The Stadia Crowd Play Beta has been announced, bringing a new feature to Google's game streaming service: the ability to play games with YouTube streamers over the Internet.
Stadia already has a limited ability for crowd participation through its "Crowd Choice" feature that allows viewers to interact with a Stadia game on a YouTube stream in a similar fashion to Twitch Integration on the platform. For example, viewers could choose from one of multiple options in a dialogue tree if the Crowd Choice feature were enabled, allowing them to influence the stream (or hilariously screw over the YouTube streamer).
Now, this integration between streamers and viewers is about to take the next step: the Stadia Crowd Play Beta is here.
What is the Stadia Crowd Play Beta?
The Stadia Crowd Play Beta is exactly what it says on the tin: a beta test for the new Stadia Crowd Play feature. This feature will allow viewers on a YouTube stream to interact with the streamer playing a Stadia game, although the selection of games will be limited for the first steps of the beta.
What Games Are in the Stadia Crowd Play Beta?
- Borderlands 3
- Dead by Daylight
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Super Bomberman R Online
- Samurai Shodown
How Does the Stadia Crowd Play Beta Work?
To start, the YouTube streamer needs to be playing a compatible Stadia game (natch) and have Crowd Play enabled on their stream. Bear in mind that YouTubers can restrict such streams to their members, so you may not be able to just jump right in.
From there, a viewer is going to need a PC with the latest version of Google Chrome, a Stadia-compatible gamepad, and an active Stadia account. If the game being played requires Stadia Pro or you need to otherwise purchase the game, you'll need to have that, too.
There's one big question here: what's to stop dozens of people trying to get into the game at once? Although it's not explicitly mentioned, there appears to be some kind of queuing system in place as noted in this line of the F.A.Q.
Depending on the game, you may have to return to the YouTube tab to join the line again after the match is over.
Presumably, YouTube content creators will also have options to reject people joining their games or set other parameters. That said, this is the Stadia Crowd Play Beta so these features may not yet be implemented (or may not work correctly), and let's not forget that YouTube itself doesn't have the best track record of giving its creators the tools they need.
If you'd like to try out the Stadia Crowd Play beta, you can read about all of the details in this support article.
What do you think of the Stadia Crowd Play beta? Do you think this feature will work well on YouTube? Let us know in the comments below!