Well, there’s a first for everything. Slated for release in August of this year, the next iteration of the Serious Sam franchise is on the horizon. However, that horizon won’t include Sony (or Microsoft) because Serious Sam 4 apparently has Google Stadia exclusivity, according to a report by Kotaku. The nature of this exclusivity is timed and the game is expected to reach PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles in 2021, assuming the Stadia can even last that long given its less than stellar November 2019 soft launch. The fourth mainline entry in the series, it will be the first time returning to consoles since 2011, when it does eventually come to the two front-running living room boxes.
This exclusivity deal is the first of its kind on Stadia for a somewhat big-name franchise (assuming you still consider Serious Sam to be a big name), especially given the inability of Stadia to find its audience. Regardless, the timed deal is happening and brings yet another shooter to the Google streaming game service. Publisher Devolver Digital said in a response to Kotaku that “The game is still coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 after its period of exclusivity is over with Stadia,” which feels almost like far too long in the future. After all, by the time this exclusivity period is over the next generation of consoles will surely be out and the Stadia will be, I don’t know… over in a corner somewhere, continuing to be ignored by the bulk of consumers?
This is all to say that the games industry is in a temporal state at the moment and it feels impossible to look ahead to 2021 for something as strange as exclusivity to a system that few people are really using, though Google did manage to pull Sony Santa Monica’s Shannon Studstill over to lead a new Stadia studio, so maybe there’s potential down the line. Perhaps this says something about the nature of Serious Sam 4‘s development and the Stadia exclusivity is part of a deal that is helping to actually get the revealed in 2018 game off the ground and actually released. All conjecture aside, PlayStation fans can look for Serious Sam 4 in 2021. I suppose. Assuming you really want to buy a new PS4 game at that point.