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Google finally adds long-awaited YouTube integrations to Stadia

Despite its track record of killing off less-than-popular services, Google showed that Stadia still has a little bit of fight left in it. During its Connect event on Tuesday, Google presented new exclusives, teased its upcoming partnerships, and finally added YouTube integrations to the platform. Here’s all the news we learned.

Google showed off its new Click to Play feature, which is little more than a link to a Stadia game in a YouTube video’s description. This is nowhere near as elegant as how the feature looked when Stadia was first revealed at the Game Developers Conference 2019, but it ostensibly provides the same result.

Click on the link, and you’re immediately taken to the game on Stadia. Another integration, where viewers of YouTube livestreams can play with the host by clicking a button in the chat, was shown off for 64-player battle royale game Super Bomberman R Online, which is coming first to Stadia. Unlike Click to Play, this feature looks exactly like it did during Stadia’s reveal.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google also talked about its upcoming exclusives. It  is working with Harmonix, Uppercut Games, and Supermassive Games to make titles for the platform, and we’ll learn more specifics later this year. It then showed off Outcasters by Splash Damage, an adorable-looking arena shooter with energy blasts curving around corners serving as the hook, and a new trailer for Orcs Must Die 3, which is available now exclusively to the platform.

One Hand Clapping will come first to Stadia Image used with permission by copyright holder

It was also announced that PGA Tour 2K21, NBA Battlegrounds, and NBA 2K21 would be coming to the platform. Dead by Daylight is coming to Stadia in September, with livestream viewers able to decide on in-game events such as which monsters are chosen. There was a brief trailer for Serious Sam 4, a game that’s been in development since 2013. That’ll be coming to Stadia in August, followed by Hello Neighbor in September and a prequel game, Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek, in the generic holiday 2020 window. Both Hello Neighbor games will be joining Stadia Pro.

A bizarre but artistic looking music platformer called One Hand Clapping, announced last July, will be coming first to Stadia before hitting other platforms. Square Enix’s Outriders will also come to Stadia, along with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, in the fall. Google showed a trailer teasing season 8 of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, set for launch on July 30. It will feature a revision of its Sanhok map and a loot truck. The final already released games announced for Stadia were Hitman and Hitman 2, coming in September. The trilogy will be completed in January 2021 with Hitman III.

For such a forward-thinking service, Stadia is playing catchup — not only in terms of its games offerings but also in how successful its presentations can be. While the Connect was a little lackluster, it was certainly stronger than the previous one a few months ago. Google is also finally making good on its YouTube integration elements, which truly set it apart from traditional console experiences. However, with games like Hyper Scape able to feature similar functionality on the established platforms and Twitch, will Stadia’s connectivity even be a differentiator as we head into the next-gen?

Tom Caswell
Professional video producer and writer, gaming enthusiast, and streamer!
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