Believe me when I say that the concept of the Google Stadia was a great idea for a new age of gaming. But are we in that age yet? Nah. Will we be soon? Eh.
When I woke up this morning to see that Google had announced they would be canning the Stadia, I had a solid ‘damn, that’s crazy’ moment and went on with getting ready for the day. It piqued my interest, but I wouldn’t say it surprised me. What interested me though, as is usually the case with announcements like this, was the aftermath.
From a particularly Australian point of view, I always had a feeling that Google Stadia wasn’t going to last. I mean, we never even got it. There were a lot of problems when it came to Google Stadia, but the big bad one was definitely the fact that while the technology is there, the internet connection isn’t for a whole lot of places. I was under the impression that we’d probably get it once we got PlayStation Now up and running here. Isn’t that funny?
Our former editor at Kotaku Australia Alex Walker wrote an article two years ago about the state of the Google Stadia a year after its launch and detailed the many, many flaws that existed. I suggest you give that a read if you want a full-bodied understanding of its issues, which I would say didn’t really change much over the course of the next two years. Hence the ‘wind down’.
My opinion on it as a simple gamer with sub-par internet is that I thought Google Stadia sounded like a very new-age and futuristic concept but didn’t seem like it would work with my NBN connection and in a time of bigger, more established game studios buying every studio under the sun. And alas, here we are.
But what’s happening now? Well, those who have a Google Stadia are in mourning and, while thankful for full refunds, are begging for Google to make it so their purpose-built controller isn’t just an ornament. Developers are either at a loss with current projects they had for Stadia, lamenting the dev payout they got from Google that far exceeded other places, or assuring Stadia players that they will still be able to play their games. Oh, and people are dunking on Phil Harrison, the man in charge of it all who is known for a history of bad decisions.
The Google Stadia gamers
This may come as a surprise to Australian gamers, but there is actually an active and thriving Google Stadia community. Well, thriving isn’t the right word right now, but they do exist!
Over on the Google Stadia subreddit, which has over 119,000 members, folks have been mourning the loss of the Stadia, describing their experience with the console and their commitment to the community.
The edit of that post also works as an excellent segue as, despite the bummerness of it all, the Google Stadia folks still come out on the winning end with the confirmation that Google would be providing full refunds for any hardware or software purchased. A move like this is pretty rare, but also makes complete sense considering people will have literally no access to anything they bought. That’s cloud gaming, baby!
However, while a refund is all well and good, there are still the controllers. The physical hardware. While the Google Stadia won’t be playable, there are still plenty of folks who would love to keep using the controller itself for other types of gaming. Plenty of mobile games are playable with controllers, and it can be hard to find a PC controller that isn’t either wildly expensive or completely ass.
In saying that, the Google Stadia controller doesn’t seem to work with anything BUT the Google Stadia, so those who already own one are calling for Google to make it so the controllers are more flexible for use with other systems.
Now, this is actually quite the interesting one because when I usually think about Google Stadia and developers, the first thought that comes to mind is the Terraria situation from back in the day. However, that situation did end up getting reports and the more I read, the better it seems like developing games for Google Stadia was actually pretty choice, according to Necrosoft Games director Brandon Sheffield.
I know everybody is having a great time laughing at this but stadia had the best dev revenue of any streaming service, and launching Hyper Gunsport there was going to recoup our dev costs. We were launching there in November and are now in a much tougher situation. https://t.co/ZM8MfKrc5A
— brandon sheffield (@necrosofty) September 29, 2022
Another post on the Google Stadia subreddit came from one of the devs over at Muse Games, informing Stadia players that if they had bought or downloaded Embr for the Google Stadia, they can get in touch for a key for Embr on PC.
While there haven’t been any statements from Google or the devs, there’s also the case of the handful of exclusive titles for the Google Stadia potentially being lost completely. Once again, that’s cloud gaming, baby!
The Phil Harrison dunkage
And finally, the man of the hour. The true failboy. Phil Harrison, the vice president and general manager of Google, is getting absolutely roasted on all fronts. On all accounts, it seems like this man is cursed. It’s hard to feel sorry for him though, considering he reportedly only let the employees of Google Stadia know about the shutdown 45 minutes before it was revealed to the public. Explains why everything seemed hunky dory just yesterday!
1992-2008: Quit after disaster PS3 launch
2008-2010: Infogrames/Atari, filed for bankruptcy in 2013
2010-2012: Gaikai, bought by Sony
2012-2015: Quit after disaster Xbox One launch
2018-2023: Google Stadia closes in less than 5 years
Bad juju pic.twitter.com/7adpKjHLey
— MauroNL (@MauroNL3) September 29, 2022
Left: Google Stadia boss Phil Harrison to me in 2019
Right: Google Stadia boss Phil Harrison three years later pic.twitter.com/VEGTDlYHuY
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) September 29, 2022
Phil Harrison is the Grim Reaper of gaming.
— Tony Polanco (@Romudeth) September 29, 2022
And that’s basically what’s come out so far, other than the limitless amount of posts saying, “Called it!”. If I included them all, this article would never end.
What do you think? Did you see this coming from a mile away? Are you a Google Stadiator? Let us know!
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