Google has this nasty habit of killing decent projects before their time. Back in the day, they got everyone excited about augmented reality, then killed the project because everyone told them their design was stupid-looking. Google Stadia is the company’s latest problem child. Launching with barebones features and a very limited games library.
The question is will Google actually stand by this one? Having a disastrous launch, entirely at Google’s own fault, does paint a target on Stadia’s back. Will Google Stadia actually manage to make something of itself before it’s killed off prematurely? Only Google themselves really knows the answer.
If you’re not already familiar with the number of dead projects in Google’s closets then you might be in for a surprise. According to the site ‘killedbygoogle.com ‘, there are at least 190 completely dead projects. This number is stretched between both hardware and software projects and is growing all the time.
It seems almost inevitable that Google Stadia will have its own marker on the site before too much longer. There was a ruckus when the original launch list came out last week, revealing a measly 12 games at launch . Most of the games included were games that have been out for ages as well, such as the Tomb Raider reboot series.
Obviously, Google realized that public perception of the list wasn’t great. On the eve of the launch on November 19th, they’ve announced 10 more games for the lineup. While this does add some clout to the system’s launch lineup, it doesn’t add that much.
Google Stadia doesn’t exactly look that healthy already. The launch line up is 22 games-strong which is nice and all, but none of the games are anything special. Sure you can get the liked of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Final Fantasy XV on the service. They’re both pretty stellar titles with a decent-sized fanbase.
The issue is that these are all games which you can already get elsewhere. What Google Stadia really needs is a ‘killer app’. Some software that you can’t get anywhere else which really draws people into the service. Without that, it’s looking dangerously likely that Stadia will underperform and be killed off by Google. The worst part is that death is likely to be attributed to people “not being ready” when it was poor management that actually killed it.
The whole subscription thing probably isn’t going to do the system any favors. $9.99 a month doesn’t seem all that bad for a free games library akin to Game Pass. Looking at it harder however cracks start to show. That’s $9.99-a-month for a very small number of games, possibly in the single digits. These are games which require a good internet connection and, more annoyingly, don’t include most of the advertised lineup.
Most of the games still require you to buy them outright, even if you’re already paying $10-a-month. This is even worse than the free library since when Google inevitably does kill off Stadia you’ll lose these games forever. Frankly, with such a lack of permanence in their history, it’s a shock that Google actually expects people to trust their latest venture.