In brief: Google is continuing its push to get more content onto its Stadia platform. It is now offering development kits and funding for projects to small studios that commit to supporting Stadia. Along with the kickbacks and equipment, the Unity team will provide technical assistance to developers in the program.
On Monday, Google announced the Stadia Makers program at its Games Development Summit. The initiative looks to provide small indie developers extra tools to help them self-publish on the Stadia platform.
In partnership with Unity, the program will offer studios technical support from Unity staff, up to five Stadia development kits, and subsidies from Google in helping to offset extra costs for developing on its game-streaming platform. In exchange, developers have to promise to offer Stadia support at launch.
Currently, the program is only open to those studios that are designing games using Unity 2019.3 or later. They also must have projects that will be ready to release in 2020 or 2021. However, Google said that it hopes to expand Stadia Makers in the near future.
"This program will start small and expand to pave the way for development teams of all sizes to bring their titles to Stadia," the company said in a press release.
The tradeoff, of course, is that Stadia will build its catalog of games much faster. We have already seen efforts to ramp up production with Google snagging established studios and talent, opening its own publishing house, and working with other game makers to bring their titles to the streaming service.
An incentive like Stadia Makers might be a win-win for smaller developers who may find it a struggle just to bring their content to even one platform. For those interested in joining, Google has posted a signup page. The search giant will consider applications on a case-by-case basis.