Google Admits That It Can’t Make Cloud Gaming Work on Its Own
Google ended its Stadia services months ago, but it’s not completely out of the gaming industry. Instead of building its own platform, Google is pursuing direct-service plays to support the use of its Cloud infrastructure, and acknowledging that past efforts didn’t work well alone.
Speaking to Axios, Google Cloud’s director of gaming industry solutions, Jack Buser, provided an overview of the company’s new gaming strategy. Instead of following its legacy consumer-facing platform, Google is merging cloud services for game publishers with live services. Buser said they are still “absolutely committed to gaming,” but the future looks different after Stadia.
Screenshots of Worm Game, the ultimate Google Stadia game
“It was at that point when we basically had to make decisions about Stadia that we realized that at Google Cloud, we’re at our best when we’re helping other people build these things, not necessarily building them ourselves,” Buser told Axios.
It’s a pivot that positions Google as competition for other Cloud infrastructure providers, such as Amazon and Microsoft, and abandons its pursuit as a gaming platform. Google Cloud has already partnered with publishers and developers such as Niantic, Embracer Group and 2K. The service is one that is significantly different from its original Stadia offerings, it’s not there to offer the old Stadia streaming technology.
“We’re not offering that streaming option because it was tied to Stadia itself,” Buser told Axios’ Stephen Totilo. “So, unfortunately, when we decided not to move forward with Stadia, that kind of offer could no longer be offered as well.”
Among the options Buser mentioned was an AT&T deal from 2021 where Google’s Stadia technology enabled streaming of the wireless provider’s games through the mobile browser.
Google’s tumultuous saga with Stadia ended on January 18 this year, with refunds for the device and other Google Play-related purchases in 2022. Don’t throw out any old Stadia controllers, though, as they may are still useful. You can no longer use them for the Google platform, but a Bluetooth update should make it work elsewhere.
Andrea Shearon is a freelance contributor for IGN covering games and entertainment. She has worn several hats during her seven-year career in the gaming industry, with other stripes at Fanbyte, USA Today’s FTW, TheGamer, VG247, and RPG Site. Find him on Twitter (@Maajora) or on the Materia Possessions podcast chatting about FFXIV, RPGs, and any series involving giant robots.