Stadia, Google's game streaming platform, is sort-of kind-of out in the wild now, but many current and prospective users are curious as to how it'll work in the long term. In particular, since anyone who has purchased Stadia so far is on a free three-month Stadia Pro subscription, folks are wondering what will happen to their Stadia game library when that subscription lapses.
On Twitter, a bit of miscommunication from the official Stadia account had early adopters worried that they'd lose access to games they purchased. Here's what happened.
Stadia Pro is the premium, $9.99/mo subscription tier that grants access to 4K, 60fps streaming, select titles for free, and discounts on game purchases. Currently, Destiny 2 and Samurai Shodown are the only titles provided for free to Stadia Pro subscribers. As claimed free games, those titles will only be accessible so long as the Pro subscription is active.
As spotted on Reddit, the official Stadia Twitter replied to a user's query about retaining access to games purchased with a Stadia Pro discount. In the response, the account said that neither Pro subscribers' free "claimed" titles or games purchased with a Pro discount would be available once the subscription lapsed.
This, the account later clarified, was posted in error. Free claimed games require an active Stadia Pro subscription, while any purchases will still be accessible on Stadia Base. A Google representative also confirmed this to USgamer.
Pour one out for the social media people who had to respond to dozens of concerned messages with variations on the same message over the past hour:
So, to recap—when you claim a free game via Stadia Pro, access to that game is essentially a perk of an active subscription. According to the official Stadia FAQ, if you restart Pro after a lapse in the subscription, you'll regain access to free games you had previously but won't be able to claim any games that you missed the window for. Purchases, made with a Pro discount or otherwise, stay in your library. Of course, that won't allay concerns over Stadia's long-term prospects, but rest assured: Stadia's treating purchases in more-or-less the same way as other digital distribution platforms.