If they are killing stadia, that does maybe show that Google lacks "grit". The way they killed Google Plus was kind of stupid. They could have adjusted the formula and made it better, but instead they just gave up on it, it seems. It's like Google doesn't understand that it's normal not to have instant success? Maybe they should make a more active decision that here is a market segment they want to enter, and keep working at it, instead of just trying random things and giving up.
The VP of Stadia is leaving.
They recently (a few months ago before killing their studio) had a major "Sign up for stadia trial to get a free stadia controller and chromecast ultra" deal.
Sounds a lot like inventory liquidation, flagging adoption and them giving up.
It can take years to be an overnight success but they seem to have lost that vision.
Per other commenters on HN over the years, the Goog has a culture where you can only get promoted if you launch a product. If that is true, then the point of Stadia wasn't success for Big-G, it was a promotion (or a set of them) for some people. Retiring Stadia quickly then makes sense, as it saves money to get rid of the promotion vehicle quickly.
I along with others questioned why they were targeting hardcore gamers (who already have consoles and PCs) right out of the gates when the value it offers is to a more casual market.
They didn't seem to know why they did anything with this product. Apparently they offered laughably low sums of money to developer studios for porting games to the Stadia platform (Google permabanning the Terraria developer's account while they were working on a Stadia port didn't boost the popularity either), launched the thing pretending it's a finished product while beta versions of competitors were more stable, lied to consumers (4k resolution etc.), and had a pricing model that anyone familiar with the gaming market would have recognised as overly optimistic beforehand.
Google shutting down products quickly is a problem, but not the one which prevented Stadia's success in the first place.
The reporting from Jason Schreier is that they were paying tens of millions of dollars per game for ports of AAA games. The data from the Capcom hack corraborates that. That is the opposite of laughably small.
Indie games and other smaller projects are also relevant to many, and there Google's offers were apparently so unattractive studios just dismissed them.
There's a reason Google has to pay tens of millions to large studios while MS or Sony rarely do aside from exclusivity deals. The tendency to shut down products on such a regular basis killed any trust in Google supporting anything other than their ads and tracking; gamers don't know if Stadia will just disappear overnight with their games, studios don't know if they'll ever get their investment back, even if the service continues to run.
> "Usually with that kind of thing, they lead with some kind of offer that would give you an incentive to go with them." But the incentive "was kind of non-existent,"
But in addition to that, these are totally different cases and deal structures. Epic was giving minimum revenue guarantees, which they needed to do to offset the lost revenue from other platforms.
Stadia was paying for ports, not for exclusivity. The publishers did not lose the opportunity to sell the games on Steam. (And they were paying it outright, not as an advance.)
Seriously people. These are eye-popping amounts to pay for a port. Whatever the many product and business failures of Stadia were, an unwillingness to pay developers was not among those failures.
My immediate thought when Stadia was announced was "I'm never buying games at full price from Google if they are dependent on a service not being cancelled"
FWIW, I do expect Stadia to be canned at some point, I just don't think it's in the next year or two.
Streaming games is not going to reach mainstream adoption because the latency of the Internet is too large. There's no coding around that. Barring some new material that allows light to travel faster through it, game streaming just isn't happening.
I don't think latency is as big an issue for streaming gaming as you think.
If Stadia had come out slowly with a few key indie games, closed beta, natural growth, and humility, they wouldn't have an ounce of the vitriol they've received.
That being said, Google picked quite possibly the worst lineup of games for showcasing streaming play. They were mostly action/adventure and fighting games, which are extremely sensitive to input lag. They should've gone with RPGs, strategy, and sim games which really don't mind the latency. But I guess that's just classic Google not understanding the market they're trying to enter.
I have a gaming PC but it's stationary. I'd much rather use stadia on my Android TV device or whatever to grab a controller and go. I got the trial and it does work.
But having to pay full price for games I already own? Forget it. If the subscription had higher quality content I would use that, but it's just mostly old titles.
It's stupid because Google could have thrown money at this thing to subsidize subscription titles, or worked out some way for me to play stuff I already bought for another platform without paying MSRP again, and in either case I would have used it.
Stadia has no selling point. Pay MSRP and get the rights to stream a game from Google (only for as long as the service lasts?) No thanks!
I really believe that the reason Stadia hasn't taken off yet is the limited game selection, and non-existent marketing. Technically it's really good, but there's only like 3 games on there that I have even a vague interest in playing.
Everyone hates epic for buying out exclusive rights for a bunch of games, but it's certainly a strategy that has worked out for them. The Epic store is now a genuine competitor to Steam.
Another thing google is good at is building data centers. They have them all over the place and they’re building more.
I don't know what it's costing them to do that, but in terms of technical capability it's there.
Im not sure i agree with that. We already deal with latency while playing games like CS:GO and others. They are already making the roundtrip and are playable. I think it's more of a bandwidth issue of being able to send enough "raw" screen data instead of game scenario deltas.
It's better for these people's careers to shutdown immediately and move onto something else, before you release something crummy. Isn't that what startups do anyway?
Imagine if you bought a car from a dealership and the car stopped working when the dealership went out of business. Nobody would accept that as being OK!
Surely Google treats their B2B products and B2C products differently, no?
There are certain core services that I would expect Google to maintain, and others are gambles. It's important to know which is which.
When it comes to their paid products I hear mixed reports in my circles, some claim that they have good experiences with it. But ultimately the question is: Why risk it?
I agree with your pout for consumer, but GP is talking about b2b cloud, where google behaves very differently than their general “no there is no customer support” behavior.
The Google unit, which sells computing services to big companies, is under pressure from top management to pass Amazon or Microsoft — currently first and second, respectively, in cloud market share — or risk losing funding.
> Surely Google treats their B2B products and B2C products differently, no?
Not differently enough, and I'm not directing enough of our services spending to Google to find out if that gets us over the line where they won't shit all over us without at least giving us a heads-up. Maybe it would be, maybe not, but why risk it when most of what they offer is far from unique and not much better-priced than alternatives, if at all.
Unless you are really splitting them, by using a different IP and browser characteristics for each of them... But then you are very likely to have them banned separately, due to suspicious behavior.
They'd like for them to succeed, but it's nowhere near the focus an org that lives or dies by the project has.
So if gaming proves harder than expected, they move on to other fun things.
I'm probably projecting too much of my own privacy-mindedness onto the general populace, though.
Apple can iterate on Arcade with their now impressive chip design advantage. They can come to the consoles market at some point. I personally use my Xbox only for FIFA. It's a game that can probably run on M1 with no problem. I don't mind not spending $500 for my next console and have access to my FIFA on my iPhone and Mac
It's classic -- we're big -- so we have a chance thinking we just need time to make it work. Stadia would have been much better implemented by startups. Google simply can't do "small" anymore. To be fair they're just too big.
Microsoft is the only FANG that remotely gets gaming.
BUT, their pricing is too high and the library is tiny. The value you get from the Xbox Gamepass Ultimate is absurd for $15 a month - the library is huge, including stuff like the EA Sports games. And you have the choice of installing locally if you want instead of streaming.
I just hope Microsoft is taking some notes on the streaming performance and load times of Stadia, because it really does make a huge difference in my ability to just pick up and play.
They're also adding xCloud support for your purchased games at some point, a bit like Geforce Experience's Steam-linking but for Xbox owners.
Back when Project Stream was announced (late 2018), Google was the lone player. COVID19 essentially gave a perfect opportunity to gain market share. But somehow they failed to capitalize and today, it's become a crowded playing field with XCloud, GeForce Now, Luna; not to mention a new gen of gaming consoles. The streaming tech is no longer a unique advantage for Stadia and unfortunately it's gaming library is just an also-ran.
Perhaps this resignation/firing is an attempt to refocus the business rather than the "boiling the ocean" approach of game development, 1st class integration to other Google services (e.g. YouTube live streaming), etc. Who's next on the chopping block? Phil Harrison or even his boss, Rick Osterloh?
As a gamer, I enjoy having a high-performant system, and am ok paying for it. If, as a kid, I couldn't afford it, I would just play on console.
The idea behind centralized GPU rendering was just a recipe for lag, high data usage, and content lock-in.
It just never made sense to me.
After seeing how well it works, I don’t know why I would buy a $600 console or $1000 gaming PC anymore.
It has significant flaws, but there is also a lot to like about it.
The world feels totally dead, so it doesn't scratch any itch of mine like a GTA game does. The world is pretty, yes, but it doesn't feel alive, and the poor mechanics make it hard to cover that gap. If they'd nailed the gameplay loop I would at very least approach it like the way I approach most Assassin's creed games, basically a historical-experience to wander around in.
The actual story, meh, not great not terrible. I already didn't rate Keanu Reeves very highly, in this game I thought he sounded positively comatose, which further put me off what I thought was a fairly uninspired experience. I was excited at the beginnings of the story, specifically I was interested in a depiction of the corpo side of things, but this was not to be.
As an RPG? Fallout New Vegas set the bar 11 years ago now.
All in all, I didn't like it very much, however I wouldn't have bothered to write this if I didn't want it to be good. There are so many little details and niggles, that are half-done that could've made it a masterpiece.
I must have missed the GTA game where the world "feels alive" in a way CP77's doesn't. They obviously have more fleshed-out systems (more interesting NPC drivers, wanted levels, etc.)—and they'd better, since they've been making open-world city games for over two decades IIRC—but for me those worlds always failed to feel lived-in. I actually remember remarking to a friend how much more alive and lived-in the CP77 world felt to me than GTA games, which I put down to the level of detail in the art.
I guess I'm over being impressed by scripted NPC activities (e.g. coach robberies in RDR) because they don't do anything for me narratively and in interacting with them they tend to draw attention to just how shallow the game world is compared to the real thing. CP77 is definitely light on this sort of thing, and that's a fair criticism, but it's also not one everybody is going to care about.
It also helps if you don't constantly butt your head up against the limitations of the game. I can't read the incessant whining about the wanted system being underdeveloped without rolling my eyes and thinking dude, it is what it is, enjoy the game for its strengths or put it down and walk away.
This is, of course, subjective. Different people like different things about games. But I see these same complaints echoed ad nauseam in pretty much the exact same form that I can't help but think there's an echo chamber effect at work.
> I was excited at the beginnings of the story, specifically I was interested in a depiction of the corpo side of things, but this was not to be.
See also: not being interested in the kind of game it is.
Given the general standards of modern AAA video game storytelling, I don't really know how else to read this. I didn't go in with any particular expectations, but I wasn't disappointed.
> As an RPG? Fallout New Vegas set the bar 11 years ago now.
Yes, 11 years ago, and I think people look back on it with rose-tinted glasses. It is not the next-gen paradigm shift people seem to have been expecting out of CP77. CDPR was obviously trying to balance a lot of competing ambitions, and the result of that is a game that's necessarily quite different from New Vegas.
People who want to play New Vegas forever should go play New Vegas forever. I hear it has an active modding community.
Unfortunately, very few people know about it and Stadia didn't capitalize on marketing on the situation.
There's a ton of fascinating things they could've done with it that they certainly have the money to do but instead they launched what they did which was compelling to no one at all?
And then FB did exactly that couple years later...
It's arguable that gaming really didn't reach mainstream in a big way until the Xbox and Halo. The PS2 was a very successful system but it didn't cause the same kind of culture shift that the OG Xbox did.
Important takeaway though is Microsoft didn't give up even though the first XBox as a whole was a loss for them AFAIR.
MS gets gaming believe it or not. Windows has no competitors on PC, sure, but MS has competitors in the console and platform space that they are doing well against.
I don’t like Stadia, but doesn’t this describe most if not all major consoles?
I feel the parent comment was referring to PC gaming, where you don't need to do anything crazy to customize the games that you paid for.
But I can at least say I'm glad Google isn't getting a foothold in yet another area of technology
This is not important at all for someone who is a gaming enthusiast and doesn't want services like Stadia to become the new norm and have their enthusiast hobby heavily locked down by publishers and cloud services.
The nice thing about Geforce Now is that you can just run your already bought games on it. Just connect your account to Steam/Epic and you are good to go.
You are just renting their hardware essentially.
Other people have done it sure and maybe that is why Stadia tried to go even bigger, but if they just launched a simple product like that I think it would have been a big hit (and truly hit the market of people who want to play the latest games at full settings but don't have the hardware to do so)
That part is just like any console.
Source: used to work there, and on a project which was ported to Stadia.
The claim is that like 75% of Windows games are rated "gold" or higher for support using proton. IMO the standard for "gold" and even "platinum" is frequently a lot lower than it should be. There are some games that work perfectly, but IMO even if you stick to gold/platinum rated games there's still a >50% chance you're going to run into some kind of annoying bug or jankiness.
It wasn't good enough for me so I switched back even though I'd really rather stop using Windows on any of my systems.
If you make it work on Stadia it will work on Linux. The main thing holding back releases on Linux is that:
1) The userbase is percieved as very small.
2) SDK features (such as entitlement checking, authorization, authentication) are only working on Windows (and Stadia is a trusted platform, so bugs aren't as big of an issue, people are relentless at abusing software they have direct access to)
3) The distribution platform outside of Steam (which is a bugbear in the AAA games industry due to being very expensive and prone to moodswings about what content is agreed and so on) doesn't exist on Linux at all.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA
Resident Evil 7
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Journey to the Savage Planet
They're not all small indie games (though many of them are).
To me, someone that has been playing games for 30+ years, Stadia couldn't have been handled worse. They tried to pull a Microsoft and enter the gaming world, but forgot to have the killer app like Halo.
This could have easily been Google legitimizing streaming gaming by simply letting users pay an hourly/monthly fee to get a cloud machine and stream their own library to their device. Some level of optimization to make sure it works with various devices, latencies etc. and voila you probably have a GREAT product.
THEN maybe a year out once you have a super engaged userbase try to build out the Stadia as a unique platform and get people to use and buy games for that natively.
Just feels like a typical Google promo effort that wasn't thought out and brute forced in. Of course the people who worked on this launch will get their promos and no one will be around to help clean up the mess/improve it to a sustainable state.
It’s like they built the tech, which is probably some of the best stuff out there (Stadia had less stutter for me than GeForce Now), and then they forgot to hire a few good business people to actually run the product, and then they wondered why it didn’t work. Why wasn’t it all-you-can-eat?
Why didn’t they produce a single first party game from beginning to end for the release? Nothing makes a lot of sense here.
so unless Google came with an obscene "instant yes" offer to Zenimax then both sides would have had to enter some kind of protracted negotiations and talks, which doesn't seem to jive with Google's half in/half out attitude towards new products.
Taken into account of google constantly pulling the plug on their services, that's not something I'm willing to do, so I cancelled my subscription.
A few weeks later, from Google: get a free Stadia founder's edition pack, just pay shipping! So, I did.
It arrives, and you can't enable it without a) an app, and b) giving them all sorts of permissions. It also has an abysmal selection of games, and rarely in 4k.
Now, they will presumably cancel it soon.
This is too-much-money-itis.
You mean OUYA. But no, OUYA was a complete disaster, one could argue that Stadia actually works, the problem is the business model and the weird way Google manages its products.
"I opted to be a beta tester and am amazed it's not ready for prime time"
There's a much better selection now and improving month after month with the addition of AAA titles.
I have been following the technologies (direct frame buffer capture and inline encode) for a long time because they are also the enabling technologies for high performance locally clustered visualization.
The features were at one point completely unrestricted in the driver, then one day cloud gaming was the next big thing and you had to buy a $10,000 GPU or be Steam to access those APIs.
If you are interested in remote collaboration or scalable visualization you'll just have to hold your breath and wait to see if nVidia and others can strong arm children into economic exploitation, because the technologies are currently being held hostile while industry works through various lubrication formulations for the slope they intend to shove us down.
The problem is they attach the Google name for clout and then proceed to drag that name through the mud when they stop support.
Google's name now isn't worth much to me if I'm considering an experimental product.
They should not use the Google moniker unless they are willing to provide long term support.
For Stadia to work they needed a lot of ties to the customer and games companies.
> Release the mvp, iterate quickly, shut it down if it isn't working...
This means that anyone integrating with your product takes huge gamble that you will be here in X months, why risk it?
Google made none thinking that G factor is enough. Its basically Google+ 2.0
Throwing just some money into already occupied and competitive market and expecting things to happen is borderline fraud.
Statia was a stillborn project sailing on a sinking ship made purely out of wishful thinking.
Your average Google VP is far too comfortable - and with nowhere near enough humility - to stoop to that level.
That countdown is starting to feel optimistic...
The fact no-one cared about their free trials, their own studios closing, Apple still barring Stadia and now many of the Stadia team leaving should be enough to tell you that Stadia's existence is almost over.
How is it that people are 'still' waiting and scrambling for PS5's and Xbox Series X|S consoles since last year rather than going for Stadia's 'no-hardware' cloud gaming platform? If you can't grow during last year's strange times then you're really off to a slow start.
So I'll sit back, relax and go back to my PC/console device?
I do have access to decent internet (fiber), I tried Stadia and while it was better than I expected it still felt really bad.
I saw many similar comments on HN back then.
It inspired me to setup my own EC2 Windows GPU box and buy some games on steam. Neat, but a PITA so I didn't continue with my DIY setup.
Lastly Shadow cloud gaming PC has a lot of users (filed bankruptcy and recently acquired). https://shadow.tech/
I decided that I'd give ANY new Google project a minimum of 2-3 years (up to 5) before investing. If it shuts down in that time nothing has been lost.
I do look forward to the rage when it just ups and dies and you're left with nothing, while I still have my ISOs and other media that cannot be taken by anyone, ever.
What a farce.
Not everyone has a gaming pc and gaming consoles. I played Destiny (which is free) for a few months to try out the service, and it works fine for me.
The community is easily way better than any other platform's community. It's a lot of casual/older players who just want to play a bit, not hardcore gamers who stream and watch streams. So. much. less. toxicity. It's wonderful.
For the games I bought - I expect Stadia to shut down at some point. I never really replay games once I've beaten them, so I don't care if they end up disappearing from the library at some point.
I've easily gotten my money's worth. Stadia definitely isn't for everyone, but I'm very glad it existed.
Even GCP, despite being a multi-billion dollar #3 in the cloud wars, is still far away from being profitable. I'd say there's a chance that it will not survive many years.
Hopefully Apple Arcade follows. Such services are a hindrance to indie game development and horrible to ownership rights.
That's not a technical problem. It's physics.
In the very least it should've operated off existing launchers eg buy it in Stream and you can use it in Stadia. But honestly, the games where input lag isn't an issue is such a small subset that Stadia was only ever going to be a niche product.
I believe their main point is that humans are much more tolerant of latencies than is commonly assumed. I remember reading about Carmack's early work with VR and sensor delays and screen refresh delays on the order of 100ms and as high as 400ms and it still being enjoyable. At 60fps you've got about 16ms per frame to work with, and I'm sure the human mind doesn't need input -> change in image within a single frame (though I'm sure pro gamers would notice).
I even see people using and enjoying shadowpc + vr headsets, where delay between head turn and change in image can be nauseating.
On average I get a single noticeable slowdown event every 3 sessions, so for me it's worth it
I'm on cable, 200/20 with a ping in the mid ten ms range.
Not sure if any of the network checkers run on gcp
As for the business model though, you’re totally right. No way I’m going to buy a game and be locked into Stadia. Not only would I be prevented from playing locally, who knows how long Stadia will be around at this rate?
Luna on the other hand I tried and you could definitely feel it. They are definitely running those at AWS DC's, as I didn't live near one.