Stadia There’s a lot of chatter right now about the “surprise” shutdown of Stadia, Google’s game-streaming service. While it’s true that rivals like Geforce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming presented entrenched competition and that Google knows next to nothing about gaming, the main trouble — as with most of its products these days — is that no one trusted them to keep it alive longer than a year or two.
It really is that simple: No one trusts Google. It has exhibited such poor understanding of what people want, need and will pay for that at this point, people are wary of investing in even its more popular products.
The technical implementation certainly wasn’t to be faulted. I will admit to being a skeptic when they said they could hit the frame rates and response times they advertised, but by Jove they did it. At its best, Stadia was better than its competitors and almost magical in how it fulfilled the promise of going from zero to in-game in one second.
The business side of things was never quite so inspiring. There is now a great remembering of the much-mocked pre-launch hype display for Stadia: the doomed Dreamcast, pointless Power Glove and E.T. for Atari, the game so bad they buried it in a shallow grave, followed by an empty pedestal on which Stadia would soon sit.
Though it’s clear this was a hilarious misunderstanding of … just about everything, it turned out to be quite apropos. Stadia was doomed, pointless and destined for an undignified death.
The last first; it was only two months ago that Stadia’s Twitter account assured a concerned user that the service was not in fact shutting down.
In fact the wheels were probably already in motion, but the higher-ups just hadn’t yet told their social team, developers or pretty much anybody this was the plan. It has been reported that a lot of people close to the service were blindsided by the decision — and who wouldn’t be, after the company publicly declared that everything was fine?
For some the writing was on the wall earlier, when the first-party development team put together by Google to create exclusive games was shut down before it got a chance to do just about anything. The company may have miscalculated how long it takes to develop a game from scratch. At least as long as a Google Doodle.