Millions of gamers all over the world have definitely heard of such a platform as Google Stadia and that most probably it will be a future of the entire games industry. But when, how and what exactly happened? Well, in March 2019, Google presented its new platform for games streaming called Stadia. There were a couple of similar attempts in the past e.g. Gaikai, OnLive, etc. that failed. However, now the situation is different since Google is a company with big resources and huge experience that can reach success in this particular direction.
There is no need to be skeptical about it, as the thing they offer seems to be really tempting. Just imagine games without hardware, on any screen, with maximum graphics quality and, of course, integration in Google services.
Nonetheless, like many other new technologies, this one can also change our daily life and so, there are certain concerns about it.
Based on the presentation, one can suppose that Google is aiming at the hardcore audience. They open the first-party studio with many other AAA-studios. At the same time, they bank on YouTube. For instance, starting up a game directly from a trailer or even from a particular moment in a game with the same weapon, powerleveling, etc. Potentially, one can even send a link with a time-code to a friend, so that he/she could pass a difficult level for you. Therefore, there is a feeling that Google “bets” on this integration along with the YouTube audience.
Platforms Define Games
There is a fear that Stadia is going to repeat the history of mobile gaming. To be more exact, at the beginning they try to do hardcore games but it will soon lead to the point, where this game can be set going via YouTube within a second and start from absolutely any moment. It might seem like a cool feature but in essence, it is a powerful instrument for games promotion that leads to impulsive playing sessions.
This means a player should understand how to play without tutorial within a short period of time, which will lead to not very deep games or games with maximum well-known game-play without experiments. Plus, add casual YouTube audience to it.
Due to such a system, the games will be divided like in Call of Duty, where one can begin playing from any mission, gradually gathering a plot piece by piece. But it is hard and thus, probably most of the plots will be primitive or absent at all, meaning that a player’s attention will be focused on other mechanics like Anthem or Destiny.
Games for Next to Nothing
Google didn’t yet announce the system of Stadia monetization but many suppose that it is going to be some kind of subscription similar to Xbox Gamepass. There is also a possibility to play for free but with ad view. Google already has YouTube-ad which they can add to Stadia and it looks like it is going to be the main Stadia income. If this happens, then it can be described as real hell for players (like in case of AppStore and GooglePlay). In order to include more ad, games will be very long, with a big amount of grind, daily tasks and timers. Generally, it is the same thing that is happening on gaming services right now but much worse.
The last thing that should be said is the point of saving games. Nowadays, everything is online and the biggest part of modern games simply won’t work without Internet connection. Of course, we all have favorite games saved on hardware with all necessary files and can find a way to realize at least some offline-functionality.
But a game on Google server is a game on Google server, where you only have a video-flow. What will happen with older games when about in a decade Stadia will get new software design? What will happen to licensed games after the expiry date? Our favorite but older games will literally disappear: you won’t find them on eBay, Torrent or anywhere else. This factor is quite negative both from consumer and games heritage point of view.
All in all, it is very hard to predict right now what will happen with the games industry in the nearest future since there are so many hypotheses and speculations around this topic. So, let’s take a deep breath and see what will happen next!