Google Stadia: From revolution to bitter failure, the story of video games on Netflix!
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Google Stadia: From revolution to bitter failure, the story of video games on Netflix!

game news Google Stadia: From revolution to bitter failure, the story of video games on Netflix!

It’s simple – in 2019 – almost everyone saw Stadia as the “logical” future of video games. After all, streaming services are slowly starting to appear, and then hey, it’s Google is coming, we’re not kidding! Today, it is especially time to feel disappointed. Next year, Stadia will be closed. Returning to a project that was supposed to change everything in the industry.

Yes, Stadia, it’s over. To everyone’s surprise – in one form or another – Google announced on Thursday, September 29, the shutdown of its platform | The streaming service launched at the end of 2019. Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager of the project company, explains who will shut down its servers on it. January 18, 2023. The tech giant also provides reimbursement for DLC Stadia devices and games purchased from its store.

“(Despite Stadia’s end, editor’s note) We remain deeply invested in video games. We will continue to invest in new tools, technologies, and platforms.” – Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager, Stadia (Google)

It is somewhat of a surprise. On the web, many consider Stadia the “all spit of Google” destiny. Mountain View has been known to abandon projects along the way, whether in entertainment, artificial intelligence, or virtual reality. so that there”cemetery site“Where all innovations were “killed” by Google. Now Stadia is one of them. Even if it is easy to talk about the previous failure, the streaming platform actually arrived with serious arguments. Revolution?

“Netflix for video games”

At the end of 2010, we know that Google was working on “Project Stream”. After that, the tech giant was no stranger to the world of video games, with third-party games taking hits on its Play Store and an artificial intelligence designed to beat Starcraft players. This is how the company, at the GDC 2019 theater, revealed Stadia. “Our ambition (with this project, editor’s note) is simple: to create a place for All ways to playPhil Harrison, in a live broadcast, explains. “It’s gamer focused, inspired by developers, and amplified by YouTube creators.”

After a few months, the technology will be introduced further. Concretely, Stadia is a non-physical game machine and sales platform divided into two offerings. the first, ‘forefront’, lets you play up to 4K | 60 frames per second and access to free games, for 10 euros per month. the second, ‘Base’, free, but does not exceed 1080p | 60 frames per second. In the latter case, you have to buy your titles individually as in Steam, for example. Yet yes, anyway, you need a good internet connection. The strength of the proposal lies in its multimedia nature (PC, tablet, mobile phone, TV via Chromecast).

“Investors fear that their current dominance in the video game world (by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, editor’s note) will be shaken by Google that (…) promises to revolutionize the way we play” – AFP, after Stadia announcement (2019)

The thing is that it works very well. Despite the lack of quite a few features offered in GDC – some of which will never arrive – and a rather meager launch catalog (22 games including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption II), “we should recognize that the existing technology from Google has Great potential “we wrote during the test. “It’s hard not to be attracted by the ease of use of all (…) and by the lack of perceptible in-game latency. Even a small ADSL allows you to have a satisfying experience while the fiber will be all at home in Full HD and 4K quality.” Not Too bad for a previous failure.

Google Stadia: From revolution to bitter failure, the story of video games on Netflix!

Learn how to steer your boat

In the end, Stadia will never find its audience. But the reason here is not technology. Google knows this well and is also planning, after the service is closed, to broadcast this know how in other entities (YouTube, Google Play, and augmented reality projects) and to make Stadia performance available to industry partners. No, what brought Stadia down was the Mountain View fime itself. Firstly because he wasn’t able to build a solid enough game catalog – especially in terms of exclusives – even with JV veterans at his side (Phil Harrison, Jade Raymond). Because there are big differences.

Thanks to a joint investigation by Bloomberg, Wired and the Video Games Chronicle, which was published early last year, we know that Google has spent “tens of millions of dollars” to provide names like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption in its catalog. Google could be a company valued at $2000 billion by Wall Street, in 2021 the bill seems salty for a service that won’t achieve its goals.

Above all, it seems that the internal management of video game studios does not exist! When the platform was introduced in 2019, Google immediately announced Stadia Games and Entertainment, the owned development team – also a publisher – led by Jade Raymond. Then ambition is clearly displayed. The manager explains that she wants to “Reinventing the Next Generation of Games” Using all of Google’s technologies. The company opened its first office in Montreal, and then a second office in California. In the meantime, she bought Typhoon Studios, which was behind the sympathetic trip to Savage Planet. But at the beginning of 2021, “the plot develops”: the tech giant announced the complete closure of its internal video game division. Phil Harrison explains:

“Creating top-tier games from scratch takes years and significant investments, and the cost increases exponentially. As we want to leverage Stadia’s proven technology and deepen our partnerships, we have decided not to invest further in bringing in exclusive content.” – Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager, Stadia (Google)

lack of anticipation

The saddest thing about this shutdown – with the exception of the 150 employees involved – is the shutdown of games that have been in production for a long time. There is no ambitious follow-up to Journey to the Savage Planet and no future for partnerships with Harmonix (Rock Band, Guitar Hero) and Supermassive Games (Until Dawn, The Dark Pictures). In general, after the first late step to create exclusive benefits, Google does here Two big steps back. “I think Google realized that content was intimidating, risky, expensive and required a lot of trust (…) it wasn’t just their primary business,” Alex Hutchinson, co-founder of Typhoon Studios, notes in Columns. game developer. Since then, the guy has assembled a new team.

By following this pivotal step, Stadia is being transformed into a platform exclusively dedicated to games from third-party publishers and developers. To lure them, in a sort of last resort, Google is trying to halve its commission on Stadia, leaving 85% of the profits to creators when they make a purchase. “Promotion” that was scheduled to stop at the end of 2023. As you know, it is the end of the platform that makes the headlines today. A few months ago, the company entertained Stadia shutdown rumors. A smile undoubtedly on her face.

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