Google’s ailing Stadia game streaming service is set to score a major coup with Baldur’s Gate 3 becoming the first major game to release simultaneously on Stadia and PC next month.
The Dungeons and Dragons property, developed by Larian Studios, will enter early access across both PC and Stadia on September 30, with Larian citing the ease of porting a PC game to Stadia compared to platforms like PlayStation and Xbox, as well as a number of Stadia development tools, as the reason for its decision.
One Stadia tool that Baldur’s Gate 3 players can expect to see is Crowd Choice, which is targeted at game streamers: at certain points in the game, pop-up polls will appear in the chat window inviting viewers to vote on what should happen next. This feature will not be available on PC, and Google is hoping to use it as a selling feature to pitch Stadia to developers.
Catherine Hsiao, Product Manager at Stadia and Meghan Desai, Product Manager at YouTube, said in a blog post that Crowd Choice polls could be used to let viewers vote on the gear that drops for streamers; inflict positive or negative status effects on the player; decide on dialogue choices; and control enemies and bosses during streams.
“With Crowd Choice, the audience goes from being viewers to active participants in the game they’re watching.
“The possibilities are endless. We can’t wait to see what you dream up,” they said.
Stadia is not yet available in Australia, but has come under fire from developers who say Google is not incentivising them to make games for the platform, and that it is not worth the effort involved in a port.