The moniker “Google killed them” is a well-deserved moniker, but it’s also overrated. Google may have a huge graveyard of services left behind in its 24-year history — my colleagues are still grieving for Google Reader and Google+ — but it always takes the bones of one slain project to start another. Google Wallet turned into Android Pay, it became Google Pay, and it became Google Wallet again. The same goes for its messaging apps. So far, the company has been affixed to software recycling.
Stadia, despite its massive failure, is another example of this: the consumer service will die in early 2023, but there’s no doubt that Immersive Stream will continue to white-label games. Google has already sold its cloud gaming services to AT&T and Peloton and tried to sell “Google Stream” to several game publishers such as Bungie and Capcom earlier this year. We don’t know if it worked, but it’s very likely that Google will make more money from B2B rentals of cloud game servers than with Stadia Pro subscriptions and 30% discounts on game sales.
However, just because this news falls directly into Google’s MO, doesn’t make it any less terrible for its partners or damage to its reputation. Yes, Google will refund their users, which is something most failed brands don’t have the money to do. But it has also harmed indie game developers with its secrecy and “all is well” messages until the announcement. Here are just a few examples:
After weeks of paperwork and preparations to bring Donut Dodo, Sir Lovelot, and Sigi to Stadia, we successfully completed the setup process with Google yesterday, and two hours later, word came that Stadia would be shutting down. sad. @4Scarrs_Gaming #Stadia pic.twitter.com/pLc19oAtu4September 30, 2022
Oh boy so glad to see months of my work in the box again. I’m sure I love game development. https://t.co/DUpBtof8tpSeptember 29, 2022
We have a title coming out on the 1st of November. Now we hear about this.September 29, 2022
Google had no reason to hide the upcoming Stadia shutdown. Google will refund customers for all their purchases, so keeping confidential doesn’t make them any extra profit. Currently IGN . Reports (Opens in a new tab) Developers are scrambling to find ways to transfer Stadia, save data, and purchases.
What I find interesting – and I’m just imagining here – is that Ubisoft may have received special attention from Google. It has long been seriously invested in cloud gaming, offering the Ubisoft+ bundle on both Stadia and Amazon Luna. But in mid-September, Ubisoft abruptly canceled the planned Stadia release of Assassin’s Creed Mirage, with a cloud release for Luna confirmed. The move didn’t make sense at the time, but Google may have given Ubisoft two weeks’ advance notice of the closure of Stadia, due to their close partnership.
So why hide their plans? Perhaps Google wanted to keep the interface long enough to sell Stadia to other companies or to collect valuable user data until the end. Or, as Anshel Sag, chief analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, predicted, “Some of these decisions seem to depend on one person making their own decision on a project,” blinding everyone — including Stadia employees — with quick judgments.
Whatever the circumstances, it all ensures that console game developers will never trust Google again. cell phone The developers will still be happy to put the best mobile games on the Play Store. But if they are invited to join Google’s other upcoming gaming project currently in beta, Google Play Games for PC, it would be fair to question Google’s commitment to the project.
“There are so many projects the company has closed that it’s making it difficult for anyone to partner with the company on any new projects, and I think it’s hurting the Google brand in the long run,” says Sage. Google killing and revamping its own projects is fine, but the volatility is less of an excuse when it comes to other companies’ bottom lines.
Google executives may not care about this, as they are currently in the midst of an internal project cut-off. In just the past few weeks, Google has canceled the Pixelbook 2 Chromebook and closed seven projects in its in-house R&D unit Area 120, which has been known for embracing fun ideas that weren’t always profit-focused. Instead, Google will focus on its “Simplicity Sprint,” urging employees to work 20% more efficiently on existing projects while freezing new hires.
Google employees are not happy with this trend. An employee asked CEO Sundar Pichai why Google executives are “nickel-reduced employees” when “Google has record profits and huge cash reserves,” according to a recording obtained CNBC (Opens in a new tab). Pichai replied that employees “shouldn’t always balance fun with money,” blaming the economic downturn, and ignoring questions about executive pay cuts.
In February of last year, I wrote about Google’s killing of Stadia Games & Entertainment, saying it had fully demonstrated “Google compliance issues”. Google should have known that the game’s development took years to pay off, but its executives shut it down after just 17 months because its massive investment in older third-party exclusives like Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2 didn’t immediately yield huge profits.
However, even without exclusivity, Stadia survived thanks to a loyal user base who thought the platform was much better than other cloud gaming services like Game Pass Ultimate, Luna, and GeForce Now. He had the technical pieces to succeed with better marketing and leadership; Instead, it faded into a massive and demoralizing missed opportunity.
My question now is what else will Google stick to, while the company is emphasizing experimentation in favor of proven investments? Will the new cloud-powered augmented reality glasses get software support from the companies that have seen Stadia and Google Daydream all of a sudden? If the new Pixel Tablet and Pixel Notepad don’t sell in large numbers, will Google abandon them like the old Nexus and Slate tablets?
Even if Google sticks with its upcoming projects, Sag believes Google is “not in a very good place with consumer confidence in all of its products”, and that it “suffers from consistency.” [will] It will only hurt them on the road. “Even if Google employees believe in a faltering project, an impatient CEO may be lurking on top of it with an ax, ready to attack. Google’s tech-savvy customers know this better than the average consumer.”
Believe it or not, this editor’s desk slot was originally addressed by a post that lists all of our employees’ hopes for the upcoming Google Pixel event on October 6 that will reveal the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch. The staff are particularly excited about the latter, the watch that survived delay after delay for half a decade before finally hitting the stage.
I’m still intrigued by what Google has to offer, and we’ll be posting our list close to Thursday’s event. But as the “founder” of Stadia, I can’t deny that this news has dampened my enthusiasm. I wonder if the company’s next Pixel Watch equivalent won’t have the same leeway.
#Google #recover #Stadia #disaster