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Stadia's Click to Play aims to speed up game launches with sharable, instant-play links

One of the nifty features meant to set the cloud-based game platform Google Stadia out from the crowd has officially gone live.

Click to Play, A new Google Stadia feature, leverages the platform’s cloud-based nature to let its users quickly boot up a game directly in their browsers by clicking a regular ol’ URL shared by friends, influencers, or really anyone on the world wide web.

It’s one of those neat features Google first teased early on into its Stadia hype cycle and something that makes Stadia a more appealing platform by eliminating a lot of the usual friction a player would have to endure to start up a game on a traditional game console.

“You’re a Stadia Pro subscriber, you’re watching your favorite YouTube Creator play PUBG, and you feel like starting your own game with some friends,” explains Stadia UX research lead Meagan Timney.  “Just click the link they’ve shared in the description and you’re playing PUBG instantly on Stadia.”

Click to Play is a feature that works on any Stadia-supporting device and it comes with the same “no download, no update” level of instant play promised by Stadia for its overall experience. However, it won't do much good to Stadia-curious players that don't already own the Stadia game a Click to Play link would boot up unless they're planning to purchase the game through Stadia then and there.

Given that most games on Google's cloud-based platform require an outright purchase just like on traditional consoles, Stadia players must already own a game (either through purchase or their Stadia Pro freebie libraries) to use Click to Play. Otherwise, a Click to Play link directs its clickers to the game's Stadia store page. 

With any luck, Click to Play's launch paves the way for Google to roll out its promised State Share feature later on and let Stadia users share links to their own gameplay moments that can be instantly booted up and played by other Stadia users.

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