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Can the new crowd-choice feature of Google Stadia hold Amazon Luna back?



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With Crowd Choice, Larian believes that Baldur’s Gate 3 on Stadia will “interact in a much meaningful way with the audience” and that “players will feel more connected to their favorite content creators” thanks to Crowd Choice and Stadia.

It is no secret that Google Stadia failed to impress with its debut in 2019 despite the innovative technology behind it that works extremely well.

Google is finally starting to provide many of those “Stadia Enhanced Features” that were missing at launch and the latest feels like a real game changer for streamers everywhere.

Crowd Share is a new Stadia-enabled technology that allows players to make choices for a streaming player who plays the game. But is it sufficient now that xCloud is on the horizon and Amazon Luna is another cloud-based gaming platform? Inverse asked Stadia developers and an industry analyst to weigh in on how innovative new features could transform the game for Stadia.

When enabled by the creator, Crowd Choice delivers the journey to YouTube viewers where the Stadia Audience can vote,” explains the official description of the service. “The streamer is presented as a percentage and can then choose to follow the players or to go their own way” This can be done on YouTube Studio.

It is similar to that present in Telltale Games where an audience could pick an answer and won the one with the most votes. The first two games to support this new feature are the multiplayer horror game Dead by Daylight which is coming to Stadia as Stadia Pro on October 1 and Baldur’s Gate 3 which will finally be released in Early Access on October 6.

This feature lets the audience select the murderer or surviving role and character that the streamer will play as in Dead by Daylight. It puts the fate of the streamer in the hands of the viewers which is an exceptionally novel gadget for the Stadia port. Behaviour Interactive told Inverse it believes in Stadia because Google was able to remove the entry barriers for a whole new audience of gamers.

The Behavior Interactive team thinks the Stadia version of Dead by Daylight “allows for much closer collaboration between viewers and/or creators” and could even be used by fans to create more unique ways to experience the game.

In the meantime, Baldur’s Gate 3 takes advantage of Crowd Share by letting the viewer decide the decisions of their streamer, shaping the character’s moral direction and how the whole story ends up playing out. Baldur’s Gate 3 on Stadia is a big win for Stadia, but the collaboration also made sense to the team at Larian Studios.

The ability to play your games anywhere you want and on any screen you want is likely the future,” says Larian Studios in reverse. We’re busy people and so are our players. We love the idea of taking up and playing whatever screen you are looking at.

With Crowd Choice, Larian thinks Baldur’s Gate 3 on Stadia will “engage in a much more meaningful way with the audience” and that “players will feel more connected to their favorite content creators” thanks to Crowd Choice and Stadia.

This feature will likely appeal to streamers and YouTubers who want to interact with their audience more — and its proprietary implementation demonstrates the advantages of a cloud-based platform such as Stadia.

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