RIP Google Stadia: What went wrong?

Google has "deprioritised" the Stadia game streaming platform and wants to offer its Stadia technology to select partners in a new service called "Google Stream".

In the last couple of days, the world of gaming has taken a central place in the tech space—from big names in tech acquiring companies (Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $95 per share, in an all-cash transaction at a valuation of $68.7 billion) to major tech platforms shutting shop. The latest update in this buzzing space comes from Google Stadia. As per a media report, Google has “deprioritised” the Stadia game streaming platform. It wants to offer its Stadia technology to select partners in a new service called “Google Stream.”

Reacting to this, Stadia put out a statement:

As per reports, the company wants to form partnerships with Peloton, Capcom, and Bungie for Google Stream. Just days ago, Sony had announced plans to acquire Bungie for $3.6 billion. Bungie is best-known for Destiny and Halo gaming franchises. This acquisition will provide Sony access to Bungie’s franchises and access to its live gaming services. With this happening, only time will tell how the partnership with Bungie will work out for Google.

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Mixed reviews from the get-go

While in the development stage, Stadia was known as Project Stream, and we saw the platform’s debut in 2018 through a closed beta. Stadia was publicly launched in 2019, and the no-cost base service was launched next year. The platform has not really been a favourite among people and has received mixed reviews. 

To get more and more people to use the platform and increase its popularity, Google had decided to include a new promotion offer to YouTube premium subscribers where they would get free months to try the games included in Stadia Pro. Stadia Pro comes with a few benefits, like a game library and higher resolution video quality for the games that are streamed.

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Last year, a Bloomberg report pointed out that players were not a big fan of Stadia’s business model as it requires customers to buy games individually and not subscribe to an all-you-can-play-based service. The report also stated that Stadia “missed its targets for sales of controllers and monthly active users by hundreds of thousands, according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.”

Shutting down SG&E

Last year around this time, Google had announced that it will not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from the internal development team SG&E beyond any near-term planned games. It had said that it wants to focus on building on the proven technology of Stadia as well as deepening business partnerships.

The tech giant also announced that video game veteran Jade Raymond, Vice President and Head of Games and Entertainment at Google, had decided to leave Google to pursue other opportunities. The SG&E team would move on to new roles.

More than 100 new games coming to Stadia in 2022

In the middle of all this, as per a 9to5 Google report, Google has committed to bringing at least 100 new games to Stadia by the end of 2022. Stadia confirmed this update on Twitter as well.

The report added that to date, Stadia has added six new games in 2022, while the count for 2021 stands at 107. Google has confirmed that Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires will be released on February 15.

In a blog post, Google revealed that Stadia Pro has crossed a milestone. As of February 1, its included library for subscribers hit 50 games.

Image: Google

In January, the Stadia Pro library added new titles such as Darksiders III, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, among others.

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by Vijayalakshmi Anandan

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