Google Stadia Lacks Games In Its Library, Isn't Shelling Out For New Games
from the failure-to-launch dept
This Google Stadia thing is starting to move into full on failure to launch territory. If you’re unfamiliar with the Stadia product, it was pitched by Google as essentially the end of console gaming. Something like trying for “the Netflix of gaming” moniker, the idea is that Google would stream games for a monthly fee, freeing gamers from the need of having dedicated gaming hardware in their homes. The initial launch of the product was met with a public mostly uninterested in or skeptical of the service. Add to all of that the problems the platform had accepting new gamers, what looks like very real resolution issues with how games are delivered visually, and Stadia’s problems getting gamers to “buy in” to the platform more recently, and it’s all looking to be something of a disaster.
It’s not the most public problem Stadia has had thus far, but yet another issue is the empty shelves in Stadia’s library of games. Right now, less than 30 games are on offer, which isn’t exactly the sort of library that gets gamers to give up their consoles. What’s worse, based on feedback gathered from game developers, Google doesn’t appear to be terribly interested in enticing more publishers onto its platform.
As reported by Business Insider, many developers have explained that one of the biggest reasons indies have mostly stayed away from Stadia is the lack of financial incentive from Google. One executive at a publishing company described the amount of money that Google was offering to them as “so low” that it wasn’t even part of the conversation. Another indie dev described how most platform owners, like Microsoft and Epic, offer upfront incentives to entice developers and publishers to create or release games on their stores. But with Google Stadia the incentive was, in the words of that dev, “…kind of non-existent.”
For its part, Google is insisting it’s going to increase its game library four-fold. For developers to come out and publicly discuss their reasons for not getting on board, however, and for those reasons to be the incentives for doing so, this really is starting to feel like one of those Google products that never achieves exit velocity. Everyone remembers Google Plus, for instance, where the company rolled out what was supposed to be a Facebook-killer, but never really backed that claim up with the attention a goal like that would deserve and require.
Public comments like that are only going to compound the lack of incentives for publishers to be on Stadia and create even more trepidation for getting on Stadia. And if the games library never really takes off, neither will Stadia as a whole.