Google is no stranger to creating messaging services and it could soon add another one to the roster through its Stadia game-streaming service.
Stadia for Android Version 2.16 recently landed in the Play Store and, according 9to5Google (opens in new tab), there are several references to messaging and chat capabilities to be found in the app's code.
The notable phrases in the that were discovered include “Text chat”, “DirectChatMessageList” and “createChatMessage” among other things, as well as a new privacy setting which appears to be intended to give users control over who can message them.
Although Google Stadia players can currently communicate by speaking to one another with the service’s party chat and in-game voice chats, sending a simple text communication isn’t possible and players have to go elsewhere to do so.
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Given direct messaging is a useful feature found in other gaming platforms that provides a fuss-free way to allow players to contact one another without having to commit to a full voice chat, it’s not surprising that Google could be considering such an enhancement for Stadia.
It would make sense as an addition to the Stadia mobile app and would be welcomed by players who, no doubt, would appreciate a simple way to ask their friends if they want to join a game without badgering them.
Of course, information on features found in APKs isn't any kind of guarantee—if Google is intending to introduce this chat system, 9to5Google points out that it appears to be still in its early stages and a rollout could be a long way off.
At this stage Google hasn’t given official word on any plans for introducing text chat to Stadia but we’ll provide an update if and when that happens.