Plenty of people are skeptical about the upcoming launch of Stadia, Google’s cloud streaming service, with things such as its not-so-wireless controller and its weird first-come-first-serve shipments attracting some criticism, but Google clearly has big plans for Stadia. And while a lot of that has to do with the benefits a properly implemented cloud gaming ecosystem could provide, they’re focusing on the actual games themselves as well.
Third party support for the service is already looking pretty solid, with the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2, Cyberpunk 2077, DOOM Eternal, Marvel’s Avengers, and many more confirmed to be launching on the service, but Google is also working on building its own first party portfolio.
“We have a plan that includes building out a few different first-party studios, and also building up the publishing org to ship exclusive content created by indie devs and other external partners,” Jade Raymond, VP at Google and head of Stadia Games and Services said recently while speaking in an interview with GamesIndustry. We have, in fact, already seen a glimpse of exclusive content by third parties, with Orcs Must Die! 3 having been announced as a timed exclusive for Stadia.
With first party games though, Google is looking to ensure that the content it puts out on its service is built to leverage its unique advantages, and cannot be found elsewhere.
“It’s very important for first-party games, in my opinion, to be games that wouldn’t be possible on any other platform,” Raymond said. “I think that’s what’s really exciting and why we’re building out the first-party teams.”
According to Raymond, in fact, it won’t be too long before we begin seeing exclusive first party content on Stadia. She says there will be a number of new exclusives released for the service each year, and that number will only grow with every year as time passes.
“It is a long term view that Google is taking,” she said. “For a big bet and a huge new IP that’s going to fully leverage the cloud, it may be several years. But we do have quite a few exclusive games in the works that will demonstrate some of the exciting things about the platform all along the path. It won’t be four years before gamers get to see the new exclusive, exciting content. There will be some coming out every year, and more and more each year.”
Google’s said plenty about the power of the cloud and what it could do for games, from its impact on multiplayer titles to the responsiveness on games in general, and while that stuff is theoretically exciting, what things are ultimately going to boil down to when people make a decision on whether to invest in Stadia is if the service has enough quality content. If Google can deliver on Raymond’s promises, the future might look bright.
Stadia is launching – in some parts of the world, at least – on November 19.