Reports suggest Google Stadia is shifting its focus

Ever since it revealed its game streaming service in 2019, Google has had to endure jeers about how Stadia wasn’t long for this world.

That criticism wasn’t unfounded as Google has a history of shuttering projects and platforms suddenly and without much warning. While Stadia isn’t dead, the future of the platform looks very much in a state flux.

A report from Business Insider (paywall) reveals that the Stadia consumer platform has been deprioritised within Google. What does that mean exactly? Well for one it seems that only 20 percent of the division’s time is being focused on the consumer segment while the remainder appears to be geared toward a commercial, white-label service.

That is to say that Google has seen that providing a platform for the likes of Peloton and AT&T with which they can run their cloud games is more profitable than servicing a small group of gamers who likely have other platforms.

This move makes sense especially with the likes of Microsoft and Sony hoovering up every game studio and publisher they can. Attracting studios and publishers to Stadia is likely proving difficult especially as Google shuttered its own first-party Stadia studios in 2021.

The service that will power these commercial applications is reportedly named Google Stream but it isn’t replacing Stadia, at least not yet.

We say that because as Ars Technica reports, Stadia vice president and general manager Phil Harrison is no longer located at Google’s Mountain View headquarters. This suggests Harrison is not as hands on as he might’ve been in the past. The VP also reportedly now reports to VP of subscription services, Jason Rosenthal.

On the back of this report Google Stadia sent out a rather vague set of statements on Twitter.

“If you hear one thing, hear this: The Stadia team is working really hard on a great future for Stadia and cloud gaming,” the Stadia account posted.

Google went on to say that there are new features coming to Stadia, but it can’t talk about them just yet.

The simple fact of the matter is that while Google was the first to launch cloud gaming, without big name titles that draw in users, the service isn’t all that attractive. In fact, despite still being in beta, Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming offers significantly more value.

Stadia appears to be keeping its head above water for the time being though for how much longer it will exist in its current state is now a matter for debate.


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