Farewell, Google Stadia: We barely knew ye. Today is the final hurrah for the streaming service and, while the way Google's handled the winding down is exemplary, any closure on this scale was going to throw up unexpected consequences. One of them has to do with the streamer Colour, who rather enjoys Red Dead Online and had somehow managed to sink over 6,000 hours into it on Stadia—and faced losing it all (opens in new tab).
Their story prompted Rockstar to take action, with the publisher implementing a transfer feature (opens in new tab) that saw RDO players' resources and XP linked to Rockstar Social Accounts from where they could be accessed on other platforms. A happy ending, which is not something one can usually say about the Red Dead Redemption games.
The RDO streamer decided to say goodbye to their Stadia cowpoke with a last stream before the service's closure, and Rockstar provided another surprise. The publisher sent over a big box and bag stuffed with RDR2 goodies, all laid-out below.
Here is all of merch unboxed! Thank you @RockstarGames for the awesome care package ✨🙏🤠 pic.twitter.com/aofUDRwzS7January 18, 2023
My main takeaway from this was realising how slick Rockstar's merchandising operation is: I'd never seen most of this before, but the official store has everything from the expected to the bizarre (opens in new tab). A £75 candle in the shape of a barrel, anyone?
The streamer's package contained a bunch of t-shirts, 3D puzzles that form in-game items like a sawed-off shotgun, mousepads, mugs and, yes, the candle barrel. The only thing they didn't seem to get is actually the single best item in the store, a USB charger in the shape of a stick of dynamite (opens in new tab) ("Give your new fangled devices a recharge").
One of the surprising things about Stadia's shutdown is that some quite sweet stories like this have come from it. The nicest, though not much use once the service is gone, is that for the last few days Google released Stadia's last-ever game: Which was also its first (opens in new tab).