Developer CD Projekt Red has quietly confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 will not launch on Google Stadia on September 17, the date it’s due to hit PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Instead, the game will be available on Google’s streaming gaming service “by the end of the year,” the developer says.
The confirmation, which appeared at the bottom of a largely unrelated press release, doesn’t come as a complete surprise. When the Stadia version of Cyberpunk was first announced back in April 2019, CD Projekt Red merely said the game would hit Stadia “the same year” as other platforms. But that was before Cyberpunk 2077 got pushed back from a planned April release to its current September target date.
Meanwhile, the official Cyberpunk 2077 website lists Stadia alongside other platforms under a large banner and button reading “Coming September 17th, 2020. Pre-order Now.” Clicking through on that offer, though, doesn’t offer a Stadia preorder option, likely because Stadia doesn’t offer preorders on a platform level.
CD Projekt Red representatives weren’t immediately available to comment on the gap between Cyberpunk‘s Stadia release and that on other platforms. But creating a Stadia version requires porting the game to Google’s Linux-based streaming servers. That’s a process that might not be a high priority during the final sprint of a major game’s development.
Id Software said last year that a test port of the 2016 Doom remake to Stadia took only three weeks of full-time work by two people. But the company said that process was made faster because Doom already used the Linux-compatible Vulkan graphics API, rather than Windows’ DirectX standard. Other high-profile developers, meanwhile, have dealt with some apparent graphical issues in the process of porting to Stadia.
Regardless, Cyberpunk‘s Stadia “delay” highlights the service’s continuing problems attracting software launches on or near the day those games are first available on competing platforms. Since the service’s November launch (which included a fair number of titles originally released before 2019) just 11 of the 31 “new” Stadia releases have been games launching that same day on other platforms (or exclusives). Of those, April’s Doom Eternal is by far Stadia’s highest-profile day-and-date synchronized release with other platforms.
Having a library of older games on Stadia is nice, but there’s at least some evidence that Stadia users have little interest in these older titles, even when they’re offered as freebies. And data shows that a large proportion of a game’s total sales often come in its first weeks of availability, meaning even a slight delay for a Stadia release could reduce sales among players with access to other platforms.
Croteam’s Serious Sam 4 is planned for a timed-exclusive release on Stadia this August. Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Activision’s Marvel’s Avengers game have announced plans for Stadia releases at or near their launch later this year.
Listing image by CD Projekt Red