How could one of the most powerful companies in the world fail to enter the dynamic video game industry? This is the question posed by the closure, Wednesday, January 18, of Stadia, the service of Google streaming. According to analyst George Jijiashvili, specialist in the video game industry for the British strategic analysis firm Omdia: “Google made too many promises and then provided a service below expectations. »
The promises date from March 2019. At the Game Developers Conference, a benchmark event for professionals in the sector, the group’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, announced “creating a new gaming experience powered by the best of Google” who will make “the video game accessible to all”. A game started on one screen can be immediately continued on another, be it a smartphone, a television or a computer: a project consistent with the new uses offered by streaming platforms in the music or video sectors. television.
Google relies on the cloud gaminga technique that allows the user to connect remotely to large servers, responsible for running the games, and thus to do without the usual equipment, consoles or computers with graphics cards.
Google is also touting innovative features, such as joining a video game broadcast on YouTube with the press of a single button. Above all, the creation of an entity dedicated to the creation of exclusive video games is intriguing. Some observers then wonder if the company has the experience and the strong enough kidneys to find a place alongside Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, which dominate the sector.
Seven months later, in November 2019, the platform was launched and it was already a disappointment. Few games, many promised features still missing, some incompatible smartphones, need to connect to a controller to play on a smartphone or mandatory purchase of a particular type of Chromecast box to connect to a television… “The product was poorly designed”, notes George Jijiashvili.
The commercial offer is also disappointing. Google’s new service asks you to pay a monthly subscription of 10 euros and then to buy most games at new price. An economic model very different from the unlimited subscriptions offered on music or audiovisual platforms.
To make up for its failed launch, Stadia teams are working to attract the public with big productions. The well-filled portfolio of the Mountain View firm makes it possible to offer blockbusters Red Dead Redemption 2 Where Cyberpunk 2077. Despite everything, the major publishers are not in a hurry to put their games on Stadia for technical reasons: the Google service imposes a laborious port on the Linux operating system.
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