Google Stadia was always meant to be an interactive piece of YouTube that's monetized with subscriptions, microtransactions, and full game sales. Now the company reiterates the platform's secret sauce.
Stadia's main reason for existing is to merge game streaming, viewership, and play together in a neat interactive package. The service will do this in a number of ways, but chiefly centers around new ways for viewers to interact with streamers and broadcasters. In the latest Stadia Connect showcase, Google outlined Stadia-exclusive features coming to Dead by Daylight that illustrate this pretty well.
The features allow stream viewers to vote on specific in-game events and have a direct affect on gameplay and content. Streamers are steering the ship, but viewers control the destination. With the new Crowd Choice mechanic, viewers can vote on how streamers play, whether it be as a survivor or a killer and even choose what character they play as. Crowd Play also allows viewers to play directly with their favorite streamers. This is all huge for engagement and will tie perfectly with YouTube Gaming for maximum exposure and more importantly, ad revenues.
Google also showed off its new click-to-play feature. This was always a groundbreaking part of Stadia, but we hadn't actually see the mechanic added into any games.
Click-to-play allows gamers to share any portion of their game as a clickable link that can be shared on social media, Gmail, or even in YouTube comments. Gamers can click the link and instantly launch the game via Stadia. This easy level of access is transformative and directly smashes barriers of today's gaming market like long downloads and load times.
There's just one drawback: You have to be a Stadia Pro subscriber to use click-to-play.
Soon Google won't be alone, though. Competitors are watching Stadia closely and plan to emulate what works and what doesn't. Microsoft confirms it's working on its own click-to-play functionality in Project xCloud.
Recent Sony patents also indicate PlayStation Now will get revolutionary features similar to click-to-play, but on a bigger scale. Sony wants to let you create your very own slices of gameplay and share them online for others to play. Think of it as shareable game demos that you create and edit yourself.
Amazon's own Twitch-based Project Tempo streaming service should also incorporate Stadia's crowd-based features by letting viewers directly interact with streams. We're already seeing this with Hyper Scape's Twitch integration, Ubisoft's new sci-fi battle royale game, and the recent Pac-Man game also lets you launch and play a game natively in a Twitch page.
Stadia really needs to maximize and utilize these features if it wants to stay ahead of the curve and the competition.
Sadly there was no talk about its State Share feature, which effectively lets you share your saves with friends and people online. It's very similar to Sony's plans with PlayStation Now. State Share will use the click-to-play functionality.