Google is an ambitious company known to try anything once. Playing 4K games at 60FPS without buying a game system sounds nice. Unfortunately, not everything Google tries ends up like the huge success Gmail was. Google Stadia is another of these ambitious ideas, but there’s no reason to expect Stadia to do anything better than Google Plus (and we all know how that went). Here are five reasons the Google Stadia will probably fail.
America’s abysmal internet infrastructure
The Internet in the US isn’t the best. The selling point for Stadia is that you don’t buy a gaming system, you just stream games over the net. Well, to do that you’ll need high-speed internet, which is also expensive. Many ISPs in America have expensive internet, data caps, or both. It gets even tougher when you realize how many people only have one or two choices for internet access. You can’t stream HD games on broadband. At lower internet speeds, single-player games would be a hassle to play, let alone the horror of stuttering multiplayer. An easier and more certain alternative to streaming games? PCs and consoles. Frankly, Stadia can’t hope to compete against them in the current landscape of the American internet landscape.
Streaming multiplayer games
Google showcased gameplay of Doom Eternal on the Stadia. To be fair, it didn’t look too bad. But it also wasn’t multiplayer. Multiplayer games rely on stable internet with adequate speeds, which the Stadia isn’t going to be able to deliver to many Americans. Nobody is going to tolerate a stuttering mess in a game where several frames can decide a match. That means no Overwatch, Call of Duty, or Apex Legends. That already limits the Stadia’s library. With no big popular titles, the only choices may be older classics and indie games. That’s not going to draw in many gamers at all.
Getting developers onboard
It takes a lot of money and labor to produce AAA games. Google already said they would be developing games for the platform, but they won’t be putting out enough games to be competitive. How will they convince big-name publishers and developers to come to the Stadia? A more certain goal would be to host older classic titles rather than to try and snag newer games coming out currently. If they do manage that, why would someone get the Stadia for Fallout: New Vegas or Dead Space 2? If a gamer does want to play them, they probably already have them on Steam or a console. No reason for the Stadia. Given the internet’s limited speeds, how can the Stadia compete with improving game system hardware? No one will pay for past-generation console performance in 2019. This also leads to our next concern.
Lack of interesting launch titles
Google announced the titles that would be launching on Stadia and it’s abysmal. Just 12 games will be available during the launch, of which only one title is exclusive to the platform. That being Tequila Softworks ‘GYLT’. The other 11 are games that have been available on either the PS4, Xbox One, and PC or are launching the same day (Kine) as the Stadia version. As someone who jumped on the chance to give Google Stadia a chance, none of these games are appealing. Most of them I already own, and I’m sure you do as well.
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Destiny 2
- Just Dance 2020
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Samurai Shodown
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
No one has confidence in Google as a gaming platform
Google is adventurous and has enough money to burn to try risky projects with no guaranteed return on investment. But they’ve had a lot of failures when competing with established players. Google Plus vs. Facebook, Google Play Music vs. Spotify, Google Spaces vs Slack or Skype. Google didn’t win any of these. So how can they expect to fare better against titans of gaming like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo? Google usually pulls the plug on failing ventures, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see Stadia gamers lose any games they purchased with no way to get them back. Stadia won’t have any consumer confidence with Google’s record looming over it.
Even up to a few weeks ahead of the release, Google has done little to excite potential buys of this service. That doesn’t bode well for Stadia’s chances.
Solution searching for a problem
Here’s the biggest issue: Why the heck is Stadia for? PC gaming can be expensive, but there’s plenty of solutions available for those looking for affordable options, namely building their own rigs. Consoles are also an easy alternative to PCs; one purchase and the system is guaranteed to run every game of that console generation. Microsoft has the Xbox Game Pass which is a giant game streaming service for $10 a month. Steam, the biggest PC gaming platform, has huge annual sales, letting you collect a year’s worth of games for big discounts. Stadia’s problem already has solutions. It’s clear Google wants an innovative option for gamers. But they seem to overlook the fact that what they’re making won’t be useful or wanted for many people. We already have better options. Being the Hulu of gaming won’t work.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments and let us know why.