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Stadia continues the slow downward spiral

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A new report from Business Insider has highlighted some continuing changes for Google's cloud gaming service Stadia, and it doesn't exactly sound good - but it's also something that was mostly already announced. It's doing the rounds right now across various other outlets of course, as Stadia has never exactly been popular.

Back in November 2021, I wrote an article titled "Two years on, Stadia seems to have no direction left" and it doesn't sound like it's going to get any better.

We already knew that Google had shut down its internal game development studios for Stadia, with their focus to stick with third-party releases. That was seen as quite a big blow to Stadia when it was announced in Early 2021, and even then they said clearly the Stadia tech would continue on "for industry partners".

The article mentions "Google Stream" is now the new name for the Stadia tech Google provide to other companies, and the Stadia consumer platform (the store) has been "deprioritized within Google, insiders said, with a reduced interest in negotiating blockbuster third-party titles" so over time it's likely to see less titles release.

It's actually a huge shame, as the Stadia tech is actually really good and it is still by far the easiest and most fluid cloud gaming service I've ever personally used. I found Xbox Cloud to have poor quality overall and GeForce NOW was just a mess of launchers. Stadia sadly has been badly managed from the get-go, with expectations inside Google that were very clearly just way too high.

They also clearly got the revenue model completely wrong. I don't think it would have entirely saved it, but it would have easily been far more popular if they doubled-down on the subscription. Not everyone is Microsoft though and can afford to do something like Game Pass but this is Google - they absolutely could have. It was asking a lot to get people to buy full-price (sometimes more expensive too) digital games, that you only have for streaming and no local copy at all — with an optional subscription that took them forever to properly explain.

Meanwhile, the Stadia community managers have jumped in to try and calm things down on Twitter. In a thread they said:

If you hear one thing, hear this: The Stadia team is working really hard on a great future for Stadia and cloud gaming.

We hope you agree, and we know the proof is in the playing.

We’re particularly proud to be offering 50 games to Pro members in February, with more than 100 titles to join Stadia in 2022 and plenty of Free Play Days for everyone to enjoy.

There’s also more feature goodness coming to Stadia too - stuff we can’t talk about just yet, but we promise to share when we can.

Have a great weekend, Stadians.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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55 comments
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ridge 5 Feb
It's quite bittersweet.

Egoistically, I do take great glee in watching Google's stuff crash and burn. I despise Google, I've been anti-Stadia from the get-go; it all just seems absurd. Especially Stadia Pro, buy games individually AND pay monthly? Sure you do that on Xbox and PlayStation as well, but this time you don't have any right to even download your game files and keep them locally, no guarantee that the service will stay online and let you play your purchased games. You aren't entitled to them at all, good gosh!

Now I'm not really a fan of streaming services anyways, and when I do stream games to a device (such as my Nintendo Switch with Ubuntu), I use my own computer as a host so I can (mostly) be in complete control.

But if, as you say, Stadia really is a good way for people on low-cost devices to enjoy a hassle-free spit of video games, that is truly a shame. I certainly hope someone can come up with a more elegant solution that'll enable this kind of entry point to playing games, and that isn't as unstable as the other services you mentioned.


Last edited by ridge on 5 February 2022 at 12:42 pm UTC
pb 5 Feb
Stadia has the best tech, but bad marketing and not-so-good business model. I just hope that they have an exit plan that does not leave customers in the lurch.
Xpander 5 Feb
Yeah. I predicted this when it launched that 2 years down the road it will be pretty much in maintenance mode.
Terrible Launch, awful business model, restricted to some countries only, not enough games and so on i guess.
dubigrasu 5 Feb
Quoting: ridgeEspecially Stadia Pro, buy games individually AND pay monthly?
buy games individually OR pay monthly

You can buy individual games and never pay monthly.
You can pay monthly (Stadia Pro) and get access to free games (and bigger discounts) and never pay for games individually.
If you buy individual games, you will have access to them regardless if you choose (or abandon) Stadia Pro or not.
The Stadia Pro free games library size depends on how older subscriber you are, I'm a bit late, so I have only 130 or so.
Edit: there are also some free games that you can play without paying anything.

My problem with Stadia is that seems to be stagnating and some later games are having (at launch at least) some performance issues. Games usually run excellent on Stadia, but a couple of these screwups can totally ruin the perception. Control for example even now runs like crap, and is a big title that people will go for. It looks like their hardware hasn't been updated in a while, and what was good HW few years ago is now already obsolete.
They're not doing much also in terms of expanding the service (and its quality) to other countries. GFN somehow managed to open new centers in East-Europe, dramatically decreasing the latency. Google did not, and this is mind boggling considering who they are.


Last edited by dubigrasu on 5 February 2022 at 3:25 pm UTC
elmapul 5 Feb
Quoting: dubigrasuThey're not doing much also in terms of expanding the service (and its quality) to other countries. GFN somehow managed to open new centers in East-Europe, dramatically decreasing the latency. Google did not, and this is mind boggling considering who they are.


so, it seems its better to be a big fish in a small pound, than on a larger one.

google killed orkut because it only had 67 millions of users, they got envious of facebook and end up with nothing instead.
they killed many projects as if they were nothing, then people remember and didnt gave stadia a chance.
i`m not saying that was the only factor of course.

the issue is, if stadia was an product of an smaller company maybe they would value more whetever profit it made, but they didnt.

microsoft purchasing activision/blizzard/king didnt seem to help.
if it was google, then people would stop saying things like "google isnt taking it serious" "google gonna kill stadia", but google didnt had the balls, i wont say they should even if they could, microsoft first purchase with Rare was an disaster, and while amazon were dumping hundreds of millions on flop games, google strategy was smarther:
make some low budget games to gain know how in the market, then grow then slowly over time, but that didnt worked, because people saw their games as cheap and that coming from an big company didnt send an good signal.

google should have said something like:
"big games take time to do, we are doing this <show an promissing AAA quality game> meanwhile we gonna make smaller games to have more exclusive content on the platform while people wait for the big relases"
instead they let people think the product didnt had any ambitions, and killed stadia devlopment division.


they also should give some assurance that you could access your games elsewhere in case they discontinue the service, and if one game currently was only possible with the cloud, because it had some exclusive tech that was only possible on stronger hardware, give some assurance that they would make it avaliable to download as soon as the desktop hardware catch up with the requirments.

nope, they let people think their plan was to sell you the right to own nothing, sell you an game they fully control and can shut down it at any moment.
pmadzik 5 Feb
I tried it (in the free month), but the quality was terrible, although it may be the specificity of my internet or dedicated data centers for my country (Poland).
Quoting: dubigrasubuy games individually OR pay monthly

buy games individually OR pay monthly or just play the free games.

I got a few games from Stadia via of their rewards program. The rest of the games I play on there are free. No pro or payment card needed.
dubigrasu 5 Feb
Quoting: pmadzikI tried it (in the free month), but the quality was terrible, although it may be the specificity of my internet or dedicated data centers for my country (Poland).
That's surprising considering that they did opened last year a center in Warsaw. I had high hopes in it because it is closer geographically to me, but somehow the connection to/from it is worse than the connection to the distant Frankfurt center, which I still use.
dubigrasu 5 Feb
Quoting: Arcadius-8606
Quoting: dubigrasubuy games individually OR pay monthly

buy games individually OR pay monthly or just play the free games.

I got a few games from Stadia via of their rewards program. The rest of the games I play on there are free. No pro or payment card needed.
Oh yeah, forgot about that one :) Not sure how many they are, I think is at least Destiny 2, which can be a real time sink-hole.
I just hope they will permit Stadia controllers to be paired via Bluetooth, when they decide to axe the service.

Unfortunately, I feel that Stadia just fell into the "vicious circle" that it had to avoid at all costs; Google are pushing users to leave the service, with that kind of news... Users then begin to clearly see the Google graveyard pointing the tip of it's nose and just that brings it nearer to make it a reality.

As for the games... I have most of them on Steam and always bought games at huge discount, so no big deal. It was fun while it lasted.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 5 February 2022 at 9:09 pm UTC
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