Google Stadia: The mistakes it should have avoided

Google Stadia

Google Stadia fell back from its promises and the users seem disappointed.

Stadia fans saw a lot of things during the last few days. Google developed a gaming platform called Google Stadia and the users had fun on it. But, this month, Google Stadia saw the closing down of studios, questionable version rollouts, potential lawsuits, and a damaging report.

It is apparent that Google Stadia has failed to create a long-lasting positive effect. Compared to others, we wonder what Google Stadia could have done to prevent this? 2020 was the year where users saw the birth of cloud gaming. Stadia was launched around late 2019. In the first few months, the service opened its free tier which made Stadia much more attractive to the users. 

Google took huge steps with Stadia in 2020, where they expanded the library, launched new features in CrowdChoice, Crowd Play, State Share, YouTube Streaming, and others. The platform was available for use on iOS devices but did not promise anything regarding the launch on Android or Google TV. In the same period, Nvidia also publicly launched GeForce Now. But it was hit by a developer takedown, forcing the giant to tweak certain parts of its business model. This means that the user got fewer games but the developers were happy. By the time it reached the end of the year, it had streamed over 175 million hours. It also saw expansion on Chromebooks, Android TV, and iPhone. 

Amazon launched Amazon Luna this year offering early access to the users. It was deficient in a lot of core features but was launched with a small game library. Amazon Luna also offered Twitch integration, controller, and iPhone compatibility. After a few months, it added limited Android support. It continued to expand its game library and added UbiSoft+ ahead of a few weeks from Stadia. Luna is still in early access in 2021. 

Microsoft also launched xCloud for public access around late 2020. This platform can be accessed only on Android smartphones and tablets. The giant promises to launch its web version this year. This service offers a rotating library of Xbox games which is a huge benefit. Stadia saw a very unsuccessful year after its first year of success. Even though its huge progress, gamers and the gaming media still see the service in a negative light. The reason behind this is Google’s tall promises and the failure to deliver on time. Seeing such a response, it also implemented a policy of not overpromising. 

In my opinion, Google Stadia should have launched its service as a beta version or “early access”. If they would have done this, the gamers would have forgiven Google. Even though Luna lags behind Stadia in terms of features and games, it never faced a negative response from the gamers. This is because gamers don’t consider Luna as a final product. 

Another thing that Google should have done is to spend and offer more time to the developers so that they can launch a complete product. Also, they would be able to work on the features and offer high-quality games when the users tried the product. It also faced a lot of negativity around the business model Stadia has. Many gamers preferred the business models of Xbox Game Pass and Luna. But at 9to5 Google, the players have to buy the games on Stadia. But, it would have been a smart move for Google if it offered an “all you can eat” model for gamers. Since it is too late now, Google can save its cloud gaming product only by the things it plans to do in the future. 

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