Stadia - Google's vision for the future of gaming

I’m gonna be the “Well, actually…” guy here and note that Battlefield 4 had private servers on consoles. It was partially due to them wanting to hit PS4/Xbox One launch, but they’re still in use today!

What DICE seemed to find from that though was that private servers and consoles aren’t the best mix since they’ve had DICE servers be the main base on consoles with BF1 and BFV. They do offer Community Servers and just recently added them to BFV although they’re not persistent. It’s only up as long as you host it. Still, it can be a thing on consoles.

Just to follow up on the article I posted earlier, Rock Paper Shotgun is reporting that the problem with Journey to the Savage Planet may have been resolved:

Update: A Google representative told us in an email that the issues affecting Journey To The Savage have now been fixed. In an update to a Reddit post about the problems, Google says: “This issue should now be resolved. Thanks again for your patience, and please let us know if the issue persists on your end.”

Yeah, the update at the end of the article was even more confusing and just shows what a PR debacle this whole thing is. It’s says everyone at Stadia actually have not been fired, but they are closing it down and moving folks away. So…wait, is Typhon Studios still employed by Google or not? And assuming they don’t want other Google jobs, do they stay Typhon Studios and hold onto their games on other platforms or would they have to leave and form Typ000n studios?

Now that I’ve kinda internalised the idea of streaming gaming as more of another platform/code target/engine. I mean, Hitman 3 treats it like it’s own platform, it just doesn’t have dedicated hardware. And if you think about the amount of effort Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft/etc put into trying to win the console wars without a clear victor (let alone the undying console vs PC, or windows vs linux), good luck trying to be the clear winner. The fact that Microsoft is still fighting for it’s spot there shows that even if you throw a lot more resources at it, it just means you have a fighting chance to stay in the game.

Right, but if you look at some of the conversations, even now as Stadia does it slowly die Google thing the claim is this is THE future for gaming… not like it’s just another part of it.

Yeah, there is going to be a market for both. Hell, I don’t even stream music - I still buy and listen to cd’s ripped onto my hard drive. If I could still do that with PC games I would but I acknowledge for a lot of people ‘streaming’ will be preferable just like it is for their music and tv/movie experience.

Now when I hear that “This is THE FUTURE” it files in the portion of my brain that deals with every other console claiming to be the future of gaming - cute thought but my past is this Steam backlog (and friends), good luck winning.

Now I realise that this mostly means there’s just one more platform for poor developers to support. All the consoles, PC (times XXXX stores) , Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and now Stadia and xCloud… Maybe it’s a secret dream to be an exclusive, it means less platforms to support…

FWIW, the original article didn’t say they were fired/laid off/whatever. They closed the studio down but they were trying to find new roles in Google for them. This is pretty normal for a lot of these tech companies (same happened at Microsoft when they shut down Beam for instance). So they are still getting paid by Google, but they have a period of time to find a new role within google or external before they will be let out.

Yeah, it’s a bit confusing but even after the closure of the dev studios there’s still a couple hundred engineers working on Stadia full time. That side made up maybe 20% of the overall heads on the platform.

The issue is that Google, both fairly and unfairly, already lost consumer confidence with their little to no consumer support and how many services it closes. Selling a product which may have a short shelf life with varying advantages and disadvantages with no guarantees of longevity is only going to appeal to those who don’t care and also aren’t affected by the downsides, which it turns out, isn’t a lot of people.
Keeping things vague to not go over the same things again, whether we agree or disagree with the specifics of why it’s not a good value proposition in general, the market has said this particular one isn’t. We will need more offers to conclude definitively on why.

Regarding private servers, that was in the context of Stadia where it really doesn’t even apply as everything is in a datacenter somewhere.

Streaming is clearly the future for mainstream gaming. This will happen. That doesn’t mean all enthusiasts will switch, many won’t. I know I certainly won’t until it’s comparable to my high-end gaming PC, meaning high resolutions, refresh rates, and image quality. And that may happen eventually, but the experience will never measure up, latency is unavoidable, it’s the speed of light.

Again I said streaming is the future, not Stadia. Stadia is dogshit, that was clear from its launch.

Well, from my understanding the tech behind Stadia works really well. They just picked an awful model to launch this thing with. No one wants to pay full price for games that they can only stream on an unproven store like Stadia. If they had done a subscription service like Gamepass they would probably be in a lot better shape right now.

Yeah it works fine. Streaming videogames isn’t all that hard. There are a bunch of companies doing it now, many of them aren’t backed by big money or tech genius. You can even do it yourself with Parsec or Rainway; people are renting VMs on Azure or whatever and streaming games from there.

Of course comparing to Game Pass at $4.19/month, well that’s hard to beat.

So Stadia but not Stadia. Again, doubtful, pretty sure mainstream is the millions of free games people play on their phone, and they really care if they have 60fps on some actoin FPS that isn’t on their application storefront.

Shall we review that the game market looks like.

Which of these requires a device mainstream doesn’t already have? Oh yeah… not the biggest one. And you don’t have to worry about quality either. Just 99 center the app and bam.

That diagram is exactly why game streaming will be huge and there are so many companies are going after it. You are basically taking the huge market that is Mobile and giving them access to games that used to require a PC or Console.

There’s not much crossover between Candy Crush and GTA V.

No? So everyone that plays mobile games exclusively plays mobile, and vice versa?

Yes. It is known.

What I’ve seen (and I’ve only dipped a little into this) - the mobile games market isn’t comprised of low res, touch optimised versions of regular games. That big slice is a whole set of unique subgenres - just like there were “western RPGs”, “jRPGs” there’s now “mobile RPGs” where expectations are things like 5-10 minute chapters, maybe lots of party members by gacha mechanics. Candy Crush/Angry Birds “mini puzzle” games that are like hundreds of levels of one-screen puzzles - almost unheard of for a bigger console, but there’s tons of these that are closer to Sudoku than Portal. There must be some better analysis…

Oooh…maybe the best analogy would be mobile games are like short Youtube videos, vs PC/console games being 90 minute movies. Hmmm although if I think like that, I do see how Stadia and streaming could win - but the issue isn’t the tech. It’s the content. If Epic went all-in on streaming for all the Epic Game Store games, would that have been enough? Or do you need to go even bigger? If Google went… Stadia for Android XX?

Sure, sure when you try and charge them 60 dollars or so for a high budget game when there is non-stop bitching about 4.99 of games that were made decades ago… what could go wrong.

But hey i am sure there are folks that will invest in spotty streaming services with marketing teams that still think they’re catering to single guys in the 90s trying to sell 70 dollar games that can’t be modded nor played on private servers all while wondering why the next cool thing is like a 99 center or just flat up F2P virile thing someone spent a year making in a garage with three other people. It’s a sure thing. Robinhood will help you get there.

No, I think you are going to have a hard time getting people to pay $30-60 for games that can only be played via a streaming service. That is why Stadia failed. Where I think there is a market is in what Gamepass and Geforce Now are doing. I think people would be willing to pay a monthly fee for a library of streamable games (gamepass) or would be willing to pay for a streaming service that let’s me play PC games I’ve purchased (Geforce Now) so I can play on a low end PC or on a smart TV.