As we inch closer to February 2020, Stadia has released the latest post under the Savepoint monicker and is highlighting all the new stuff on the way. For one, a new partnership with European broadband provider BT will see broadband packages being bundled along with Stadia for customers of the service. New customers will have the option to receive a free Google Stadia Premier Edition with their broadband subscription and BT has plans that qualify starting as low as £39.99 per month.
Here in the states, the closest thing we have to a similar partnership is with Verizon’s Fios Gigabit service that will offer a similar Stadia Premiere Edition via a promotion for Verizon 5G Home and Fios Gigabit customers after January 29th.
Other than that, we have some new games available for Pro subscribers in titles like Gylt and Metro Exodus starting Febuary 1st. With those new titles, Stadia Pro users will now have a grand total of 8 free-to-play games at their disposal. Just like last month, however, all the titles are still not available for claiming all the time. This month, on January 31st, Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration and Samurai Shodown will both drop off the free-to-claim list. Be sure to go ahead and claim those free titles now even if you aren’t sure whether you’ll play them or not. That’s the beauty of Stadia, right? Cloud games don’t take up any space on a shelf, so there’s no reason not to snag them while they are free.
There are also a few deals for pro members as well. From today until February 5th, you can get 60% off Mortal Kombat 11, MK11 Premium and the additional Kombat Pack. Additionally, until February 4th, you can also get 40% off Just Dance 2020 and 60% off Trials Rising or the Trials Rising Digital Gold Edition.
Still, with that fun stuff on the way and some additional info we got not long ago on the upcoming stuff we expect from Stadia in 2020, I can’t help but feel a bit let down that an official announcement on Stadia Base wasn’t included in this monthly update. From the beginning, February has been touted as the time when the free-to-play version of Stadia would show up on the scene.
With the announcement that we should have 120+ games by the end of 2020, Stadia is actively solving half of the current issues plaguing the platform. We need games and we need players. Period. If Stadia can deliver 120 games over the next 11 moths, we’ll have little shortage on that front. But players? It is hard to convince players to sign up for a monthly service that has few players and fewer titles.
The easiest way to remedy this is to get Stadia Base out the door and give away a few games along with it. At least for a 30-day trial or something similar. Once Stadia is free to try and play, more people will give it a go. Yes, there will have to be a free game or two to entice people to try it out, but I’m sure that once they do, they’ll love the service and likely not have much reservation about buying games for Stadia as their console/platform of choice.
I was very confident we’d see a firm release date for Stadia Base in this update, and I’m very sad to say that isn’t the case this time around. Hopefully we’re not far off from that announcement, but it really feels like Google needs to get the date set and get Stadia in front of as many people as possible if these alarming player stats are anything to go by. They have a great product in need of some killer titles. It feels like those are coming, but we’ll need a community of players to make them a success, and we’ll need it soon I think.