Is Google Stadia over? It wasn’t for lack of warning

O stadium It was a total failure and it’s your own fault Google. The search giant’s cloud-only gaming service, which launched in November 2019, has been racking up setbacks, broken promises and “overhauls” that include studio closures in its nearly 3-year run, which shouldn’t last much longer.

Google touted Stadia as “the future of gaming,” but the company had zero examination (and interest) in the sector (Credit: Disclosure/Google)

To absolutely no one’s surprise, sources close to it say that Stadia will shut down entirely between September and October, and that the corporate part, which aims for studios to create their own streaming services and distribute games, won’t be retained either. Google denies.

is he dead or ok

Information about this was spread on the website’s Twitter. Killed by Googlewhich lists a number of services, products, and enterprises that Google has launched or acquired, only to shut down at a given point in time.

According to the post, the site’s administrator is friends with a regional manager at Google, who warned of the launch of an “exit plan” for Stadia, effectively shutting down the service. While there’s no fixed date, insiders point to the blackout occurring at the end of Northern Hemisphere summer (winter here), which would put the window between September 20th and 30th.

The manager informs that Google does not intend to transfer resources to another platform and that the resulting exit will be the same as for Google Play Music: the shutdown will be complete, with a refund of the amounts paid, which will not change access. on games.

Individual game purchases will also require a refund, as Stadia titles will no longer be playable once the platform is discontinued.

“Warning.

A former colleague and friend of mine is now one of the regional managers at Google. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Stadia. Google held a key employee/retailer workshop in California last weekend, and in a nutshell, the company began planning to shut down the service.

There is no exact date when this will happen, but they say it will be before the end of summer. He also mentioned that Google will not transfer its services or servers to another competing company and the process is very similar to Google Play Music (same approach and exit strategy).

Obviously I don’t like it as much as some of you, but you’ve always been so nice and helpful, so I thought I’d return the favor and let you know.

There were a few more details I could post if you’d like, but not as relevant. I think he also mentioned that all customers will be notified (of the disconnect) 30-60 days in advance and that the last month of service will be refunded and not billed.

In addition, any unexcluded subscription months will be refunded in full to the linked bank accounts.

I will talk to him tonight (7/28) and ask any questions you may have.

Thanks again folks.

blessing”.

Google apparently denies the information. in the post Teasing a tweet announcing the end of Stadia, an account dedicated to the streaming service was limited to saying that the game wavetale Available for free to Stadia Pro subscribers from July 29 to August 1, 2022.

However, it doesn’t take much to realize that Stadia has not only had a series of problems, but has been in limbo for a long time, confirming reports that Google is planning to kill the platform.

Google Stadia, lies and false promises

Announced in 2018 as “Project Stream” and official in 2019, Google has touted Stadia as “the future of gaming,” hinting at a reality in which titles will be played exclusively in the cloud, with no local option. Neither Sony, with PS Now, today PS+ Premium (not available in Brazil), Microsoft, with Xbox Cloud Gaming, or Nvidia, with GeForce Now, dared to do this.

The platform’s official announcement, made at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019, shows just how megalomaniacal the search giant was when entering a market where it had no direct experience.

Of course, at certain points in history, the same could be said of Microsoft, Sony, or even Nintendo (SEGA was born selling pinball machines, and it didn’t fit), but these companies allowed themselves to learn, learn, and over time, improve their products and today, to divide the console market into a triumvirate.

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The same is not true for Google. The company has used its position as one of the tech giants to “show you how things are done”, in an apparent attempt to lead what it sees as the natural evolution of the sector, which is desired by almost all copyright holders: the “Netflixation” of games where the user pays only to access , but has no copies of the titles, physical or digital.

The format of the Stadia service itself shows this. It only exists in the cloud, and while there is an option for users to purchase individual games whether or not they have a subscription, titles cannot be played locally, only via streaming.

More importantly, Google didn’t learn and evolve and thought that by just “launching” a streaming format for games, everyone would follow, which it didn’t. The presence of Phil Harrison as the leader of Stadia did not inspire confidence either.

A career executive in the games market, Harrison became known for his work at companies such as Sony, Atari, Gaikai and Microsoft, where he served as executive vice president. mode of operation That hurt early sales of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox One.

As Stadia’s project manager, Harrison returned to his own business. Let’s look at some critical points:

1. Scope and Availability

Sundar Pichai said that Stadia will reach almost every country in the world (Credit: Reproduction/Google)

Sundar Pichai said that Stadia will reach almost every country in the world (Credit: Reproduction/Google)

This is perhaps the most outrageous promise, mainly because it didn’t come from Phil Harrison’s mouth, but from Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai. holding Google. The executive commented that initially Stadia will be available in 19 countries, but over time the service will reach more countries and regions covering almost the entire world.

Well, it didn’t. Shortly after, Stadia moved to the giant’s hardware division, overseen by ex-Motorola Rick Osterloh; The platform ended up with the same market strategy reserved for the Pixel line (Chromecast is a rare exception, but note that the Ultra model never came to Brazil), which is limited to only 22 countries.

And there’s no indication the offer will be extended, even if Google doesn’t shut down the service.

2. Hardware (or lack thereof)

Phil Harrison talks about Google Stadia server hardware (Credit: Playback/Google)

Phil Harrison talks about Google Stadia server hardware (Credit: Playback/Google)

Just reading the cold list, the hardware that Phil Harrison said was dedicated to Stadia looked good, at least for streaming. Custom x86 processors with a fixed clock of 2.7 GHz, 16 GB of RAM, transfer speeds of up to 484 GB/s, 9.5 MB of L2 + L3 cache (trust me, that’s a lot) and graphics power of 10.7 TFLOP/s are specified. Average and premium gaming are close to PC performance.

Google has promised that this hardware will be separate from the servers used in services the company already offers, such as Google Search, Gmail, YouTube and its various instant messengers (what’s next? Hangouts? Chat?), among others. 4K games run smoothly at 60fps, but there are issues even at 1080p, and in some cases even running at 720p isn’t smooth.

At the same time, dedicated servers are a problem for Google, which isn’t exactly happy to invest in infrastructure other than its main server park, which, always good to remember, can’t run games in the cloud.

3. Probable latency advantage

Even with an estimated 7,500 nodes, the Stadia network isn’t that fast (Credit: Reproduction/Google)

When it comes to streaming gaming, latency is the most important factor. A delay in executing orders can mean the difference between success and failure in a game, which is why many turn their noses up in a competitive environment in a format where local play still reigns supreme.

Microsoft and Sony understand that streaming doesn’t cover all use cases, especially FPS and fighting games, but Google insisted that Stadia, powered by the company’s established network and its more than 7,500 nodes worldwide, It wouldn’t be a problem. In fact, wherever you are, there is a Google server near you.

Still, Stadia hasn’t shown any advantage over competing services, as shown in benchmark tests against rivals like Nvidia’s GeForce Now. Open page PC Gamer Still stuck the knife and turned around, remembering that GeForce Now reaches 120 fps, while Stadia does not.

last gone…

Due to Google’s history of killing services, many studios were wary of working with Stadia, and their concerns only grew when the in-house studio was shut down, leading to project leader Jade Raymond, a veteran producer responsible for the franchise’s first titles. Assassin’s Creed.

Things got even uglier when it was reported that Phil Harrison had praised the work of Stadia Games and Entertainment (SG&E) just days before it closed. Today, Raymond is at Sony after acquiring Haven Studios.

Jade Raymond, still at Ubisoft (credit: reproduction/ZCooperstown/Wikimedia Commons)

Jade Raymond, still at Ubisoft (credit: reproduction/ZCooperstown/Wikimedia Commons)

We just won’t delve into the discussion about streamers paying developers that has been revived by the director. Journey to the Wild PlanetA game that, since Google’s acquisition of Typhoon Studios, has become SG&E’s only original title (partially) because it’s not directly related to service issues.

Anyway, the truth is that today Google Stadia is a zombie: it didn’t show what it was designed for, it didn’t threaten competitors who understood game streaming as an alternative to locally played games, not the solution of the future. And it hasn’t received significant investment in the years, if any, since launch.

Stadia may not be shutting down anytime soon, but for now, it might be best for Google to practice letting it go; There are others players Who do better and deliver to more places.

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