Google Stadia allows access to existing purchases even if they're delisted

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They’re yours to keep in most cases.

What you need to know

  • Google Stadia is an upcoming game streaming service.
  • You pay $10 a month to access your titles and have to buy games separately.
  • Google says if a game is removed from the store, existing owners will be able to play it.
  • However, the company didn’t discuss issues involving Digital Millennium Copyright Act orders.

Google Stadia is an upcoming game streaming service. For $10 a month, you can stream games from the company’s servers to your television or mobile device. Aside from paying the subscription fee, you’re required to buy separate games, but you don’t have the ability to download them to keep them for perpetuity.

Recently, Stadia chief Phil Harrison spoke with IGN about gamers’ concern that titles they’ve bought might be removed from the streaming service in the future due to its nature. For example, Telltale Games went out of business a few months ago, and since then their projects have been removed from many digital storefronts. Responding to the issue, Harrison said the following.

Now there may be, as we’ve seen in the past, times where the developer or publisher no longer has rights to sell to new players. And that means that the game will not be available to new players, but it will continue to be available to existing players.

This policy is the same as what Microsoft and Sony implement for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Even if a game can no longer be purchased, existing owners can still play it. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Many times, games have Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) orders issued against them. A great example of this would be a title called Demons Age for consoles and PC. Even though consumers bought it in 2017, it was completely removed from Steam and other platforms due to a DMCA claim. Another company said that Demons Age stole assets from its game. Even if you bought Demons Age, you couldn’t download it again. At the end of the day, Google can keep titles with expired music licenses in your library, but it can’t stop a DMCA order. Only owning the game physically or having it preserved as a download, can counteract that.

Google is currently selling a Stadia Founder’s Edition for $130 on its website. It gives you a controller, Chromecast Ultra, and three months of “Stadia Pro” which is required at launch. The free version, “Stadia Base,” is expected to launch sometime in 2020, possibly around the same time as next-generation consoles hit retailers.

All-in-one

Google Stadia Founder’s Edition

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$130 at Google

Game streaming for the masses

The Founder’s Edition of Google Stadia offers three months of Stadia Pro and includes a Google Chromecast Ultra and Stadia controller. Whether it can live up to its potential is yet to be seen, but features like State Play and Crowd Share are intriguing.

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