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Further ReadingGoogle’s constant product shutdowns are damaging its brandIn a Reddit AMA yesterday, Google Stadia Director of Product Andrey Doronichev provided a few more tidbits about what features will and will not be available when the streaming game service launches in November. But as he did so, he had to convince some skeptical potential customers that Stadia won't end up in the same corporate graveyard as many other Google service experiments.
Doronichev compared Google's commitment to Stadia to services like Gmail, Docs, Music, Movies and Photos, which have persisted for years with no sign of imminent shutdown. "We’ve been investing a ton in tech, infrastructure, and partnerships [for Stadia] over the past few years," Doronichev said. "Nothing in life is certain, but we’re committed to making Stadia a success... Of course, it’s OK to doubt my words. There's nothing I can say now to make you believe if you don't. But what we can do is to launch the service and continue investing in it for years to come."
Doronichev also compared the transition to streaming gaming to similar transitions that have already largely taken place in the movie and music industries, and with cloud storage of personal files like photos and written documents. While acknowledging that "moving to the cloud is scary," he also insisted that "eventually all of our games will be safely in the cloud, too, and we'll feel great about it."
Further ReadingDespite “revolutionary” promises, Stadia’s biz model is pure establishmentWhat Doronichev didn't address, though, are the differences between those cloud-based success stories and Stadia's more traditional business model. With personal files, you can maintain a local backup in case that convenient cloud storage goes up in smoke some day. And with the most popular streaming video and music services, you pay a small monthly fee for access to a large, curated selection of titles rather than buying "permanent" access a la carte.
While Stadia will support subscription plans like Ubisoft's upcoming UPlay+, Google is mainly stressing individual game purchases that players "should expect... to be competitive with other platforms" price-wise, according to Doronichev. "After all it’s about developers making money off their amazing work they do." And while Doronichev said he "certainly hope[s] to have a few free-to-play games to announce in the next few months," that area doesn't seem to be an immediate focus for Stadia at the moment, either.
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