I’ve seen numerous articles and videos talk about the exciting and innovative features that Stadia presents – and I’m not here to discount those features at all. Stadia is certainly an exciting concept and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! With that in mind, I’ve had time to process Google’s announcement, and there are several roadblocks that could prevent Stadia from being an instant success.
A Brand New Platform
Stadia isn’t like many of the cloud gaming services on the market such as GeForce Now, Shadow or Parsec. It doesn’t take games from Steam(or other platforms) and simply stream them to you. It’s a whole new platform based on Linux. This will cause some issues even if it is simple for game developers to port their games to Stadia.
The 💰 Problem
If you have a vast library of games on Steam or any other storefront, you won’t be able to simply play those games on Stadia – you’ll have yo buy them again. The same can be said though if you move from Xbox to PlayStation, or PlayStation to PC. Stadia will need to be an awesome experience to justify the additional cost or utilize exlusives like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft do to draw gamers to their platform. That delivers us to the next roadblock.
Where are the Games?
We saw a handful of games shown off or at least announced for Stadia at GDC. You simply can’t have a platform without games. This is something that will be easy to overcome but we simply don’t have enough announcements at this point in time. Will large publishers like EA come to Stadia. Will EA view Stadia as competition to Project Atlas and decline to offer games there like they do with Steam on PC?
Hello? Is Anyone here?
A new platform also means needing people to populate online game lobbys. This is an issue platforms like Shadow and Parsec have simply avoided. Stadia will need to grow fast if it will have success for multiplayer games. However, cross platform play could come to save Google here. Cross platform play has continue to grow in popularity even and developer support. This may be a saving grace for Stadia, especially in the early days.
Google’s Track Record
Possibly the largest roadblock is Google’s track record. Google is widely known for launching and later killing services when they don’t reach the levels of utilization that Google wants. It will be hard to convince some gamers to spend hundreds of dollars on games on a platform that may simply vanish a couple years down the road. If Shadow were to suddenly shut down their datacenters I would still have all my games on Steam. My aging Xbox 360 can still play games over a decade after their release.
While Stadia does have roadblocks that will cause bumps along the way, Google has the resources to make it a success – as long as they don’t get in their own way!