceased, but I view its downfall with a mix of bemusement and slight melancholy. I feel sorry for the developers and gamers blindsided by the news but not so much for the megacorporation that whiffed Stadia’s execution.
For those who don’t know, I have a history with Stadia — mostly as one of its critics. I was very skeptical about the claims Google was pushing about its new service; one of the first articles I wrote about it was to point out that, contrary to its claims to be a console-less gaming service, the only way to access it at launch was to buy a $129 “Founder’s Edition” with a Chromecast. Also, I criticized the company trying to position its product as a “solution” to expensive console gaming, when Stadia would rely on reliable, fast internet, which isn’t cheap itself.
Looking back, perhaps I wasn’t entirely fair to Stadia. I did briefly subscribe to Stadia Pro, both out of genuine curiosity and a desire to critique it from an educated position. I was neither particularly impressed nor offended by what I saw, though I did like Tequila Works’ Gylt. While the platform itself didn’t wow me, I do now recognize that cloud gaming has more of a future in the gaming world than I had anticipated at the time. However, I still maintain that Google wasn’t going to get us there. The idea was sound (somewhat) but the execution was not.
So, in other news, Skull and Bones has been pushed back even further. I’m not sure what could be wrong with it that a few more months of development could fix, but at this point I just want this game to be off the “Upcoming” release calendar. And just to prove I’m not a complete sourpuss: I really enjoyed what I’ve seen of Slime Rancher 2 so far! I played it last weekend, and I enjoyed returning to the land of jelly beings and candy-colored foliage. Had Google not decided to put Stadia down, this week’s Kaser Focus might have been nothing but a Slime Rancher 2 appreciation column.
What to play this week
- FIFA 23
- Deathverse: Let It Die
- Valkyrie Elysium
- Dome Keeper
- Terra Invicta
- Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator
New on subscription services:
- Let’s Build a Zoo (Xbox Game Pass)
- Valheim (Xbox Game Pass)
- Windbound (Xbox Games with Gold)
- SkateBird (Luna Prime)
- Earthworm Jim 2 (Luna Prime)
- Star Wars Pinball (Luna Prime)
- Monster Truck Championship (Luna Prime)
- Metro Exodus (Luna Prime)
- Blair Witch (Luna Prime)
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits (GeForce Now)
- The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero (GeForce Now)
- Ground Branch (GeForce Now)
- Jagged Alliance: Rage! (GeForce Now)
- River City Saga: Three Kingdoms (GeForce Now)
- Weable (GeForce Now)
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