Google Stadia Pricing Detailed Along with Game Announcements

Stadia’s YouTube channel released an official recap of the stream as soon as it ended. Watch it here for the highlights.

In Google’s Stadia stream today the tech company announced the pricing model for the service as well as the coming games.

Games

Along with already released games coming to the Stadia, several new titles were announced during the stream. Baldur’s Gate III was the first trailer shown and is a big win for Google considering how long fans have been waiting for the next entry. It will be developed by Larian Studios, the developers behind the Divinity: Original Sin series. It will not be exclusive to Stadia as it is coming to PC as well.

Also announced were the games Gylt from Tequila Works and Get Packed from Moonshine Studios. The former seems to be a stealth/horror game from the Rime developers, and the latter looks to be a crazy physics based multiplayer game. Destiny 2 debuted a new trailer for its next expansion Shadowkeep after announcing the game would be on Stadia and will now support cross saves.

Ubisoft seems to be supporting the Stadio in a big way, with The Division 2 coming to the platform along with the upcoming Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, which debuted a new trailer. Just Dance, Trials and The Crew were a few of the other series teased in the Stadia trailer.

All the games Google says are coming to the Stadia

Pricing

One of the biggest questions about the Stadia has been what it will cost. Google announced it will have a free version as well as a subscription based model. The free version and Stadio Pro subscription, which will be $9.99 a month, will not release until early 2020 though. Either way you still have to pay for the games, although Stadio Pro will have discounts and free games, possibly similar to Playstation Plus and Games with Gold.

To play in November (the advertised release) you have to buy the Founder’s Edition priced at $129. It comes with a special edition Stadia controller, a Chromecast Ultra, 3-month subscription, 3-month buddy pass and early access to getting your Stadia name. The pack also comes with a copy of Destiny 2 and all of it’s previous DLC and the upcoming Shadowkeep content.

Final Thoughts

It’s a bit of a surprise Google has decided to have a subscription and charge for individual games. Many hoped for a Netflix-like subscription service instead. It seems like a steep price to pay monthly just for access to improved features like 4K and 60 FPS. A lot of people still don’t even have 4K TV’s or devices.

Internet speeds required to run Stadia games at certain resolutions and framerates

It’ll be interesting what Sony and Microsoft (and to an extent Nintendo) announce with their upcoming next-gen consoles. They could potentially steal a lot of Stadia’s thunder by offering those features with a one time purchase.

If you’re interested in being one of the first to play Stadia games, Google opened up the Founder’s Edition pre-orders here. Otherwise you’ll have to wait to try it out when Google opens it up in early 2020. Just make sure you’re in one of the 14 countries in which Stadia will launch. Those countries are the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Google plans to add more in 2020.

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THQ Nordic Announces SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated in Lead Up to E3

As the first of 3 game announcements leading up to E3, THQ Nordic announced SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated.

After announcing the 3 game reveals for this week, THQ Nordic‘s first title is a remastered SpongeBob game from 2003. The original sits at a 71 on Metacritic for the PS2 version but was a surprise for many. A new take on the Darksiders series and a revival of the Destroy All Humans! franchise were expected after rumors earlier in the week.

There are still 2 games to come so those may titles may still be on the table. After a surprise like this though, it’s anyone’s guess what THQ Nordic has planned. Expect the next game announcements from the publisher’s Twitter on Thursday and Friday.

Next Watch Dogs Possibly Leaked; Teases Playing as Any Character

A retail leak from yesterday hints at Watch Dogs Legion being announced soon.

TheNerdMag spotted the leak on Amazon’s UK site which is still here (as of the time of writing). Previous rumors hinted at a London setting and this new possible leak indicates the same. The description is a little odd, as one sentence declares “Every individual you meet in the open world, has a full set of animations, voice over, character traits and visuals that are generated & guided by gameplay systems”.

This doesn’t lend much to its credibility but it’s hard to ignore the Amazon listing. Part of the leak also suggests you can play as any character in the game. The description on the listing points out how London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world. It’s likely one of the reasons Ubisoft (possibly) chose this location.

Whatever the truth, we’re likely to find out more at E3 this year. Ubisoft’s conference is less than a week away so we don’t have long to wait.

Endgame Directors to Launch New MTG Series on Netflix

According to a teaser released by Netflix, Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo will soon be adapting the world’s greatest card game into a Netflix original series. Joined by the ranks of writers Henry Gilroy (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Jose Molina (The Tick), the duo will partner with Bardel Entertainment (Rick and Morty, The Dragon Prince) as an animation studio dedicated to bringing the twenty-six-year history of the game to life.

As a property for storytelling, Magic: The Gathering is rife with potential. Spanning history all the way back to the early days of nerd-dom and stretching into the present day, the product has featured characters and stories on dozens of planes and across thousands of years, with recent story revolving around the conflict between Nicol Bolas and the Gatewatch in the events of War of the Spark. Previous delves into the universe have included novels, comics, and crossover products with other franchises, such as Dungeons and Dragons, but this endeavor seems markedly different.

Until now, Magic story has been rich and complex, but always based around the card game and intended for its players. It seems that with a Netflix series, Wizards will break from that tradition, perhaps bolstered by the breakout success of their fifth edition D&D products, arguably the most successful explosion in a gaming sector in recent history. If Wizards can get non-magic-players to watch their new show, they could be looking at a repeat of the massive sales that resulted from the unexpected popularity of that edition.

While Wizards remains in controversy across the internet for their reputed employment practices, one thing remains certain – they create products that everyone seems to love. For many, Magic or D&D was a first foray into the world of gaming culture. Should things continue on their current course, that may be true for an even greater segment of the market. By hiring big guns in the animated entertainment industry, and a pair of rock-star directors, Wizards is making a bold statement: they’re here to stay in the public consciousness, and not as a niche product any longer.

Bungie to Detail Future Plans For Destiny 2 Next Week

Bungie tweeted yesterday that it will reveal more about the future of Destiny 2 on June 6.

The reveal is 2 days after the start of Destiny 2’s Season of Opulence. This is the last season for the current pass released for the game. Following Bungie’s split with Activision, it’s going to be interesting to see what the developer has in mind.

For now all we can do is speculate, but with next gen just around the corner it will be interesting how Destiny and Bungie will adapt.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Announced; First COD Title to Feature Crossplay

Today Activision announced Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will release on October 25 and is a “reimagining” of the series.

The Infinity Ward developed title in the long-running series was also confirmed to feature crossplay between consoles and PC. The campaign makes a return as well after being absent for Black Ops 4. It won’t be a copy of the original game’s campaign though. Ars Technica reports you will play a part of it as a rebel soldier in the Middle East.

Also confirmed today there will be no annual past like past Call of Duty games. Post-launch content like maps will be free for all players, although no mention of microtransactions or other possibly paid content.

Alongside the campaign and PvP, Activision announced cooperative modes for the game and a cohesive experience across all three. No details as to what this means exactly but with release so close we can expect details soon.

Activision also confirmed the game will have a brand new engine which you can see for yourself in the trailer below.

New Death Stranding Trailer Reveals Release Date

A new Death Stranding trailer today revealed that the game will release on November 8th, along with some story moments and gameplay.

Despite being announced in 2016, we’ve known little to nothing about Hideo Kojima‘s mysterious game until today. The trailer gives more info than the previous ones as well as the release date. It also revealed several more characters and the actors playing them.

While today’s trailer shows more of the story, it wasn’t exactly clear what the game was about. Thankfully Hideo Kojima tweeted a short message of what the game is about which sheds more light on the story and gameplay.

Set in America, the game tasks the player, as Sam, with connecting a fragmented society after disaster. Kojima hints at interacting with other players as well so there may be a multiplayer element.

For more info on the new characters and info check out Kojima Productions’ Twitter page along with Kojima’s. Also detailed are the various digital and collector editions with in-game and physical bonuses. Check out the details and preorder the game here.