Games won't be cheaper on Google Stadia

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Speaking to Eurogamer at a roundtable interview, Stadia head Phil Harrison was asked if the games available on the service would cost less than buying them digitally or physically—something one might expect, seeing as users are only streaming them.

"I don't know why it would be cheaper," said Harrison. "The value you get from the game on Stadia means you can play it on any screen in your life - TV, PC, laptop, tablet, phone. I think that is going to be valuable to players."

Stadia will be available at two different tiers, and you still need to buy games on both options. There’s a $9.99 per month model that offers up to 4K resolution providing you've got an internet connection of at least 35Mbps, 5.1 stereo sound, additional free games released regularly (starting with Destiny 2: The Collection), and discounts on select games. The free tier drops the resolution to a max of 1080p and has no 5.1 sound, free games or discounts.

Harrison never revealed how much Stadia games would cost, saying that the publishers were as much in control of the pricing as Google. “It's a bit difficult for me to say what the prices will be right now. But we're obviously going to be very aware of prevailing prices in the marketplace," he said.

A survey conducted by research firm Ipsos MORI on behalf of Gameindustry.biz showed that 70 percent of gamers living in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain aren’t interested in video game streaming services. One of the big concerns is dropped internet connections, while 31 percent still prefer to buy packaged games.

Google Stadia can be pre-ordered now and will launch sometime in November.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I doubt this will last for the long term. It's been tried many times over the past several decades and users quickly tire of having to pay a "fee" for something they feel they own. Despite all the arguments from the industry, the buyer's wallet speaks the loudest ..... but they will learn as have all the rest .....
 

Toju Mikie

TS Addict
At least with GeForce Now (still in beta), you can log into Steam, Origin, and Uplay, and play your own titles. You will just have to pay for the subscription, which is not available yet because it is still in beta. If Google ensures a way for you to keep your titles if the service closes, then I would be fine with buying games on Stadia.
 
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mcborge

TS Guru
I hope that controller can be used without the streaming service as they'll all end up in landfill otherwise, when Stadia inevitably fails.
 

Rock Dirty

TS Rookie
"I don't know why it would be cheaper," said Harrison. "The value you get from the game on Stadia means you can play it on any screen in your life - TV, PC, laptop, tablet, phone. I think that is going to be valuable to players."

TRANSLATION: "Why don't you want to pay for my new Lamborghini? I don't understand? Don't you want me to have a new Lamborghini"?
 

Shadowboxer

TS Addict
I’d expect them to be more expensive if anything. If the game is being run elsewhere and delivered to you via a data stream then the developer/google are picking up the bill to render the games on their hardware.

Still I don’t like this model, I’d rather pay like a flat £40 fee or something and be able to play whatever I want for the duration of the subscription rather than than paying a fee and then buying games on top of that.

I’d rather subscribe than own personally, it incentivises the developers to continue adding to the game and fixing bugs after release.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
So. You need to buy the game. And subscribe to play it at high quality. And have very fast internet to play it at high quality. And you can't sell it after-market when you're done with it.

Remind me why anyone would buy this? I am sure Google is thinking "people already buy games and pay for their online subscription", but the key difference is I can play my game without having to subscribe to an online service, and I can sell the disc when I get bored with it (and buy them used). Google is targeting people with more money than sense, and, thankfully, these people are a minority (if only because it usually takes sense to get money).
 

ckm88

TS Maniac
Definitely a hard pass. I wouldn't be surprised to see this in the Google Graveyard in a couple years time.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
So. You need to buy the game. And subscribe to play it at high quality. And have very fast internet to play it at high quality. And you can't sell it after-market when you're done with it.

Remind me why anyone would buy this? I am sure Google is thinking "people already buy games and pay for their online subscription", but the key difference is I can play my game without having to subscribe to an online service, and I can sell the disc when I get bored with it (and buy them used). Google is targeting people with more money than sense, and, thankfully, these people are a minority (if only because it usually takes sense to get money).
Their "logic" is usually "It's the future!!!!".
 

penn919

TS Maniac
I thought it was already reported that games would be full price on Stadia. It's being pitched as a store front for streamed games. The subscription is an ADD-ON service if you want 4k 60FPS. I already called it when the service was announced. There's effectively zero chance of success.
 

toooooot

TS Evangelist
I doubt this will last for the long term. It's been tried many times over the past several decades and users quickly tire of having to pay a "fee" for something they feel they own. Despite all the arguments from the industry, the buyer's wallet speaks the loudest ..... but they will learn as have all the rest .....
AC Odesseys was playable (I participated in their beta), although the video quality made me wanna cry.
But the critical ability is that you only require good internet. Was it a country with widely available high speed internet, who knows... I agree with them that for some people this will be a good value, plus the growing number of games to play.
Look, this is the age of subscription. Many of us gladly pay for spotify(I am backing up deezer flacs),
Netflix, VPNs and so on. Game streaming is next like it or not. Where it failed in the past, it was due to lack of power and well designed software. If anyone can fix the software side, it is google.
As for the hardware, it gotta be insanely expensive to have graphic power to run thousands of game copies on their side. But people accept streaming life because it is convenient. And all these companies dream of becoming the first one to succeed at game streaming service.
 

Kashim

TS Addict
It's cute that Google thinks people will want to upgrade their internet connections for this, then pay the extra monthly fee to Google for the service, and THEN also pay extra for premium games. This has zero chance of wide success.