Stadia Pro gamers get Rise of the Tomb Raider and Thumper for free this January

(Image credit: Square Enix)

If you've coughed up the extra dough to take advantage of the Google Stadia 'Pro' subscription tier, you're going to be treated to two fresh games on the service from January 1, 2020.

Grave-robbing sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider will be making its way to the 'free' selection of games on the premium streaming tier of Google Stadia, as well as rhythm action title Thumper.

However, Google giveth, Google taketh away – on December 31, 2019, Google will also be removing Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition from the subscription package section of Stadia for anyone that's yet to claim it, meaning you're going to have to sign up soon if you've yet to experience that first chapter in Lara Croft's story.

Mixed messaging

Adding two new games, and taking the removed Tomb Raider title into consideration, leaves the Stadia Pro's inclusive games catalogue numbering five – a stronger position than it found itself at launch, but still nowhere near what's offered by the similar PlayStation Now console streaming service.

What's more, all of the games offered are older titles, and not exactly essential games at this point in their life-cycles. Nor are the paid-for titles any different to what could be found on PS4 or Xbox One, with little to elevate the ports above the competition, either.

With Stadia proving less revolutionary in the home than it appeared on the stage during Google's reveals, it's going to have to be a slow and steady march to win over gamers in the new year. Mixed messaging at launch which saw it appear to be an 'all you can stream' Netflix-style package for gaming hasn't helped (most titles have to be bought separately), and so far there's been little to encourage even the curious to dip their toes into the Pro tier.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.