Stadia launch title creator says devs fear Google is 'just going to cancel' the service

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Although Google is responsible for creating many of the products and services many of us rely on to function in modern times, it doesn't have the best track record when it comes to maintaining those services long-term.

The company is notorious for launching promising tools and shutting them down later, and that has certainly sparked some wariness in its userbase. When the tech giant first announced Stadia, concerns that it would be shut down in the future -- causing gamers to lose all the content they paid for -- were common, and Google did little to soothe those fears.

However, it seems it's not just Stadia's potential player base that worries about the platform's future; game developers are in a similar boat. According to one such developer, Gwen Frey (the woman behind Stadia launch title Kine), the "biggest complaint" among many studios and solo devs is the "fear that Google is just going to cancel it."

"Nobody ever says, 'Oh, it's not going to work,' or 'Streaming isn't the future,'" Frey said in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz. "Everyone accepts that streaming is pretty much inevitable. The biggest concern with Stadia is that it might not exist."

"Everyone accepts that streaming is pretty much inevitable. The biggest concern with Stadia is that it might not exist."

While Frey acknowledges these concerns, she also believes they're largely unfounded. Specifically, she points out that not "every fucking thing" Google makes gets canceled -- a fair point, if not a particularly reassuring one. Indeed, Google does not shutter all of the services it releases, but the key difference between Stadia and many of Google's other now-dead projects is that users are expected to pay not-insignificant sums for the privilege of using the former.

Each game you access on the service (barring the handful that will initially be included in the optional monthly subscription) must be purchased at their full asking prices; barring any sales, of course. If Stadia were to shut down someday, users could be out hundreds of dollars, which is quite a different situation than, say, losing your free Google+ account.

Regardless, we cannot predict the future, and it may well be that Stadia will become a resounding and long-lasting success over the next decade or so. We'll be sure to keep you updated on the platform's progress over time.

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brucek

TS Guru
I for one am not convinced that game streaming (as in remotely hosted GPUs) is inevitable.

I think that for "core gaming" on my desktop I'm always going to prefer the no-latency, no-lock-in, no compressed video of local hardware; and on my phone I'm always going to prefer made-for-the-phone games that were built ground-up around touch, small screen, etc and for which the processing power of the phone is already sufficient as is especially given the small display size.

Streaming doesn't give me anything I want but it does give me disadvantages I don't want.
 

poohbear

TS Evangelist
I for one am not convinced that game streaming (as in remotely hosted GPUs) is inevitable.

I think that for "core gaming" on my desktop I'm always going to prefer the no-latency, no-lock-in, no compressed video of local hardware; and on my phone I'm always going to prefer made-for-the-phone games that were built ground-up around touch, small screen, etc and for which the processing power of the phone is already sufficient as is especially given the small display size.

Streaming doesn't give me anything I want but it does give me disadvantages I don't want.
Even with Wifi 6 being released this year? In 10-15 years, I don't think any of us will own desktops anymore, just blue tooth my smartphone to my smart TV and boom, that's my computer. No need for a GPU as it'll be all cloud based and by then we'll have Wifi 7 or 8. My Note 10+ is more powerful than 5 year old laptop for Pete's sake!
 

Carlos GarPov

TS Enthusiast
Better buy the content, keep it safe at the warm of your embrace hahaha (home) and buy add-ons online to make it shinnier...
 

0dium

TS Rookie
Even with Wifi 6 being released this year? In 10-15 years, I don't think any of us will own desktops anymore, just blue tooth my smartphone to my smart TV and boom, that's my computer. No need for a GPU as it'll be all cloud based and by then we'll have Wifi 7 or 8. My Note 10+ is more powerful than 5 year old laptop for Pete's sake!
People were talking about desktop death for so many years, yet it's alive.
 

Joe Pineapples

TS Rookie
Even with Wifi 6 being released this year? In 10-15 years, I don't think any of us will own desktops anymore, just blue tooth my smartphone to my smart TV and boom, that's my computer. No need for a GPU as it'll be all cloud based and by then we'll have Wifi 7 or 8. My Note 10+ is more powerful than 5 year old laptop for Pete's sake!
Except it will not be your phone but AR glasses an you will not need a smart TV as the AR glasses will project a large scrren in your physical sapce for you to play on.
 

enemys

TS Maniac
Even with Wifi 6 being released this year? In 10-15 years, I don't think any of us will own desktops anymore, just blue tooth my smartphone to my smart TV and boom, that's my computer. No need for a GPU as it'll be all cloud based and by then we'll have Wifi 7 or 8. My Note 10+ is more powerful than 5 year old laptop for Pete's sake!
WiFi 6 can't neutralize the latency incurred by the distance between your local hardware and the remote server, which is one of the main sources of streaming latency (the other is A/V transcoding). In fact, nothing except bringing servers closer to customers can. Which is basically what's happening now.

And I really doubt Snapdragon 855 is faster than a decent laptop chip from 2014/early 2015. It can probably compete with lower end laptops just fine, but even something like GF840M will be faster than Adreno 640, while a dual-core Sandy Bridge Pentium performs similarly to S855 in SPECInt2006. This isn't really an apples-to-apples comparison, but it does give us some estimate on performance. And of course, such laptop would be using 10x as much power, but hey, you were talking about performance, not energy efficiency.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Even with Wifi 6 being released this year? In 10-15 years, I don't think any of us will own desktops anymore, just blue tooth my smartphone to my smart TV and boom, that's my computer. No need for a GPU as it'll be all cloud based and by then we'll have Wifi 7 or 8. My Note 10+ is more powerful than 5 year old laptop for Pete's sake!
The bottleneck in most homes isn't the WiFi speed, but their ISP bandwidth. A lot of people in the United States are still on DSL, or "broadband" packages.