Google has already promised that those who bought games on Stadia will be reimbursed for their purchases once the service closes its doors in January, but Ubisoft has gone a step further. The game maker has pledged that anyone who bought its titles will get a copy on PC.
“While Stadia will shut down on January 18, 2023, we’re happy to share that we’re currently working to bring the games you own on Stadia to PC through Ubisoft Connect,” Ubisoft’s Jessica Roache told The Verge. “We’ll have more to share regarding specific details as well as the impact for Ubisoft+ subscribers at a later date.”
While undoubtedly a generous offer, given Stadia players shouldn’t be left out of pocket for their purchases, it’s obviously advantageous to Ubisoft to bring a whole bunch of exiled streamers to its gaming ecosystem which has historically trailed some way behind Steam as the go-to destination for PC gamers.
Of course, it could prove to be a pretty empty gesture for Stadia players. While some will have subscribed to Stadia for the convenience of being able to play their games anywhere with a web browser, others will have signed up because they don’t have a console or PC capable of playing the kinds of games Ubisoft is offering, like Watch Dogs: Legion, Far Cry 6 or the Assassin’s Creed series.
Having a PC copy that their laptop won’t run as well as the game performed on Stadia is a poor substitute for the service Stadia customers knew and loved. That said, it’s worth noting that Ubisoft Connect is supported by Nvidia GeForce Now, so you can always play your newly acquired games through another streaming platform if your hardware isn’t up to scratch and you don’t feel too burned by the Stadia experience.
However, there is the question of what happens to saved games, which Ubisoft hasn’t yet mentioned at all. What good is getting a fresh copy of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla if it doesn’t also come with the 70%-completed save you plowed dozens of hours into on Stadia?
There may be some hope here, though. The company’s subscription service, Ubisoft+, already comes with a cloud save feature, so there’s a chance that Ubisoft can implement something similar to the Stadia versions in the three-and-a-bit months before Google turns the servers off.
Ubisoft was one of the big supporters of Stadia with its top franchises all present and correct on Google's gaming platform, but has this experience left it less likely to allow its games to be streamed in future? No, says Roache. “We believe in the power of streaming and cloud gaming and will continue to push the boundaries on bringing amazing experiences to our players, wherever they are,” she wrote.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.