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Shack Chat: Geoff Keighley asks, 'What is your favorite Google Stadia memory?'

The final death knell of Google Stadia has sounded and the Shack staff reflect upon the life that was Google's cloud gaming service.

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Released back in November 2019, Google Stadia offered users a means of gaming without the hassle of bulky physical hardware. While the product and service created competition within the cloud gaming sphere, it would appear that Stadia didn’t win said competition. In a statement by Google Stadia VP and General Manager of Stadia Phil Harrison, the company revealed that the service will be shut down on January 18, 2023.

Geoff Keighley, The Game Awards and Summer Game Fest legend himself, took to Twitter to ask users their favorite memory of Google Stadia. So let’s answer him.

Question: What is your favorite Google Stadia memory?


Tekken 7 coming to the platform - TJ Denzer, hates input lag in FGs

Image shows a Tekken fighters kicking another fighter

Source: Bandai Namco

Do you know what has never blended well with fighting games in particular? Input lag. Especially in Tekken where every frame can mean the difference between winning and losing a match. So when I learned Tekken 7 was coming to Google Stadia, that sounded like a nightmare scenario. Don’t get me wrong, I always knew the Stadia could do a lot of amazing things. Games that required pinpoint timing are not it. XCOM? JRPGs? Strategy games? Yay, Stadia! That was great use for the platform, but games that demand your reactions and inputs to be extra precise even before taking the bandwidth for netplay into consideration? Man, just Death Fist me right in the heart so I don’t have to suffer.


My Behind-Closed-Doors Demo - Blake Morse, Saw a Stadia in the Wild Once

Three Google Stadia controllers

Source: GameSpot

My only interaction with Stadia was at PAX a few years back, I think the last one before the pandemic hit and shut down such events for a moment. I got a behind-closed-doors hands-on demo with the controller and Mortal Kombat 11. I’m not sure a fighting game was the best option here, but it was an ambitious attempt to show just how well the cloud-based gaming worked with a game where latency would be a serious issue.

It did…okay-ish?

I mean, if I’m being honest, there were a lot of issues just getting the internet to function properly since we were in the middle of a convention floor with thousands of people trying to use it at the same time. Which was yet another ambitious front to try and get folks to test Stadia on. Actually playing the game wasn’t that bad though, to be honest. The controller was solid enough, basically copying the Xbox’s controller layout and functions, and the game looked fine. But you could still feel some of that latency. And I think that’s a good metaphor for Stadia overall: It was ambitious with something to prove, but until there’s no such thing as latency (and who knows if that will ever be a thing), fighting games might not necessarily be the best thing to use to show off your cloud gaming experience.


I was there with Blake - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Stadia Follower

I was at that Stadia meeting with Blake at PAX West back in the Before Times. We did indeed get to check out the controller and take a look at Mortal Kombat 11, which I had just looked at earlier in the year. I'm also going to say it was okay. I had latency concerns, but the best thing I can say about it is that it certainly ran and the controller felt alright.

Unfortunately, there was nothing at that time to convince me that it was going to take off, especially in rural America where high-speed internet is much harder to get. I'm sad that we're not at a point where something like Stadia can succeed and that this first run's failure means we probably won't see anything like it again for a while. At least from Google anyway. Maybe Amazon Luna will take off. Who knows?


Luckstruck9 - Sam Chandler, User of Checkpoints

Luckstruck9's Warlock ornament and shader setup in Destiny 2

Source: Luckstruck9's Twitter

Destiny 2 has got to be one of my favorite games. Despite playing it endlessly, writing about it every day, and oftentimes getting frustrated with it, I still love logging in and playing. For me, my fondest memory of Google Stadia exists as a tool to make Destiny 2 easier. One legend by the name of Luckstruck9 holds checkpoints using numerous Stadia accounts.

For those that don’t know, holding a checkpoint means sitting in an encounter, keeping it active so players can join you, let them “take” the checkpoint, and then go back to their friends. This is useful if you want to fight the final boss in a raid but don’t want to play through the other 90 percent of it.

It’s basically allowed my team to engage with endgame content in a manner that fits our time schedule. With the shuttering of Google Stadia’s doors, I don’t know how Luckstruck9 will continue this incredible service. Also, check out his incredible Warlock fashion.


Jan owning a Stadia - Bill Lavoy, Knew Better

My favorite Stadia memory is having Jan, host of Shack Air on Thursday evenings, log into his Stadia and join me in Destiny 2 so I could turn in bounties for the maximum XP bonus. I knew right away that Stadia wasn’t for me. I much prefer to let early adopters suffer through the tech growing pains and then hop on the bandwagon when all the kinks are worked out. Never got the chance with Stadia, but at least I got some additional XP.


Indie games on Stadia - Morgan Shaver, Indie game lover

Celeste standing in a cave with pink crystal and a golden feather

Source: Matt Makes Games via Steam

I don’t have a lot of clearly defined memories of Google Stadia, having never owned one personally nor having ever tested Stadia out via demo. That said, looking at the list of games on offer, there’s a surprising amount of awesome must-play indie games in the Stadia lineup. I’m always excited when it comes to new ways to discover and enjoy indies, so it’s nice to see that Stadia has (or had) a top shelf selection of titles in that regard. Some awesome indies that were available through Stadia included Celeste, Enter the Gungeon, Hello Neighbor, Kona, Spiritfarer, and many, many more.


Google announcing Stadia at GDC 2019 -  Asif Khan, #1 Google Stadia Influencer on the Internet

My favorite Google Stadia moment was the announcement at GDC 2019, before the Death Stranding. So many people were certain that a megacorporation like Google would easily stomp out smaller players like Sony and Nintendo. In fact, many console makers' stocks fell in the days around Google's Stadia reveal. Their vision that they laid out in 2019 at GDC was truly inspired, but the service was marred with a number of fumbles at launch.

Having to pay a subscription and buy games on top of that with ephemeral access to your content was not that appealing to many players out there. Stadia did have some highlights. It was a serviceable place to play Destiny 2, and Octopath Traveler was available. So there's that.

I declared myself the Number One Google Stadia Influencer on the Internet during the later stages of the platform's three years of existence. I gained several followers who believed I was some kind of cloud gaming evangelist, and well, I am. I love the idea of what Google Stadia accomplished and tried to be, but I also know that Google killed iGoogle, which was their best thing outside of search and maps. Anyone remember Wave? Buzz?

Anyway, thanks to everyone who worked on Google Stadia, your contributions to cloud-based gaming platforms will never be forgotten... by Microsoft, and Amazon... and probably Apple. GGs, Stadia.


Failed Potential - Steve Tyminski, Knew this guy who knew a guy who had Stadia

Man Ray from Spongebob Squarepants facepalming

Source: Nickelodeon / Paramount

What is my favorite Google Stadia memory? It’s a bittersweet day in the industry when an idea that had potential doesn’t work out in the end for one reason or another. I have a few memories about the Stadia, none of which are about me actually playing it. The first was seeing the Stadia in ads before almost every YouTube video I would watch and my first thought was, “This thing isn’t out yet.” They were telling you what early buyers would get access to and they still couldn’t get people to buy it.

My next memory was when I used to work on a podcast with my friends and one of our friends told us he had got the Stadia. It became a running gag on the podcast that I would mess with him about being one of the few people to grab it. It would be an answer to everything regardless of the topic. The fact that my memories about Google Stadia have nothing to do with playing it should tell you all you need to know about how things went for it.


Cyberpunk 2077 actually running well on Stadia - Donovan "Dono" Erskine, Doesn’t even work here anymore

Johnny Silverhand's buggy face in Cyberpunk 2077 as seen in the behind-the-scenes Cyber ElBuggado 2020 video

Source: Shacknews via CD Projekt RED

The catastrophic launch of Cyberpunk 2077 felt like the one time that Google Stadia showed its true utility and garnered widespread praise. With CD Projekt RED’s highly ambitious RPG being nigh unplayable on Xbox One and PS4 at the time of its launch, those without a decent gaming PC were essentially out of luck. Enter Google Stadia. The video game streaming service allowed users without access to high-end hardware the ability to experience Cyberpunk 2077 for all it had to offer. Friends and people I knew around the gaming industry opted to play Cyberpunk on Stadia, and went on to roll credits while playing on the platform. There were of course still obstacles for those with mediocre internet connection, but it provided a clear idea of where Stadia could find its audience at some point down the road.


There you have it, Shackers, our fondest memories of Google Stadia. What are your thoughts on Google’s foray into the cloud-gaming space? How do you think the scene will change now that Google is throwing in the towel or do you think the company will come swinging in with something else? Let us know in the comment section below.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
    • reply
      October 7, 2022 3:34 PM

      Getting everyone else’s money’s worth of entertainment from the obvious lifecycle of the product.

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      October 7, 2022 3:34 PM

      When it shut down. Definitely that moment

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        October 7, 2022 8:51 PM

        Internet here is terrible, like Bolivia literally has better internet than us. It was never going to work here, but I still didn't have high hopes for it being a prospect even for people who had proper fibre runs to their houses.

        They were trying to compete in a market where people are buying monitors just to cut their graphics lag from 16ms to 6ms.

    • reply
      October 7, 2022 3:37 PM

      Getting a free controller that will just sit and collect dust.

    • Zek legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
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      October 7, 2022 3:50 PM

      If people had Stadia memories they wouldn't be in this predicament.

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      October 7, 2022 3:56 PM

      I thought being able to play a game like Cyberpunk on my old MBA was pretty cool, though honestly with a decent connection it wasn't quite good enough for me to be happy with the service during things like fight scenes or driving quickly.

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        October 7, 2022 5:47 PM

        I always thought it was the perfect platform for turn-based RPGs.

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          October 7, 2022 6:26 PM

          That makes sense

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          October 8, 2022 12:13 AM

          Having a platform restricted to non-real-time games is a huge restriction though.

          What's worse is when cloud gaming platform providers try to tell their customers that their shit is good enough for real-time gaming. It's a lie. But lots of people don't understand the laws of physics and how much of a negative impact 100+ ms of variable end-to-end latency has on the gaming experience. You can't fix that with smart network code.

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          October 8, 2022 8:17 AM

          I’ve always thought the paradox of cloud gaming is that the games it would be good at are often not powerhouses so why bother playing them on cloud gaming?

          Way back when OnLive was coming out people were saying “it would be perfect for casual games like Peggle” and I was like “Peggle is $20 and runs on everything, why would you subscribe to a cloud streaming service with a monthly charge to play it?”

    • reply
      October 7, 2022 4:02 PM

      I remember thinking "Yet another cloud gaming service that will fail within a few years" and I wasn't wrong

    • reply
      October 7, 2022 7:21 PM

      I liked being able to connect my Stadia to hotel wifi and play some games while traveling. It worked very well.

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      October 7, 2022 7:35 PM

      The favorite memory is the fact that Stadia is a memory.

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      October 7, 2022 7:46 PM

      When people thought it was going to work.

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      October 7, 2022 7:50 PM

      That it sounded like an artificial sweetener

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      October 7, 2022 11:20 PM

      4x16gb 3200 DDR4?

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      October 7, 2022 11:21 PM

      Negative latency.

      • reply
        October 8, 2022 7:17 AM

        This means that stadia is precognitive. It knew its own death this whole time. What a tortured existence!

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      October 8, 2022 6:41 AM

      My favorite part was when a Google engineer claimed Stadia's "negative latency" would make it “faster and more responsive” than local gaming hardware in a year or two

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        October 8, 2022 8:09 AM

        That’s the engineering equivalent of using colloidal silver liquid to fight COVID.

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      October 8, 2022 6:53 AM

      https://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=39274713#item_39274713

      I don't know why this post is so memorable for me, but whenever I thought about the Stadia for the last two years, I was thinking about this.

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      October 8, 2022 7:19 AM

      Playing Cyberpunk 2077 launch week with no issues. I mean it never crashed or anything. The jank of the game was there but I was able to play and beat the story. And now X months later I'll get a full refund of the game

    • reply
      October 8, 2022 7:43 AM

      I was in the extended open beta and they let us play Assassin's Creed Odyssey and it was a good experience. The Stadia experience was much worse than what was in that beta.

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        October 8, 2022 8:04 AM

        I kind of felt based on that collaboration Stadia fall back plan was to let Ubisoft take it over or become a prime customer, allow them to incorporate it into UPlay

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      October 8, 2022 8:02 AM

      When I got selected for the beta because it's awesome to not get picked last.

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      October 8, 2022 8:19 AM

      “Remembering that Stadia even existed only because the logo was on random commercials next to the Xbox, Switch, etc. logos and also because the occasional story about its imminent demise and Google denying it”

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