Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service is just two days away from launch — a launch that’s taken some serious criticism (including from yours truly at The Verge) because the company keeps revealing that most of the service’s promised features and games won’t be ready. But now, Google has given its early adopters a welcome surprise for a change: 22 games will be ready to play on day one, nearly double the number that Google said would be available as of last week.
Some of these titles weren’t slated to arrive until 2020 by Google’s last estimate, but Stadia boss Phil Harrison replied to one of my tweets with this explanation:
Yes, we were perhaps a little conservative in our forecast last week and (most importantly) our partners did an awesome job getting last few kinks ironed out and through testing.
Here’s the revised launch list of titles the company just shared on Sunday evening, with newly added ones in bold:
In addition, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, a title that was previously slated for 2020, will now arrive by the end of 2019 instead; and Doom: Eternal, Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Cyberpunk 2077 are now all now officially confirmed for Stadia release in 2020. You can see the updated release slate here.
Google also says that Samurai Showdown will now be available free of charge to Stadia Pro subscribers at launch — previously, Destiny 2 was the only title free to play with that subscription. Generally, Stadia requires you to buy games, with the $10/month Stadia Pro tier allowing you to play them at higher 4K resolution, with HDR support, instead of the free 1080p tier that’ll be rolling out in 2020.
The company has also announced additional games that will arrive on Stadia by the end of the year and into 2020, but until this evening, the launch lineup felt quite small — especially considering that Microsoft’s rival xCloud service already has 50 titles live despite still being in early preview.