Join us on our own very special Reddit on /r/Linuxers.

Two years on, Stadia seems to have no direction left

By - | Views: 29,241

What initially seemed like a really promising idea, to give you gaming on any device and wherever you are has turned into something of a let-down overall.

This will no doubt get me some flak from Stadia stans, but let's keep in mind I was originally totally sold on the idea of Stadia. I have a Founders pack and I used it almost daily for quite some time. That time quickly lessened, and eventually became none at all. I can't imagine I am alone in that either.

At the two year point, what did Google do to celebrate Stadia? Close to nothing. On Reddit the Stadia team went over some numbers we already knew like the amount of games available and a few that added special Stadia features. There was also a sale on their store, along with a reasonable discount on the Stadia Premiere Edition (£19.99, down from £69.99), which you can easily put down to them wanting to get rid of stock since it comes with their older Chromecast Ultra. On the subject of the future, they only gave some vagueness:

  • Continuing feature experiments with the goal of making it easier for players to get into games and try Stadia for themselves. We’re still learning from input provided by our community and appreciate all the constructive feedback we receive from you!
  • Expanding all categories of games content - not just more games overall, but new types of games that we’ve heard players ask for, including genres like online action games, open world titles, plus free games, trials and demos.
  • Bringing Stadia to more devices and making it easier to access, purchase, and play games by yourself or with friends.

No player numbers, no sales numbers, absolutely no show of strength.

Barely any effort to mark two years, unless you count talking very briefly to six (yes, a whole six) customers who picked up the Founders pack. Really pushing the boat out there!

It's hard to be excited or even just a bit interested in a service that Google don't seem to know what to do with. It reportedly missed all their user goals by hundreds of thousands, and they shut down Stadia Games & Entertainment before even giving it any time in the spotlight at all. We were supposed to get first-party games that took advantage of the cloud, to do things you couldn't really do locally and we're likely to never see anything like that on Stadia.

The huge problem is that NVIDIA GeForce NOW and Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming both completely destroy it when it comes to price vs value. Even though GeForce NOW still feels a bit too disconnected, since it relies on whatever launchers games use and all the logins that come with it and Microsoft need to improve the latency / input quality of their offering, Stadia will basically never match up to either on overall value. You've also got Netflix expanding into cloud gaming, and Amazon with Luna. The sharks are circling and Stadia is bleeding in the middle.

When thinking on how Stadia operates, it just really doesn't make sense, especially now with the hot competition. Full price per-game to basically rent your games from Google, with an additional extra monthly sub on top to get 4K and access to a few games per month if you keep that subscription up, to completely disappear if they do shut down the consumer store side of things. When elsewhere you can either pay monthly to access your existing games (GeForce NOW), or pay monthly to access a big library (Xbox / Luna). At least with the other options, you either still have local access or you know you're paying for a more Netflix-like model.

Even Stadia as a service for bigger games has been left in the dust often, with some games leaving patches out for weeks and multiple games released locked to 30FPS. Even developers that are on it don't seem to care enough. Google don't even put Stadia at the front of anything they do, like how their newer Chromecast with Google TV took nearly a year to support Stadia.

Specifically when thinking about the Linux desktop, some original thoughts were that since Stadia was using Debian Linux and the Vulkan API, that we might see some cross-over of ports but that never really materialised either. The majority ended up just sticking to the Stadia ecosystem.

Where does Stadia go from here? Well, we already know they're marketing their tech as a white-label solution to studios outside of the Stadia Store, so that will likely pull in some companies but eventually I do expect the consumer side of Stadia itself to die-off.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
32 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
108 comments
Page: 1/11»
  Go to:

The sad thing is that Stadia still runs rings around the competition in terms of the technology and performance of the games. The UX is so much better than Geforce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming too. The competition just wins on the games available.

I actually think what held it back from attracting game publishers is linux and vulkan. It probably would have had a better time attracting big publishers with a Windows based solution since the effort of putting games on the service would have been lower. I expect to get a lot of flak from linux stans for that opinion but it needs saying.
Liam Dawe 22 Nov
Quoting: LibertyPaulMThe sad thing is that Stadia still runs rings around the competition in terms of the technology and performance of the games. The UX is so much better than Geforce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming too. The competition just wins on the games available.
Yup, agreed, Stadia is still the most streamlined approach.

Quoting: LibertyPaulMI actually think what held it back from attracting game publishers is linux and vulkan. It probably would have had a better time attracting big publishers with a Windows based solution since the effort of putting games on the service would have been lower. I expect to get a lot of flak from linux stans for that opinion but it needs saying.
Not sure why anyone would disagree really, the technical side of that is 100% true. Porting to a new platform and API takes a lot more time than adjusting a Windows release to talk to Stadia services.
hardpenguin 22 Nov
Not that it proves anything but funnily enough I only recently got into it. And loving it!

Unless they decide to terminate the service I see myself using it for the years to come 🤷
I probably not the target audience but I like Stadia a lot but I'm not the kind of person to buy a lot of games. I still play the games I have on it with friends like Zombie Army 4: Dead War and TR:DE Team Deathmatch. I don't see any game on the horizon for the next 5 to 10 years that are remotely interesting but I will keep playing these with my people til the wheels fall off.
SuperTux 22 Nov
Pains me to say this, but I agree. Google went wrong something a few years ago and never fully recovered imho and once they dropped their Stadia studio it really set things in motion to where they are now.

I don't really travel much and most games run via Steam as it is, so using it less and less now.

Just need to have Destiny 2 run via Steam and I'd be set.
dubigrasu 22 Nov
I'm on the fence myself. I think is still the best streaming service, but I don't like see it stagnating this way.
Plus, a number of games released lately run very bad, others are still running at 30 fps or less and no sign or word they're gonna upgrade the hardware.
They were talking about adding 100 games this year, not much time left and we're nowhere near that number. (I stand corrected about this, they did released about 90 already)
I also hoped that they will improve the latency by adding new closer servers, didn't happened, they're the same as two years ago. Ironically GeforceNow did exactly that, and I have much better latency with them. (Stadia 30ms, GFN 15ms)
This is the first month when I stopped paying, I might revisit next year, but unless they add a new server or at least improve the quality of their ports...meh.
(And the quality of their new ports is the most puzzling, I know they can do better, Destiny 2 or Division2 are pretty demanding games running excellent.)

Edit: Oh yeah, and since I was talking about that, this is how good Destiny 2 runs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGYdPHiboG4&ab_channel=airspeedmph

And this is how crappy Control runs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBQX8C3SvJM&ab_channel=airspeedmph


Last edited by dubigrasu on 23 November 2021 at 3:29 am UTC
melkemind 22 Nov
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: LibertyPaulMI actually think what held it back from attracting game publishers is linux and vulkan. It probably would have had a better time attracting big publishers with a Windows based solution since the effort of putting games on the service would have been lower. I expect to get a lot of flak from linux stans for that opinion but it needs saying.
Not sure why anyone would disagree really, the technical side of that is 100% true. Porting to a new platform and API takes a lot more time than adjusting a Windows release to talk to Stadia services.

It was the same thing that held back Steam Machines when they were first released. Valve learned from that and is relying heavily on Proton to make sure Steam Decks can run Windows games. It seems like Google is kind of living in a bubble on this. They need to sweeten the pot somehow even if it means sharing revenue. Offer Steam or GOG keys for games people buy on Stadia. That way customers are at least guaranteed they'll still own their games if Stadia vanishes.
mirv 22 Nov
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
I did read somewhere that Stadia as it stands is basically going to disappear, and instead the backend technology will be leased out to other companies. I think that's the best outcome: Google don't understand game development, but this lets their streaming capabilities live on.

I would like Stadia to continue, don't get me wrong, but it needs a bit of work outside of the streaming tech itself.
Mohandevir 22 Nov
Thinking the same. Google seems to be giving up on the best streaming service available, imo. It needs more games and aside from Ubisoft, not much AAA titles are now coming out for it.

As for GeForce Now, aside from the founders subscription (60$/year), it really is expensive, imo, for games I already own and I can't play my whole Steam catalogue, on top of that. The basic sub is 125$/year and the new RTX 3080 tier is through the roof with a 250$/year. I got absolutely no interest in that, I'll use the Steam Link app, instead and gain access to my whole Steam catalogue, at the same time. I really hoped Google would up it's game, but it seems the contrary. They pulled the plug way too fast.

As for the 100 games in 2021:
"Google has added 93 games to Stadia since the start of this year, with just six weeks left to meet its promise of at least 100 titles added during the calendar year 2021."

Source:
https://9to5google.com/2021/11/19/stadia-nine-to-five-game-changelog/

A little news about white label Stadia:
https://9to5google.com/2021/10/20/batman-arkham-knight-white-label-stadia-att/

But still, there is an overdue hardware upgrade that we may never see and Stadia as a whole is losing momentum, big time.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 22 November 2021 at 4:47 pm UTC
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.