The End of Stadia: How Google Missed the Streaming Game Revolution

Google Stadia will close next January. However, the cloud gaming service had everything not to end, like other ambitious projects of the company, which, if poorly managed, fell into posterity for the wrong reasons.

Stadia will soon join the lost paradise of interrupted Google projects. Along with Google Glass, Google+, Google Duo and other Google Lively who are gone to revolutionize everything. But, poorly managed, poorly adjusted, they have sunk into oblivion.

However, on paper, Stadia had everything to succeed. First of all, because Mountain View has sensed the direction of the wind, the direction of cloud gaming, online entertainment, and the even bigger boom that the pandemic will cause in video games.

The former promise of the future of video games

Launched in late 2019 after a big announcement, the fully dematerialized gaming service, powered by the power of Google servers, promised mountains and wonders. Entering a new era of video games where a controller is enough to enjoy the most ambitious games without worrying about hardware or upgrades. And this is thanks to streaming: thanks to a good internet connection, the player enjoys the game running on a powerful remote computer that will be used by another player at the end of his game.

An absolute dream for many gamers who no longer wanted to buy the latest generation of consoles, invest in even more resource-intensive gaming PCs to be at the forefront of technology and video games. A year before the arrival of PS5 and other Xbox Series S⎜X, everyone wanted to believe in the promised ease.

Chromecast 4K Ultra on his TV a few years ago, a simple entry-level smartphone or touchscreen tablet, even an old PC completely outdated: the hope to play at the touch of a button, without the slightest loading or waiting time, in 4K with minimal latency, made the novelty even more attractive.

In addition, many features that were not available on other platforms also promised to see video games in a new light, more creative with State Share to allow a contact to play part of their game, more user friendly also with Crowd Play which allows you to invite a friend to your game, or even Crowd Choice, so that viewers can vote on the course of the game.

Lack of experience

However, the case quickly deteriorated both inside and out. For players, the new features promised at launch have been around for ages. The catalog never delivered on its promises, and it will end up falling far short of its claimed 400+ titles. Cyberpunk 2077’s failed launch on consoles offered Stadia a better experience. And what did Google do with it? A little. Discount on his package but without showing off to gargle with his service and then hailed his ability to offer the best version of the most anticipated game of the end of 2020. Only today remains the opportunity to play a few dozen games for free. 30 minutes to 2 hours trial) with a simple Google account.

An excerpt from the Cyberpunk 2077 trailerAn excerpt from the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer © CD Projekt Red

Worst of all will be the closure of their own studios, led by Jade Raymond, who never saw the light of a single game in their short life. The studios that would be his way of the cross and the loudest sign of his failure. To consider himself too good in a sector where he had no experience, the internet giant suffered one of its biggest setbacks, pulling the entire service with it.

On paper, Stadia had all the cards in hand. Google failed to take advantage of the pandemic and the gaming boom during the quarantine to promote its service, which clearly lacked power in the face of Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation exclusives, but offered a different experience. However, the boom in home fiber connectivity, an essential element of cloud gaming, has been the support of choice, as has the gradual emergence of 5G.

Players, but few exclusives

But Google Stadia’s biggest mistake may have been choosing the wrong target from the start. Due to its popularity, Google targeted the most demanding players. But to live up to the expectations of these hardcore gamers, a library of top-notch games is needed once they’re released. And Google has pretty much caught the fish at this point, despite some good moves (FIFA, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Outriders, Avengers, etc.).

For Baldur’s Gate 3 or Orcs must die! 3 is unreleased, instead players got a friendly Pac-Man Tunnel Battle, Gylt or Super Bomberman R. At a time when Xbox and PlayStation are multiplying exclusives, Stadia can’t hold the comparison for long, restoring too many games late. keep the most diligent players.

Despite the unwavering love of the service’s fans, which eventually became too few, Google therefore decided to call the game over and refund players their investment within two years. Without prior notice even to key stakeholders, game developers such as Stadia employees. Some of them took to social media to share their dismay that years of work sometimes go to shreds just days before the release of their game on the cloud gaming service.

White label jump?

What will be left of Google Stadia? The feeling of uselessness of a brilliant idea. Too ahead of its time or simply ignorant of environmental codes, Stadia’s first foray into video games ends in failure. The future will tell if this was just the work of the wrong people in the wrong positions, or if the entire design of the project was flawed, Stadia accomplished the sad feat of becoming unsustainable in an era of dematerialized gaming, cloud gaming and the rise of entertainment. .

Stadia cannot shut down completely, even though the company has entered a period of financial restrictions. Because the technology is there and Google would be ashamed to draw the line on it, at a time when the environment no longer swears at streaming and cloud games.

Sony’s PlayStation Plus service also found mention of Google Stadia for some of the games offered for streaming to Premium plan subscribers. The company has never hidden that it may offer its White Label services to former partners who want to take advantage of the servers for their future cloud gaming. Google promised video games a future without consoles. It will be especially without him at the forefront.

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