Stadia, Google's game streaming platform, could grow into being a useful tool for developers testing games remotely. As Ubisoft just discovered, though, it could also open up a new avenue for leaks. After an early build of Ubisoft Quebec's God's & Monsters briefly showed up for Stadia players, Google has taken responsibility for the leak while Ubisoft is clarifying that Gods & Monsters isn't the game's name anymore.
First seen at E3 2019, the game revealed as Gods & Monsters is the Quebec studio's next project after Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Like Odyssey, it's also set to explore the mythology of Ancient Greece, albeit in a cartoonier and more whimsical way. Prior to its reveal, rumors spread that Quebec's post-Odyssey title was codenamed Project Orpheus, and drew inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. When a build of Gods & Monsters went live on Stadia on June 11, it was titled "Orpheus."
Orpheus, Ubisoft Quebec confirms with Kotaku, is not the new name of the studio's project, but the game won't be released as Gods & Monsters either. "Our vision for the game formerly known as Gods & Monsters has evolved in surprising ways, which is common when developing exciting new worlds," says executive producer Marc-Alexis Cote.
The demo that went live on Stadia was the same one shown to press at E3 2019, Cote says. The footage that made its way online in tweets and YouTube videos which are being routinely deleted shows UI elements seemingly borrowed from Odyssey, as well as a third-person climbing and stamina system that looked similar to that of Breath of the Wild. Cote promises that much has changed in terms of features, art, and more since then, and that Ubisoft Quebec is readying itself to show the title of "at the end of the summer."
Kotaku also received a statement from Google, in which the tech giant issues a public apology to Ubisoft for having accidentally made the build of the game available: "Regretfully, on Thursday morning, we mistakenly made an E3 2019 demo version of Gods & Monsters from Ubisoft available on the Stadia store that was not intended for the public to play[...] A few hundred gamers were able to play it for less than 30 minutes. We sincerely apologize to our partners at Ubisoft for this mistake."
It's possible that we'll actually see the fruits of Ubisoft Quebec's labor next month. Ubisoft Forward, a new digital conference, is scheduled to take place on July 12. Name change aside, it seems likely that the title formerly known as Gods & Monsters is still part of Ubisoft's line up for this fiscal year ending in April 2021, alongside Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and a fifth unannounced title.