Google’s video game streaming platform Stadia will be launching in November, but many gamers still have a lot of questions about the platform. Luckily, Director of Product for Stadia, Andrey Doronichev, recently took to Reddit to answer some of the internet’s questions.
During the Reddit AMA, Doronichev clarified that the Stadia Pro subscription service won’t actually be, as many people have described it, a “Netflix for gaming.” Rather, this subscription service will more closely resemble services like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus, including exclusive discounts and more or less one free game a month that will be added to a growing pool of free games for subscribers. It was also explained that if you unsubscribe from Stadia Pro at any point and then subscribe again later, you will regain access to all the games you had when you were first subscribed, but you won’t gain access to the monthly games that were free when you were unsubscribed.
When some gamers voiced concerns over the possibility of Stadia shutting down one day, and thus having all subscribers lose access to all the games they bought through the platform, Doronichev likened this shift to video game streaming to other mediums, such as movies and music, which have successfully made the jump to streaming platforms. However, Stadia will also allow players to download saves and metadata, just in case.
Also confirmed is Stadia’s inclusion of features like friends lists and voice chat. A Parental Dashboard will be available for the platform at launch to allow parents to supervise how their kids use it, and Family Sharing will become available early next year. Stadia will also have a few free-to-play games at launch, though what exactly these games will be isn’t ready to be announced yet. Doronichev also reiterated that while Stadia will only be available on certain hardware at launch, the team will be working to expand what kinds of hardware the platform will be able to be used on in the future. Doronichev also says that the team is doing everything they can to support cross-play and cross-progression with other platforms, but that this is something ultimately up to each individual game’s publisher and developer. It was also revealed that Stadia will have something in the way of achievements, though this feature won’t be available at launch.