Hotcakes: Google’s Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Google shutters internal Stadia studios.

If Google and Amazon have taught us anything over the past couple of years it should be that no amount of money can guarantee success in the gaming industry. I’ve been covering Stadia for as long as it has existed and my main criticism of the service really had nothing to do with the quality of service itself. Google Stadia is just fine if you have a good internet connection and the $10/month asking price to play a growing list of titles is a relatively decent value.

But Google Stadia has always had a heavy anchor holding it back; Google. If there’s anything Google loves more than launching dozens of projects it is shutting down those projects on a whim and seemingly because the developers just got bored with it, or because Google actually launched a competing service to its own product and decided to retire the old service. There are now 224 items on the Killed By Google website, a page that exists to log all of the things that Google has killed. Because Google has killed so many things that it needs to be tracked.

The launch of Amazon Luna, GeForce Now, and Microsoft streaming services guaranteed that Google would always be the lesser option in terms of streaming video games. And Google doesn’t like to play second fiddle. The idea of buying a game and having that purchase go away when the service shuts down is risky enough as it is barring something like the PlayStation or Xbox store where the prospects of those stores shutting down is highly unlikely. Google however does not have that track record of supporting its products.

So buying games on Google Stadia was always a high risk endeavor, and now that Google is shutting down internal game studios and cancelling projects that risk is only getting higher. There is a likelihood that the Stadia service will continue along just fine without Google producing first party titles for it, but it still stands to be the riskiest store to buy games from.

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