Google Stadia has struggled since its November 2019 launch for a multitude of reasons, mainly because the platform initially failed to deliver on a number of promised features. After 7 months out on the market, Google Stadia will finally deliver on one standout feature, starting with an ambitious exclusive game called Crayta.
On June 18, Google fully unveiled Crayta, an exclusive sandbox title where players work together to create and play simple multiplayer minigames, and confirmed that it will launch on July 1 as a free Stadia Pro title. Its release is even more exciting for those interesting in the unique capabilities of Google Stadia, because it will be launching with a beta version of State Share, which was promised by Google over a year ago. This feature lets players share their current game state with other players with just a simple link, making it feel an essential innovation for any kind of collaborative game.
Google Stadia's State Share was shown off as one of the cloud-based platform's most unique features at its March 2019 unveiling. "With a new technology called State Share, developers can let a player instantly share a playable moment from a game," Q-Games founder Dylan Cuthbert revealed during that GDC conference. "To me, this totally changes how I think about the experiences for players."
As the video above shows, State Share can be used to invite players right into someone else's game to help them build and/or to play at the exact moment in theoretically any type of game. While this demonstration may seem like a glorified Google Stadia party invite, this State Share beta makes in-game creations in Crayta easier to share. While it's still in beta, the ability to save things like the world state, player's position, and inventory gives State Share a lot of potential when it eventually leaves beta, gets more functionality, and works with other games.
When asked by Inverse if State Share's launch would be limited to Crayta, a Google Stadia representative told us the following: "Yes, State Share Beta will launch with Crayta. We're working hard on State Share and will have more info to share soon." That statement is pretty vague; hopefully, we will learn about more games that support State Share when Google hosts another Stadia Connect on July 14 to potentially show off games like Orcs Must Die! 3.
The Inverse Analysis — State Share was one of the most intriguing and innovative features when Google Stadia was first unveiled in March 2019. I was disappointed that it wasn't present at the platform's launch, as it is something that only Google Stadia is capable of. It presents a lot of intriguing possibilities in both single-player challenge-based games and multiplayer titles like Crayta.
Over 7 months out from launch, it's pretty clear that Google Stadia launched too early, and the team should have spent more time so that essentially features like State Share could have been available from the outset. Stream Connect, which shows you the screens of other players in multiplayer games like Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, is another feature absent at Stadia's release.
These are the kinds of features that make cloud gaming intriguing on its own, but Stadia launched prematurely as a more risky way to play ports of older games. So there's no real incentive or interesting innovation when you could play better versions of the same games elsewhere. Over the course of this first year, we've finally begun seeing Google deliver on its initial promises for Stadia. It's all very exciting, but hopefully, it isn't too little too late for Google Stadia, which already has a negative perception among many gamers.
Crayta will be released on Google Stadia as a Stadia Pro game on July 1, 2020.