Is This Bad News for the Stadia?
Google are one of the latest tech giants to try and break into the gaming industry, and they’ve been more successful than either Facebook or Amazon, successfully launching Google Stadia, a cloud-based gaming service that lets you stream your gaming to any compatible screen – think Netflix for gaming. Rather than shelling out for a console, you only need the controller, so if your budget is too tight for the PS5 of Xbox Series X, it’s a good shout, with a growing library of games.
Unfortunately, it looks like Google are having some issues, as they’re shuttering their first-party development team. Although any in-development games will continue to be made, no more games will be developed by the Stadia’s internal team.
Of course, first-party studios are a big deal. Just look at some of the hits churned out by either developers under the PlayStation Studios umbrella or Xbox Game Studios over the past several years. A big exclusive goes a long way into selling a console, and having an in-house development team goes a long way towards that. Just look at the amount of news it generated when Xbox bought Bethesda, one of the industry’s biggest names. While it isn’t impossible for the Stadia to compete, it definitely looks like it’s going to be harder.
The reasoning behind the downscaling, as stated in this post by vice president Phil Harrison – is that “creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially.” It looks like the team are eager to be the best, but can’t quite match the spending power of Microsoft or Sony, who’ve been working in the industry for decades – and are working with actual hardware. Cloud-based gaming may be a great idea, but in practice the need for a stable internet connection can be a sticking point.