Google stops making exclusive games for Google Stadia less than a year and a half after the launch of the streaming service. Does the company understand the game industry?
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Does Google get the game industry?
Less than a year and a half after the launch of Stadia, Google decided to go in a different direction with the game streaming service. The internal studio for exclusive Stadia games with 150 employees has closed. Google will focus entirely on third-party games and wants to offer the technology behind Stadia to game publishers.
That was to be expected. Google has shown several times that it has a goldfish’s attention span when it comes to new products. If something does not yield a lot within a considerable time, the plug is pulled.
In the case of Google Stadia, the product will not be discontinued completely. The technology works excellent, as you can also read in our Google Stadia review. However, Google probably expected that Stadia would catch on better and be very big already.
It’s not YouTube
Google may have hoped Stadia would go in the same direction as YouTube and the Play Store. With those platforms, Google provided the underlying technology (although YouTube was already running well before Google bought the video platform), after which the content came naturally. YouTube and the Play Store have become very big because creators and app makers put their stuff there. That did not happen at Stadia.
Publishers and small game makers didn’t queue to offer their games through Stadia. Earlier in 2020, game makers already announced why that did not happen. In conversation with Business Insider the companies argued that Google was not offering enough money. In addition, the companies were afraid that Google would soon stop with Stadia again.
So Google doesn’t even seem to have done its best. The company is confidently stepping into the gaming industry as if everyone would automatically gravitate towards this new player, but more is needed. Especially in an industry with big established names, to which consumers commit and with a lot of competition when it comes to streaming games.
Who is Stadia for
The gaming industry is huge and lucrative, so it makes sense that a company like Google wants to do something with it. The technology behind Stadia is also where the gaming industry seems to be headed. Streaming games on the screen you already have is much more attractive than buying an expensive PC or game console.
But Google is not fully aware of who that is more interesting at the moment. The company seems to focus mainly on the gamers who are aware of new games and also play them a lot. But these gamers now just buy that new game console or video card. However poorly available those devices are at the moment.
With the marketing of Stadia, Google uses games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Destiny 2, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and Hitman 3. These are inaccessible games for casual players, while you want to reach those players with this technology.
In any case, things are going very wrong with how Google markets this service. For example, many still think you need a subscription to play games through Stadia, when you don’t. You only need a subscription if you want to game in the best quality. The hardcore gamers want that, but for the average casual gamer it really doesn’t matter whether the game is on the screen in 4K or 1080p. Especially when they play via their smartphone.
Google has therefore shown in recent years that it has the coolest game technology, but not stepping into the game industry. The new strategy the company chooses is therefore the best. Google will no longer compete for games with others in the gaming industry, but will offer the technology to make games from others more accessible.
Stadia will also continue to exist as a separate platform for the time being, for which you still have to buy separate games to be able to stream them. But how long will it take until Google stops and you can no longer play those games?
Everything about Stadia
Do you want to get started with Stadia despite the above? That can be done for free. We explain how to try Stadia demos for free. Find the Stadia app in the Play Store via the button below.