Stadia Issues Continue And It's The One Thing That Can't Happen If We're Going To Give Up Our Consoles
from the back-to-the-future dept
Karl Bode had a nice write up earlier this week about the ongoing issues with Stadia, Google’s play to get gamers to give up their home consoles and GaaS (Game as a Service). As Karl noted, Stadia faces inherent challenges in these United States, given the laughably substandard broadband resulting from full regulatory capture at the hands of a few telecom players. In addition, Google, with all of its resources, seems fully committed to punishing early adopters with a big price tag for what is essentially a public beta alongside some reports of failed hardware deliveries. So big price tag, maybe you get what you bought in order to use the streaming service, and maybe that streaming service works with your broadband connection. Cool.
Well, it looks as though Google is going for some kind of failure trifecta here, as reports are now surfacing that there was a SNAFU with how access to the streaming site itself is being granted, with pre-payers being promised admittance in order of purchase, while in reality access to the service is being granted without any sense of order.
“Anyone else wake up disappointed,” reads a post on the Stadia subreddit, where early adopters have spent the last 24 hours sharing their hopes, dreams, and frustrations with the service’s messy launch. While some who pre-ordered Stadia’s Founders Edition received their controller, Chromecast Ultra, and membership info yesterday, others are still waiting, either for their order to ship, for emails with instructions for setting up their account, or both.
“We’re aware that some of you who pre-ordered Founder’s Edition may not have received your invite codes in the expected time-frame,” said a Stadia community manager on the subreddit yesterday. In a subsequent update that evening, the Google representative said the problem was fixed. “We’ve identified an issue where a small fraction of Stadia access codes were sent out of order,” they said. “That has been addressed.”
On its own, is this the biggest deal? Not really. New product launches are messy. Still, this is but one aspect of a larger shitty rollout of a product that Google has been hyping for some time now. Given the emphasis on Stadia, it’s not hard to draw analogies to the rollout of Obamacare and that site’s failures at the time. By that I specifically mean the impact such a botched rollout will have on the trust that is absolutely required by the public in order to be willing to buy into this product to begin with.
That’s because, when it comes to the gaming industry, an orderly, easy access to desired games is the one thing you cannot screw up with your product. And it’s the one thing that Stadia’s rollout appears to have fumbled. In a world used to playing games on home consoles that generally, you know, work, having a streaming service try to pry that status quo away while demonstrating the exact dangers of relying on gaming as a service is the one thing that couldn’t happen. But here we are.
People who are still waiting on codes have latched onto a July 18 comment made by Stadia’s director of product, Andrey Doronichev, saying reservation emails would be sent out in the order pre-orders were received. But some users on the subreddit who pre-ordered in September have already received their shipment confirmation and registration emails while others who pre-ordered in June haven’t. Even if it’s only a very small number of people who are affected, the mixup has left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
“My order has still not been shipped,” Reddit user Gamesearch56, who pre-ordered Stadia on June 8, told Kotaku in an email. If I don’t receive my code till friday, because i would use stadia on a family trip with my laptop, I will cancel my preorder. So disappointed in the whole launch.”
As stated, Google obviously has a ton of resources and marketing power. Still, this the kind of launch that can be really, really difficult to overcome.