I suspect that many people were assuming, much as I was, that players on Google Stadia would be able to matchmake with those playing on PC, after all Stadia is just streaming a super high end PC down to your monitor. Turns out that isn’t the case at all, and this has been confirmed by Bungie in an FAQ.
Q: Will Stadia feature cross-play with Steam or other platforms?
A: Stadia is its own ecosystem, just like current existing platforms. Stadia players will only be able to play with other Stadia players.
According to our technical(ish) expert “Everything’s being built on new APIs from Google/Linux, so unless there’s specific hooks into the friends and matchmaking of other services, there won’t be cross-play.”
By my count there are thirteen modes in the game that require matchmaking, six Crucibles, two Gambits, Vanguard story missions, Strikes, Nightfall, the Reckoning, and The Menagerie, so if you don’t want a long wait for any other those you need a decent player base. Google is locking off free access to Stadia until next year so he player count isn’t going to be all that high, especially when there are other games on the service.
Destiny 2 may be the least affected as it is being given away as part of the Founders pack, games like Mortal Kombat, NBA 2K 19, and The Division 2 are, as far we know, not, so the player base for those is going to be even smaller.
I guess this also explains why games that do support cross play such as Fortnite and Rocket League are missing from the Stadia line up. It’s not just the games that Google need it’s players as well, and with the staggered roll out of Stadia, which will launch only on Chromecast Ultra at first, the early adopters may find themselves waiting for some time in matchmaking.
Let’s hope Google have shifted at least a million of those Founder packs.
Bungie have said that there is no reason why Stadia can’t have cross play, they just haven’t got time to do it yet.