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Stadia’s Success as a Serious Gaming Platform Rests on Baldur’s Gate 3

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is coming to PC and Stadia via early access on September 30, 2020, Larian Studios revealed today during a live stream. This isn’t the first time a major game will be released on Stadia at the same time as another major platform, but Larian Studios’ enthusiasm for Stadia as a game development platform might have something to do with it. One huge reason why Baldur’s Gate 3 is coming to Stadia alongside PC is that the developer believes it’s easier to port a game like the large RPG from PC to Stadia than to an Xbox or PlayStation console. But not only that, Larin Studios has been quite vocal about the development tools Stadia offers, and what it can do with those tools that it wasn’t able to before on PC and console.

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In today’s stream, the developers showed off something called Crowd Choice, something Larian Studios has talked about extensively before and is a feature exclusive to Stadia development tools at the moment. If someone is streaming Baldur’s Gate 3 and has the Crowd Choice option enabled, certain points in the game will trigger a pop-up poll in the chat window to let viewers cast their vote on what they think should happen. The most popular response will trigger that very thing to happen in the game. With this feature, viewers can affect the result of a dice roll, NPC dialogue, or even what sweet, sweet loot lies inside a locked chest.

It seems to have a lot of potential to not only influence how a YouTube or Twitch audience interacts with someone streaming Baldur’s Gate 3, but depending on the success of the feature, more developers might consider creating game mechanics around it, and turning it into a selling feature, as Larian Studios is attempting. That could not only mean more games available on Stadia, but maybe even same-day releases.

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But all of this hinges on how well the Crowd Choice, and undoubtedly other features, are integrated into the game itself, and if Crowd Choice causes more gamers to opt for the Stadia version of Baldur’s Gate 3 over PC. After all, you can play Stadia for free, and if you play it on your PC, you don’t need to buy a Chromecast or a Stadia controller—just the game. Even if you already have a super tricked-out gaming rig, it might better to buy the Stadia version (if you have a good internet connection) just to try out Stadia’s Crowd Choice feature in a private stream with friends. The PC version of Baldur’s Gate 3 won’t have this feature—though it might have a way for players to see what decisions their friends are making in cooperative multiplayer. Doesn’t sound nearly as exciting.

If done well, this could also incentivize some developers to port their games over to Stadia. Games like Life is Strange, Man of Medan, Oxenfree, and other games with player-choice as a central mechanic I could see doing well with this Stadia feature. And if more developers start porting or making their games for Stadia, the larger library of games Stadia has to offer, and the more serious of a gaming platform it becomes.

But even if developer interest in Stadia grows after this, Google will have to start paying its developers more if it wants to build a larger library of games. There’s also that lingering fear that Google will abandon Stadia like it has abandoned other large projects in the past. But while Crowd Choice, won’t fundamentally change the game, its interesting enough to where—and I never thought I’d say this before, but here I go—I want to buy Baldur’s Gate 3 on Stadia instead PC.

Correction: 8/18/2020, 9:05 p.m. ET: A previous version of this post misstated that Baldur’s Gate 3 will be the first major game to release on Stadia at the same time as another platform. Now that Baldur’s Gate 3 has been delayed to September 30, 2K21 and Avengers will arrive before it on September 4. Doom Eternal also released on Stadia at the same time as other platforms.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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