Without any specifics, reveals, or even teasers, Google makes it hard to get excited about new Stadia studio announcements.
Google today opened its third game development studio for its Stadia game streaming service. The new Playa Vista, California-based studio will be helmed by ex-Sony exec Shannon Studstill, who served as Sony's vice president of product development for the last nine years.
Google is clearly gearing up for big with Stadia and is eager to throw money at the service, but it's still hard to get excited about these kinds of reveals. Google simply hasn't communicated enough actual interactive content to its audiences. There's no snippets of gameplay, no key art, new ARGs or creative showcases of what is coming--or what's even possible with Stadia. There's just assurances that these things are coming, PR speak, and nebulous claims.
"The new Playa Vista studio will focus on delivering exclusive games, using new gameplay mechanics, creative ways to play together and unique interaction models that we're just starting to explore. While we're not ready to share specific game plans yet, rest assured we are listening to what gamers want and adding our own Stadia twists to create new IP and experiences," Stadia's head of games Jade Raymond said in the announcement.
While Google has shown some possibilities and potential with Stadia features like save state sharing, ultimately the company hasn't done enough to get gamers excited. It needs to learn how to properly communicate with gamers instead of treating everyone like base consumers.
Right now Stadia isn't seen as a worthwhile bet.
Stadia can eat through your data cap in no time flat, and can consume up to 119MB per minute. The also service requires you to pay full price for digital games in order to stream them on multiple devices. It's not like Netflix or Game Pass which gives you access to a pool of rotating content for a period of time. Stadia Pro subscription service gives out 2 free games a month...but still requires full purchases of other games.
Google clearly wants to change this by ramping up games development in its own internal studios.
Google currently has three Stadia studios:
- New Montreal-based studio, opened in October 2019
- Typhoon Studios, developer of Journey to the Savage Planet who joined in December 2019
- New Playa Vista-based studio led by Susan Studstill
These games will be optimized for Stadia, but again, we don't really know how this will happen or what it'll mean for the games. Until we know this, until we see proof of concepts and interesting new features that breathe life into gameplay experiences, we'll simply be skeptical of the service.
Gamers are simply likely to dismiss Stadia announcements until they see actual gameplay. That's how the industry works. Any company can deliver lip service and promise big things only to not live up to the hype. The general consensus is that Stadia will flounder and Google will give up on it when it fails, so no one really wants to make the monetary investment and re-buy games they might already own somewhere else.
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