Google’s track record has not been very phenomenal when it comes to stepping outside of their comfort zone. Google has more whined than banged with their failed products like Google Reader and Google+. Depressingly trivial library, missing features, and limited communication are some of the morbid features of Stadia making it another dead product in Google’s graveyard. with an indie developer program and a brand new studio, Google seemed fully confident about staking their claim in the gaming space despite a terrible launch of Stadia. The saddest part is that Google itself is guilty for Stadia’s failure with its lack of transparency and honesty.
The announcement of Stadia in March 2016, was so promising and revolutionary as if this service was going to change the future of gaming. Things went downhill because most of the promised features were not available at the time of the release.
It was claimed that Stadia would allow it’s users to stream games directly to their TV without the need for lengthy downloads at 4K and 60 FPS with a Chromecast Ultra as long as you had an internet connection with a minimum speed of 35Mbps. Users would also be able to launch a game from YouTube, join the same session and streamers and take these games anywhere in the world with a smartphone or laptop at 60 fps and 1080p which was a cherry on top. This was a huge claim which proved fake in many cases.
The claims and the hype of this service were so big that anyone could have fallen in this trap including me but then the reality struck me hard in the head. Many early users were unable to reach 4K streaming even with a high-speed internet connection and found connectivity issues. Moreover, it only supported streaming on Google’s Pixel smartphone.
The biggest roadblock in Stadia’s success is Google’s lack of information about its true capabilities. To make it a killer service Google should have waited until Stadia had the full features to support 1,000-person Battle Royale. They endorsed Stadia’s feature so much that they forgot to work on it with the dedication it needed.
Games must be custom-built for Stadia, not simply the PC version as it is built on a custom version of Linux, an open-source operating system. It was promised that it will be capable of running Doom Eternal at true 4K resolution but according to the official spec description it functions at 1800p and upscaled to 4K on Stadia, same as the Xbox One X. To run Doom Eternal at 4K60fps on a PC a very expensive and high-end graphics card is required.
Game Achievements will be tracked by Stadia but due to incomplete UI players won’t be able to see them. The initial package will also lack Buddy Passes to share with your friends, multiplayer, and social components such as Crowd Play, Steam Connect, and State Share. Each family member will have to buy their own game as the feature of family sharing is also missing.
Prices are higher than other competitors and multiplayer games are dead without cross-play. Stadia already has latency issues and if one player has internet connection issues it can ruin the whole experience of other players. Launch problems have also threatened Stadia’s survival as hardware package was not delivered in time to most early adopters who forked over $129 for Stadia’s Founders Edition.
The most prominent failure of Stadia is strong competition and a lack of games. Over 120 games are planned to be released by Google that are time exclusive and from its studio in Montreal but it is hard to succeed when many recognized platforms have hundreds of thousands of games readily available across multiple console generations, not to forget the vast PC library.
As a large and diverse library of games is significant for a platform’s success Google should be devoting all its efforts to obtain the best developer talent but unfortunately, Google has offered so little to the developers that accepting their proposal was out of the question for many prominent indie developers.
Google lacks brand trust as it has a previous history of shutting down unsuccessful services. Lackluster projects are not on a high priority for Google. Paying £50 for a brand-new game on Stadia is only a fool’s bargain when you are unsure about the security of games purchased on this service. Google needs to assure its customers that it will support Stadia in the long term.
Stadia is walking on a thin rope because Google under-delivered and over-promised due to which Stadia couldn’t soar high. Google has a long way to go to make Stadia stand out in the crowd but we all hope that it safely reaches success because it has the potential to take gaming to another level.