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Google Stadia’s free tier might finally be coming soon

Published Feb 28th, 2020 4:08PM EST
Google Stadia Base
Image: Google

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When Google officially revealed the cloud-based gaming service Stadia last summer, we were told there would be a premium tier called Stadia Pro — which would cost $9.99 per month — and a free tier called Stadia Base. Stadia Pro launched alongside the service and the Stadia Controller in November, but in the months since, we’ve heard hardly a peep about Stadia Base. All we know for sure is that it is set to launch at some point in 2020.

Google has yet to announce anything, but after digging through the files of the latest Stadia app update, 9to5Google may have found evidence that the free tier is finally being prepped for a public release.

Currently, anyone can download the Stadia app from Google Play, but you can only register an account if you have a code from the purchase of the Founder’s Edition, Premiere Edition, or if you were gifted a Buddy Pass. But in the new update, the following string was found, which hints at a way to sign up without a paid code:

Text on the button that allows the user to skip code redemption and continue on with the account creation flow.

Continue without a code

Not only will you be able to create an account without paying for anything, but there also appears to be a free Stadia Pro trial in the works that will let anyone take a test drive of the service’s premium tier for 30 days.

Although Stadia isn’t exactly off to a roaring start, there’s no doubt that plenty of gamers will want to see what it’s all about once the Base version of the service arrives. This might push the limits of Google’s servers, which is why other strings in the update reveal that there will be a limit to the number of free accounts that can be registered. It’s unclear if this is in regards to the service as a whole or specific areas, but here’s the relevant string:

In order to provide the best game quality for everyone, we limit the number of accounts on Stadia. We’ve hit that limit, but we’re working hard to build additional room in the Stadia cloud so more people can enjoy the same high-quality game performance. Please check back in the future for new player availability.

The good news is that you’ll still be able to sign up if you have a code, but you’re out of luck if you want to sign up for free. Hopefully Google will follow up with an official announcement about Stadia Base soon.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.