The MOP Up: Google Stadia looms nigh

    
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Are you ready for Google’s attempt at cloud-based video gaming? Mixed feelings or not, Google Stadia is going to start its rollout next month with its premium service (the basic, free version is coming in 2020). Google Stadia Pro — a subscription service — will launch on November 19th for those who have purchased a founder’s edition or premiere edition. Games such as Elder Scrolls Online and Destiny 2 will be playable through this platform.

And this is just the beginning of the rest of the news! Read on for a roundup of other smaller MMO news stories and videos from this past week in this edition of The MOP Up (and if you don’t see a news story that we should have covered, drop us a tip)!

“In the November SMITE Update, we will be doing something never before seen in SMITE:
We will be reverting the design changes that reworked Freya’s abilities.” Dun dun DUNNNN.

Reader Panagiotis let us know that space MMO Star Sonata 2 is fast-tracking a revamp to its “Shield Monkey” healing and protection system.

“Want the heart of British royalty compacted into one spring-loaded bundle of vintage style?” asked Grand Theft Auto Online. “Presenting the Weeny Dynasty, the latest installment in 50 years of proof that size doesn’t matter if you know how to ride.”

Want to transfer your character in Diablo III? Blizzard is just about ready to start testing this feature.

Atlas’ latest update aimed to fix a number of Xbox One issues, with a PC patch to follow.

Otherland is working on a patch to patch the patch. Seriously.

Lineage 2 Mobile has started to take character reservations in South Korea, but a launch date has not yet been set.

Season 5 of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is coming, and you can get the direct scoop from the developers about what it contains:

Italian cruisers sailed into World of Warships’ port, hopefully with tons of pizza:

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PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I like the tech behind Stadia, but what happens if Stadia becomes successful and is the future? Will games be created around an economic model specifically for Stadia?

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vgees

The big question I have about Stadia is whether Google will quickly drop the service if premium subs at launch fall short. It’s hard to see a sustainable number of people paying up front for Stadia. And if that launch reveals severe technical issues, a very likely scenario, even more people will be reluctant to sign up. Will Google have the stomach to take the time required to see if Stadia will find its market?

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Triona Falconer

I agree, as they don’t seem to stick with things for long if they don’t do well.

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Schmidt.Capela

For me to even consider Stadia, it would need to:

– Allow me to use cheats and mods. I want to take full control over my experience, so any platform that doesn’t allow that is a no-starter for me — which is why, for example, I don’t even consider purchasing a console until it’s been hacked widely open. The only exceptions I make are for multiplayer games played with random strangers across the Internet, such as MMOs.

– Allow me to download the games I own in the platform and play them locally when I’m either not in the mood for streaming or have some technical reason preventing me from streaming. Of course, this would also require the ability to sync the saves locally and online.

That wouldn’t guarantee that I would use it, mind; it’s just that without those two features I certainly won’t use it at all.

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Michael

I don’t think you’re the target audience for…. Any games service period.

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Armsbend

Nothing compelling at the moment.

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IronSalamander8 .

I just don’t like the idea of subscribing to a service that can pull games I want to play at any time. It’s bad enough that MMOs can shut down like that as it is now.

At least when a game is pulled from Steam, I can still play it offline once I buy it. I made the adjustment from always having physical media for my games to services like Steam and Origin pretty easily, but I’m leery of this idea, even if they can give us useful bandwidth at all times, which is no given.

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Dušan Frolkovič

This same worry was around when Steam started as well.
And it is still a risk (however tiny right now, considering the size of the platform),
that when they pull the plug you lose everything (unless you rigorously backup everything on external drives).

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Schmidt.Capela

With Stadia it’s worse because you don’t even have the option to backup anything offline. In contrast, the over 200 Steam games I already have installed would continue working if Steam ended, either as they are or with the help of a 3rd-party crack.

(Incidentally, my usual rule for purchasing any offline game is that it must have been cracked; I want a hard guarantee that I will be able to keep playing if Steam, or whichever provider the publisher uses for authentication services, closes shop. Heck, I tend to use piracy tracking sites in lieu of the official storefronts when looking for new games to purchase.)

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IronSalamander8 .

I didn’t get Steam for awhile due to that as well. I got Half-Life 2 much later on thanks to the Steam requirement. I do indeed have a backup of my Steam games on an external HDD, mostly to save time when getting a new PC as otherwise it would take forever to re download all that.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

In the 80’s there was the Cable wars,
now there is the streaming services war,
on the horizon the cloud-based gaming wars.

“I’d play game X but it’s on Stadia and I already have three gaming service subscriptions to pay for.”

It’s a glorious future for sure.

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Armsbend

In the future we shall all play 40 year old games. We will charge 100s of dollar to pirate them to other people as they will be the only viable option for fun in the medium.

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Schmidt.Capela

You might speak in jest, but I just finished a 33 years old game this weekend ;-)

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Armsbend

I’m actually not kidding. And I added time for the the future. In my opinion the last Golden age for gaming was 2005-2011. Likely the last. In 10 years, unless something desperately changes it will mark a steep decline until it is all but unrecognizable.

The ones who have theirs saved to hard drives – we will walk the earth in our wrinkled skin as The Time-Wasting Gods we were always destined to be.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Indies will fill the gaps. The AAA industry will be a sh…POOP-show of greed and marketing.

The indies will explore new boundaries.

At least that’s what I hope. I got two maybe three decades left and enough games on Steam to last me that whole time.

That’s not even considering the global meltdown going on politically so I might not even have those years.

And of course the high blood pressure. I might not even make it through Witcher 3.

I…I think I need to sit down.

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Dušan Frolkovič

You mean like today people play 40 year old games in retro-arcades they build for 100’s of dollars? :D

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Jack Pipsam

Right now Microsoft has put their own streaming service Project XCloud into an invite Alpha testing phase.
I am part of an Xbox group on Facebook so I’ve seen a few members already be invited in to test it out on their Android phones. With the natural Xbox bias taken into consideration, so far the reception has been overwhelming positive for those people in it so far, granted that they’re maybe invited because they’re close to where the testing servers are and have high-speed internet.

Neither Stadia nor XCloud have an Australian timeline (Xbox Australia has confirmed it will come at some point, Google hasn’t confirmed it yet), I suspect it’ll be sometime next year for both.

As for my own interest? Don’t have any. I am on the NBN so I do now have access to 100mbs home internet which from what I’ve seen is enough to run both platforms, question I have is how far do you need to be from the servers before you feel it?
For those who live in the 5G areas of Australia, I’m sure it’ll be great. But I’m not in Melbourne at all, let alone anywhere remotely close to the 5G rollout, so who knows. It’s more curiosity for me than anything else. I have a gaming PC and the Xbox One X, so I don’t think I’m even the intended target audience, I don’t play games on my phone, I just don’t.

I haven’t any envy when I look at Stadia, it offers nothing inciting. Oooh Destiny 2, wow! Not like I can now get the base game for free on anything but the Switch (and I wouldn’t be shocked if Bungie is trying their little hearts out on that one).
There’s nothing good exclusive announced and there’s little sharing of their overall plans. What studios does Google have a relationship with? What are they chasing? Who might they buy? What do they already own? There’s just nothing.

Google Stadia is technology with a bunch of early-adopter third party support from a company with no gaming history, but unless it’s the most incredible thing ever, I can’t see it doing well. Not in any way which Google will want it to perform.
It needs blockbuster games which you can only play on it, as much as I hate the idea of streaming exclusives, it is the game to play if you want to win. Otherwise I don’t see anyone really paying a great deal of attention to it, not unless it is stella.

Project XCloud doesn’t have the same media attention behind it as Stadia, maybe that’s a good thing, let them come out with something once they have it working the way they want it.
If Microsoft plays their cards right, they’ll have every advantage in the world over Stadia.
Xbox Game Pass. Enough said.
Just make the entire 100+ Xbox Game Pass streamable from the launch, have it included in the cost and they’ll in theory have everything Stadia doesn’t.
Actually be the “Netflix for Games” as they’re all chasing like hungry sharks.
They need to lean into it, if it can end up streaming any Xbox game, that’s thousands just sitting there. Already have a massive library of games? Access everything you’ve been building up over the years.

It’ll come down to cost though, the one thing Microsoft has been very quiet about. If it costs more than Stadia to work, they’ll be shooting themselves in the foot. If you need to pay a lot more to stream on top of Xbox Game Pass, they might also struggle.

They have innate assets Google can only dream of, if XCloud doesn’t fully embrace the natural advantage they have, they they’ll be absolute idiots and it’ll just flop, like Stadia lol.

Going to be an interesting watch regardless.

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Pharos EDM

I just want to say that I am new to MMOs and I looked through multiple MMO websites and that I will be utilizing yours as a resource due to your constant, relevant and informative posts. Thank you and keep up the great work!

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3dom

I’ve checked out prices for streaming services recently. No clue – where I got the idea it’ll cost $15/month? It’s actually more like a good ol’ 90s dial-up Internet ($1/hour).

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Triona Falconer

Ouch. Pricey!

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Kurt Shadle

Intrested to see how stadia will go but I have 0 interest personally.

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losludvig

same. It has too many drawbacks vs benefits for me and google’s track record in keeping projects running isn’t exactly great either. If the stadia pro subscription had been more like gamepass it would have been much more up my alley