Gamer dad who loves the classics, indies, racers and the occasional shooter. Have been in the industry for almost two decades now and am as enthusiastic as ever! #4theplayers
If there was any doubt that Google Stadia had the ammunition to single-handedly upend the gaming industry and end the video game console as we know it, they should be laid to rest. But do streaming services have to future over home consoles?
More than 4,000 developers have registered their interest to sign up to the Stadia Partners scheme with an eye on releasing games for the upcoming streaming platform. As reported by PC Games Insider, Stadia technical account manager Sam Corcoran took to the stage to share the news during the Develop conference held last week in Birghton, UK.
Short of revealing the names of interested parties, Corcoran explained the program allows developers to signal their interest, although there’s no guarantee they’ll be accepted. A strict vetting program where every application undergoes a human-led review sorts the wheat from the chaff.
Addressing would-be Stadia developers, Corcoran went on to explain that through Stadia Partners, Google can “tailor-make a support plan that will work for your title and fit with the rest of our portfolio.”
In other words, it’s a polite way of framing that Google wants the pick of the litter. Four thousand developers have Google spoiled for choice. A further sign of this was at E3 this year, where numerous trailers for triple-A titles sported the Google Stadia logo alongside the trifecta of Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox, and the Nintendo Switch we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Getting into bed with the right game studios is top propriety for the tech giant.
While Google Stadia was being announced by Phil Harrison (vice president and general manager of the company) at the Game Developers Conference, the most perplexing thought in my mind was the fate of Xbox and PS4. The idea of massive online game streaming brightened the future of Xbox and PS4, but Google has a massive amount of resources to create a potentially mind-blowing gaming experience. We are excited to see what Google Stadia has to offer compared to other modern gaming consoles.
The magnitude of interest isn’t surprising. The unique stakes of the cloud development environment and a guaranteed foot in the door are powerful incentives, but the appetite for Stadia may be the harbinger of a more impactful shift: the end of console gaming as we know it.
Stadia’s success is all but guaranteed at this point. We’ve long heard cloud gaming is on the way and will revolutionize how we play games but have yet to get a tangible iteration of this long-lauded tech. Google has taken matters into its own hands to spearhead that shift.
We’d be unwise to discount Project xCloud given Xbox’s rich history and brimming catalog of games. The same applies to the surprising announcement of Sony and Microsoft joining forces to make use of the latter’s Azure network of servers. But, crucially, Stadia releases this fall.
What games will Stadia play?
When presenting Stadia, the vice president hinted to a few games that would be played on the product console; games like Splinter Cell, Civilization, Skyrim, and Super Mario Bros. This gives us insight into what games we should expect, but it is clear that these are only a fraction of what the Stadia has to offer.
Stadia must be an all-encompassing gaming platform to survive the fierce video game market. If people cannot access the kind of games they like on Stadia, it will quickly fade in popularity and become a non-competitor in the industry. It is important to target certain gaming audiences, but if Stadia can capture the whole gaming community, it may stand out as one of the top gaming consoles among the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox.
Games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Doom Eternal, and NBA 2K are fascinating, but not enough to be revolutionary. There’s a vast ocean of games in the “gamosphere,” and Google seems to be adding these collections as part of the Stadia experience. Below a list of confirmed popular titles:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Baldur’s Gate 3
- Ghost Recon Breakpoint
- DOOM Eternal
- The Division 2
- Destiny 2
- Tomb Raider Trilogy
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
- Metro Exodus
- Football Manager 2020
- Just Dance 2020
- Rage 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Borderlands 3
- Final Fantasy XV
Quanta Costa Stadia?
Another unknown factor to consider is the final price of the Google Stadia. Are we going to pay for standalone titles, or subscribe to a monthly or annual gaming pass? How costly will the product or service be? Will it revolutionize the entire gaming industry with a new way to pay-and-play all of your favorite titles? Stadia Premium will set you back $9,99 per month.
And for those who love cross-play: will Google Stadia give players the option of accessing titles from various other platforms? We don’t know how the final Stadia product will end up, but we have high hopes for the performance of Google’s latest gaming platform.
Google has a lot to consider when releasing an entirely new gaming platform. The different age generations and demographic considerations make finding the ideal audience a challenge. Each platform caters to a different audience; Nintendo, for example, was able to present their Brand in a “family fun” genre. Ultimately, they expanded this to include more competitive gamers, and the wild success of the company speaks volumes to their influence in the gaming industry.
Where do we go from here?
With a year’s head start on the next-gen consoles cooked up by Sony and Microsoft, which won’t release until the end of 2020 at the earliest, Google has uniquely positioned the Stadia to make gains on the share of the market dominated until now by traditional consoles.
Sony and Microsoft have confirmed physical versions of both the PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett, and these souped-up, not to say expensive, consoles could be on the cusp of the slow journey to obsolescence. When both hit the market, they may entirely be surplus to requirement, superseded by Stadia.
The decline of traditional consoles won’t happen overnight, of that we can be sure, but this generation represents an upheaval so significant, we could be in for a changing of the guard, with Google firmly at the helm.