Stadia: It's out there. People have it, and Google's still lining up games for it. Today marked another Stadia connect presentation, and while it didn't deliver anything Earth-shattering for the somewhat beleaguered streaming platform, two names stand out in Google's messaging: Harmonix and Supermassive. Both studios, along with Australian indie Uppercut Games, are now confirmed to be working on exclusives for Stadia.
Many critics of Stadia have pointed to its lack of standout exclusives. In theory, it's a problem that studios like Harmonix and Supermassive—both well-known, both with strong niches—have a better chance at breaking through.
Harmonix confirms that it's working on a new intellectual property for Stadia, so don't expect a streaming adaptation of Rock Band, Dance Central, or even an older title like Amplitude. Still, Harmonix says it aims to "deliver genre-defining game experiences rooted in some of the best music of our time" through Stadia, so it won't be straying far from its defining focus on musical gameplay.
Likewise, it looks Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures developer Supermassive will play to its strengths on Stadia. Supermassive CEO Pete Samuels says Google approached the studio because it recognized "what a great fit [its] style of storytelling would be for Stadia," citing the low barrier to entry for streaming and play across multiple as reasons why the dev team is "excited about the partnership" on an exclusive. Supermassive expects to show a glimpse of its Stadia title later this year.
Both studios are planning to launch titles for traditional platforms this fall. Harmonix's DJ mixing game Fuser has yet to nail down a release date, but the second entry in Supermassive's Dark Pictures horror anthology, Little Hope, is confirmed for launch just before Halloween.
Today's Stadia Connect also brought details on other titles heading to the service. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will make its Google streaming debut this fall, as will Hitman 1 and 2. As with Ubisoft's next trio of major releases—Watch Dogs: Legion, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and Far Cry 6—IO Interactive's Hitman 3 will also launch on Stadia at the same time as its console and PC versions.
So, in the near future it looks like the gap between regular launch and Stadia launch will vanish for a handful of titles, and Google's still trying to line up exclusives and timed-exclusive releases (such as Serious Sam 4). Next-gen's gobbling up attention and other streaming services like xCloud are giving Stadia a good run for its money, but don't count Google out, especially since it has all the money in the world to burn.