Stadia Pro adds 2 more freebies, but subscribers are desperate for new games and missing features

(Image credit: Stadia)

The Google Stadia Pro free game library will grow by two on February 1, when Gylt and Metro Exodus make their debut on the platform. Unfortunately, it will also shrink by two right around the same time: Google said in the first "This Week on Stadia" update since December 26, 2019, that Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration and Samurai Showdown will both be removed from the lineup on January 31—although you'll keep both as long as you claim them before they're gone.

From today until February 5, Stadia Pro subscribers can also get 60 percent off Mortal Kombat 11, which is on for $24, and "select content" (which as far as I can tell is the Kombat Pack) for $16. Until February 4, you can also get 40 percent off Just Dance 2020 ($30) and 60 percent off Trials Rising ($10).

That's the whole of the update, and while response on the Stadia website is largely positive, the situation is very different elsewhere. The timing is likely coincidental, but this Reddit thread (via Kotaku UK) notes that prior to today's blog post, it had been 40 days since the last "new game announcement/release, feature update, or real community update," on a platform that's only been out for 69 days. Google did announce earlier this month that it plans to add more than 120 games to the service this year, including ten exclusives, but no names or other details were provided; other features currently unsupported on PC, like 4K and expanded Google Assistant functionality, are still only targeted for sometime in the first quarter of 2020.

Replies on the Reddit thread range from practical suggestions—redditor Ins0mn3ac called for the three-month Pro subscription period included with Stadia Premiere purchases to be increased to six months—to somewhat less-focused expressions of frustration. Tellingly, Stadia community manager GraceFromGoogle responded to the thread with sympathy, but nothing else.

"All the concerns you've brought to the table are completely valid, and I understand where your frustrations are coming from. Nobody likes to be left in the dark," they wrote. "While I don't have product updates to share right at this second, I can promise you that I have been, and will continue taking feedback posted to r/Stadia and other channels, like the Stadia Community Forum, back to the Stadia team."

We said that Stadia wasn't ready for prime time when it launched late last year, but the bigger issue is Google's stumbling performance since then. The Stadia Community Blog has only had nine updates since the platform went live, including just two this year, which really isn't a great approach for a system that's big on promises and not much else. 

And while its community team is responsive to complaints and inquiries on social media, it rarely seems to have anything of substance to say. Less than an hour and a half before today's update went live, for instance, a Stadia rep told a subscriber on Twitter that it had no news about "when or if" Rise of the Tomb Raider would be removed from the Pro lineup.

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.