Google Struggling to Incentivize Developers and Publishers to Join Stadia

Developers and publishers are having a hard time trusting Google Stadia and aren’t being offered enough money.

Google Stadia seems to have been struggling to appeal to consumers since its launch last year with customers being disappointed in the number of titles available on the streaming platform. Google has announced that there are more games to arrive on Stadia, but it seems like developers don’t see a positive reason to move onto the platform.

Business Insider published a report that looked into Google’s push into video gaming and spoke with some developers and publishers about the platform about their concerns. Google Stadia launched in November, and while it has a larger titles such as Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and more, the library is incredibly lacking. Of course, Google has announced that there are to be 10 exclusive titles and over 120 games arriving on Stadia in 2020.

However, the lack of games isn’t just these AAA beasts, there are hardly any indie games. One indie developer explains to Business Insider that they were approached by Google, “Usually with that kind of thing, they lead with some kind of offer that would give you an incentive to go with them.” but apparently the incentive, “was kind of non-existent,”

This was apparently echoed by other indie developers and two publishing executives. “there isn’t enough money there,” one of these publishing executives explained and claims that the offer from Google was “so low that it wasn’t even part of the conversation.” Meanwhile, another developer says it’s also about the audience, “There are platforms you want to be on because they have an audience and you want to reach that audience,”. One developer who declined to publish their game on the Stadia said, “there was no positive reason to move forward. There wasn’t really anything to want us to get in the door other than to be the first on the platform”

Another developer expressed concerns regarding Google’s reputation, “with Google’s history, I don’t even know if they’re working on Stadia in a year. That wouldn’t be something crazy that Google does. It’s within their track record.” This was also echoed by every person Business Insider spoke with, unprompted. “well — it’s Google!” said one publishing executive, “they’ve failed a ton in the past and walked away from major services.”

Stadia representative, Patrick Seybold said that the developers and publishers that Google speak with “are very supportive, and want Stadia to succeed.” He then touches on the lack of games by explaining that “not every publisher has announced their games for Stadia so far,”.

Google Stadia launched in November last year, and while the game library is very lacking, there are some bigger games due to launch on the platform this year, such as Cyberpunk 2077, Baldur’s Gate 3, DOOM Eternal, and Watch Dogs: Legion. Perhaps we’ll see some more indie games arriving with this apparent 120 games that are said to be arriving, but Google seems to want to leave it to publishers to announce the games.

Additionally, in regards to audience concerns, Google Stadia has launched as a paid service for now, but a free version is due to arrive sometime this year which should offer 1080p gaming rather than the paid for version that offers 4K 60fps gameplay. The free version also won’t include free games or offer discounts on available games.

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