Listen, a while back I was one of the many people to claimed that the future of gaming is going to be in the clouds. To which I still stand by that statement! I think Google’s stadia might lead gamers into the heavens above, but just not the gamers of today! It’s funny, I started out writing about how I think Stadia might fail, but as I went into it started seeing this slimmer of hope for them.
I touched on this before in my last blog about Stadia but I guess I can go into it in a bit more detail. I said previously that Google must have done a certain amount of R&D to justify the Stadia’s existence, but the more I looked at the current business model of Stadia, the more I began to question who exactly is going to purchase this product. As a gamer, I’d consider myself to be on the enthusiast side of things. I have a High-end PC, a PS4 and a Switch. I also play numerous games on my mobile phone, and no, Crunchy Candy or whatever it’s called is not one of them.
To me, I can’t figure out why I’d pay for a product that not only do I have to pay a monthly fee to get some mediocre games regularly but, all the premium games are full priced just like their consoles counterpart and the controller is sold separately at a whopping $129. So if I wanted to get into Stadia, I’d have to repurchase ALL my games, and that ain’t happening. Plus, my library of games are locked away in the clouds, so if I ever lost the internet or for some reason, Google decided to ban my account, I’m screwed.
There is a free Stadia Base version which is coming out next year but that version will not be receiving additional free games released regularly and won’t be able to avail on Stadia Pro-exclusive discounts on select game purchases. Basically, if you want discounts and free games, you gotta pay for them, which make sense right? To me, no! If you have to pay to get FREE games, then it’s no longer free to a certain extent.
I mean to be fair, there is a silver-lining to all of this, if you choose to cancel Stadia Pro at any point, you can play the games that you’ve already purchased on Stadia Base without a subscription. So I guess if you really wanted to, you could buy a subscription, buy all the games that you want, cancel and still be able to play them whenever you want, as long as you have great internet. Honestly if I were to guess what market Google is aiming at with the Stadia, it’s quite possibly might be the next generation. As in new gamers looking to enter into the gaming scene but for some reason want to opt to the cloud-gaming experience.
Anyone who has a console or a gaming PC is not the target market. It’s for those that don’t want to build a PC, don’t want to buy a console, are always on the move but still want to play the latest and greatest games. And that type of market is possible as it is normally the younger generation who are quicker to adopting new techs in the world. And in terms of porting games to the Stadia, it’s already confirmed to be cheap and relatively easy. According to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, he assured investors that porting games to Google Stadia isn’t as costly a job as it may seem. So this is indeed happening.
I think that Stadia isn’t expecting a massive success right of the start. It wants to plant theory seeds for success and wait for it to grow so that it might bear them fruits in the future.