Following the closure of its Stadia by Google Games & Entertainment (SG&E), leaks on the disappointing game-streaming service began to emerge. A Friday Bloomberg report, citing anonymous Stadia sources, attaches a new number to failures: “hundreds of thousands” of less sold controllers and “monthly active users” (MAUs) logging in than Google expected.
At the heart of the story told by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier on Friday is the controller sales figure: that internally, Google had two opinions on how Stadia should go. One idea came back to some of the company’s biggest successes, particularly Gmail, which has been slowly rolling out into a public, dynamic beta while watching how it has been received over time. The other, championed by Stadia frontman Phil Harrison, was to treat Stadia like a console, with some form of hardware that could be hyped and pre-sold. In Stadia’s case, the latter won, with Harrison bullishly selling a Stadia Founder’s Bundle – and that turned out to be a $ 129.99 gateway for the service. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to access Stadia for its first few months.
Even with such a financial incentive in his pocket, however, Stauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two, finally admitted to shareholders that gamer Stadia adoption fell short of his previously optimistic expectations. As he said in June 2020: “The launch of Stadia has been slow. I think there were excessive promises of what the technology could offer and some consumer disappointment as a result. “
The article primarily traces the messy public history of how Stadia missed the mark with critics and potential buyers, including the service’s lack of portability. game ownership and its lack of a clear pay-per-view subscription option made popular by video streaming services like Netflix. The report alludes to at least one game project that was canceled as part of SG&E’s disbandment earlier this month: “a cross between a Google Assistant and a Tamagotchi pet, allowing players to interact with intelligent creatures in all kinds of fun ways . ” This digital animal game would have relied in part on the server infrastructure of Stadia and would “have run only on a cloud platform,” says Schreier.