Google Stadia’s slow growth may be due to developer uncertainty

Ewdison Then - Mar 1, 2020, 6:35pm CST
Google Stadia’s slow growth may be due to developer uncertainty

Google’s newly-launched game streaming platform may be the hot topic in gaming circles these days, at least until NVIDIA GeForce NOW fully opened its doors, but, in the grand scheme of things, Stadia isn’t exactly a hot market. To date, the platform only has over two dozen games to boast of more than three months after it launched and the lack of titles may be turning off potential gamers from throwing money at it. It turns out, even Google itself may not be so eager to throw its own cash into the platform which, in turn, is giving game developers some hangups.

A gaming console or platform lives and dies by the games available for it, no matter how innovative the system might be. Stadia promises the ability to play on almost any device and, depending on that device, almost anywhere but that promise falls flat when there aren’t that many games to choose from in the first place. Google promises over a hundred titles to be available before the year ends, which is a measly number in comparison to its rivals, but Business Insider’s sources may cast some doubt on that future.

Game developers, especially indie ones that aren’t tied to exclusivity with other platforms or stores, are apparently either unmotivated to bring their titles to Stadia or are even scared of investing in it. Perhaps even both. The former is due to Google offering almost no incentive, specifically financial ones, to make their games available on the streaming service. There are offers, reportedly, but they are so low they may as well not exist.

And then there’s Google notorious culture of axing even its most expensive projects, sometimes even without warning. Stadia does have partners involved so it might not be so fast to pull the trigger in this case. The common sentiment among developers, however, is that Google might not really be staying in this market for long.

For now, it seems that Stadia is focusing on the big and popular titles, perhaps as a show of technical strength and clout more than anything. But indie games, or at least the non-AAA titles, have also become crucial to the success of gaming platforms, both consoles and PCs. Google definitely needs to get these developers into Stadia if only to prove that it’s here for the long haul.


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