- Gaming-as-a-service is growing in popularity
- Google is aiming to popularize its Google Stream service
- The company has already made deals with AT&T and Capcom
Google is increasingly concentrating its efforts on its Google Stream service, looking for new deals. This is the cost of support for Stadia.
Gaming as a Streaming Service
With global chip shortages caused by the pandemic, many products like Nintendo’s Switch have been in short supply. Along with that, electronic components like GPUs have been rising in price. All of this has hindered gamers from playing heavier games. To combat this, some companies have started to offer “cloud gaming”, sometimes called gaming on demand or gaming-as-a-service. This type of service essentially allows a player to play a game on a remote server, on a different beefy machine. This is streamed to the user’s device, or more colloquially, playing a game remotely from a cloud.
One such service offered by Google is called Stadia. Recently, the company has announced plans to expand its operations by making deals with Bungie, Capcom, and even some companies outside of the gaming space, like Peloton. A report by Business Insider says that Google has “deprioritized” Stadia as a consumer platform and it aims to use the technology behind the service to create new deals with partners.
Google’s new project is aptly called Google Stream and it focuses on offering high-definition broadcasting options for games to potential partners. This is a sign Google is not so interested in its specific gaming projects, but rather in the technology behind the cloud service.
Google Makes New Deals
So far Google has already made deals with large communications and game companies, including AT&T and Capcom. The former is already using the technology to allow players access to Batman: Arkham Knight via a web browser. Meanwhile, Capcom is using Google’s technology to run demos on its website. There are also rumors of a rapidly advancing deal with Bungie. However, with Sony buying Bungie for $3.6 billion, it is unclear how Google will involve itself in future projects.
Additionally, there are rumors that Peloton’s first game release, Lanebreak, is powered by Stream. However, Business Insider’s sources did not confirm this.
Speaking of sources, Business Insider talked to many current and former Google employees working on the project. They said that only about 20 percent of all work is being used on Stadia as a consumer platform. The rest of the human and time resources are used to secure deals with other companies, and the proof-of-concept work on Google Stream has become the internal priority.
Although Google is restructuring its workforce to projects like Stream, Stadia will continue to receive support for the time being. A spokesperson told The Verge that about 100 new titles will be added to the service’s pre-existing library of more than 200 games throughout 2022. However, only time will tell how Google Stream will perform compared to other more established services like Nvidia GeForce NOW, which recently opened RTX 3080 memberships to everyone.