In context: Google once had lofty ambitions for its Stadia game streaming service. However, numerous factors like a bizarre sales model, lack of compelling exclusives and latency issues prevented it from becoming the next big revolution in gaming. Although the signs had started showing within a year of Stadia's public release, a new report has now shed light on how Google's leadership plans to salvage what's left of the service.
The shutting down of Stadia's first-party game studio last year strongly hinted at Google's faltering gaming ambitions with the service. It was also when Google announced that its focus would now be on Stadia's underlying streaming technology, developing it as a platform to enable white-label deals like the one with AT&T that let wireless subscribers play/stream Batman: Arkham Knight for free.
Now, a new report from Business Insider has revealed that Google also pitched this service under a new "Google Stream" label to companies including Peloton, Capcom and Bungie. These licensing deals have led to Peloton's first game for bikers called Lanebreak, which is currently in development. Capcom, meanwhile, is said to provide web demos of its future games powered by Google Stream. As for Bungie, the $3.6 billion Sony acquisition could be pivotal in deciding how (and if) this licensing deal goes through.
Given the vast amount of time and resources spent on developing Stadia's underlying tech, Google apparently doesn't want to retire this product to the infamous graveyard, at least for now. However, the company did go through a restructuring of Stadia's executives and employees, with Stadia head Phil Harrison now reporting to Google's VP of subscription services Jason Rosenthal, instead of the company's Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh.
If you hear one thing, hear this: The Stadia team is working really hard on a great future for Stadia and cloud gaming.--- Stadia ☁️🎮 (@GoogleStadia) February 5, 2022
We hope you agree, and we know the proof is in the playing.
Google tweeted an indirect response over the weekend to the assurance of Stadia users. The company touted over 100 titles coming to the platform in 2022, alongside 50 games currently on offer to Stadia Pro subscribers.
Stadians can also expect "more feature goodness" to arrive soon, which will likely be awaited by a handful of hardcore players but won't do much at convincing more new gamers to join the platform.