The End of Stadia?
Why these next few weeks are the last weeks of Google's Stadia.
Game awards, UK launch, and a quick look into Google’s Stadia’s situation.
Read time: 7 minutes
Here are small and developing stories you should keep your eye on.
Black Friday Deals: although this is a bit unusual for me to do, I thought this list was too good to pass up. Next week is Black Friday, and it’s the first time ever that shoppers will not be able to go in-store and capitalize on the numerous deals available for consumers. Granted, many stores in the US will be open, but they’ll be working under limited capacity to help prevent large crowds and limit the spread of COVID-19. Other stores have opted for a fully online experience, and they’ve prepped their websites to handle the increased workload they’ll see over the weekend. And then there are some stores, like Best Buy, that released its Black Friday deals earlier this month. GameSpot took all of this into account and bundled it into a fantastic list of gaming deals you can find online, all of which are still current. Games like The Last of Us Part II are only $30, while the Nintendo Switch is being bundled with Switch Online and Mario Kart 8 for only $300. I highly recommend you check out the list, as there are some great deals that you can take advantage of on Black Friday and even before the event begins. As for me, I’ll be investing in The Last of Us Part II for $30. That’s too good of a price to pass up.
PS5 launch in UK: what American consumers got to enjoy last week is what UK consumers are enjoying this week — the release of the new PS5. Thousands of UK gamers got their hands on the next-gen console and, like their American counterparts, showcased unboxing videos and photos of the new console set up in their homes. But, unlike the American release, UK gamers had to navigate additional restrictions placed by their government due to lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there were no locations that offered in-store purchases, a handful of locations did allow consumers that pre-ordered an opportunity to pick up their console from the store. But other than that, many people opted for delivery straight to their doors. There have been a few issues to already come up, with the most recent ones being Amazon orders of the PS5 arriving, only for consumers to see a Nerf Gun or canned vegetables instead of the next-gen console. Amazon and its employees could get in significant trouble if it turns out the wrong boxes were shipped or even if some employees walked away with the consoles. But anyway, congrats to all the UK gamers that secured a PS5 console. Considering stock is extremely limited, getting your hands on a PS5 is certainly one to be happy about. And for those that are experiencing issues, I hope you can secure your console soon.
The Game Awards: Despite the craziness that is 2020, there’s still one thing we can expect every year within the gaming community — The Game Awards! The annual event recognizes and awards the best games of the year, and they have a variety of categories for games to qualify. Of course, you have the “Game of the Year” award, but there are some other great categories as well which include: Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Art Direction, and more. Nominations recently came out to the public, with The Last of Us Part II leading the way with 10 nominations. The event will be streamed on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Twitch, so make sure to tune into the event on December 10 to see who ends up being the winner of the night. I might be biased, but I hope The Last of Us Part II sweeps the event.
The End of Stadia?
Yep, it’s been a year since the release of Google’s Stadia, the first official attempt to jump into the lucrative, competitive, and difficult vertical that is cloud gaming.
As detailed over various issues in this newsletter, Stadia has seen its fair share of struggles during its existence, with many of the problems coming within the first weeks of launch. This, unfortunately, has handicapped the platform from making the type of impact they wanted to make on the gaming community.
Gaming is hard to get into and establish yourself in, especially if you’re coming from a place with limited or no background in the industry. Google, despite its name, had not truly established themselves within the industry or in the cloud gaming vertical. As a result, critics are going to be harsher on you, especially when you come out with a big innovation that even the top gaming companies haven’t even attempted.
For Google to see the early success they were accustomed to in the other industries it did business in, it needed to execute the Stadia perfectly, and that was hard to do considering most gaming companies had no clue how to “perfectly” execute cloud gaming.
Google was fighting an uphill battle right from product conception, and it’s something that’s costing them.
Now, a year into its existence, Google’s Stadia might be on its last legs, and it’s leaning on upcoming releases to boost its player base.
Despite its criticism, Stadia boasts an impressive list of games, highlighted by the recently released Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. In an article by The Verge, writer Nick Stratt detailed the fluidity of running the recently released title on a MacBook Pro, especially when it was plugged into an ethernet cable. But at this stage, Stadia will need more than fluid gameplay and one stellar title to make waves, if that’s even possible.
As Nick mentioned in his article, Stadia is relying on the success of CD Projekt Red’s highly anticipated, often delayed title — Cyberpunk 2077. The game will be available on all platforms, including Google’s Stadia, and if the game is as highly rated as many anticipate it to be, it could help boost Stadia’s revenue and reputation.
But will it?
There’s a part of me that believes that, regardless of the success of Cyberpunk 2077, the Stadia won’t be around anymore. The reason why? Because it’s relying on an unproven game like Cyberpunk 2077 to boost sales. The platform needs an external party to help make it a more attractive commodity, and that’s no way to find success.
For the Stadia to have found success, it needed to showcase why it was an attractive option in the first place, outside of the games it offers.
Yes, games sell consoles, and that’s certainly true with the cloud gaming platform, but that doesn’t mean as much if the platform isn’t great.
Although I hate to say it, as I was personally rooting for Google’s Stadia, I do believe this will be its last year. I do think that the platform, while great in concept, will be used as a model for what not to do for cloud gaming in the future.
Most successful gaming companies are successful because they look at the failures of other companies and avoid them. Google’s Stadia paved the way for cloud gaming to be a real thing for gamers and unlocked an entire path due to the numerous mistakes they made.
Whenever we look back at the beginning of cloud gaming, many will give credit to Google’s Stadia for providing a clearer picture of earning and maintaining success.
But sadly, I think that’s only what people will be doing in the future:
Looking back at Google’s Stadia, instead of enjoying it in the moment.
With Thanksgiving week being next week, I’ll be off to spend some time with my family and my partner’s family. I’m really excited about it, as Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year (despite the negative history behind it).
Personally, I can’t wait to play The Last of Us Part II, eat great food, watch football, and enjoy some brews with my bro. I hope you get to enjoy the season as much as I will.
But most importantly, I hope you and your loved ones stay safe. Many people will not be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving I will due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although these plans change, just know that this situation is temporary and that we’ll be moving on to bigger and better things in 2021.
So with that said, I’ll only be posting my newsletter on Monday, and I’ll be taking Wednesday and Friday off.
I’ll make sure it’s a good one though, so I hope you take the time to read it!
And in the meantime, enjoy this hilarious recreation of Mario and Luigi in Demon’s Souls.
Enjoy the weekend!