Yeah the guy in charge said:
“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,”
Like, no shit, Sherlock. Did you somehow not know this already? That Jason Schrier article on Amazon seemed to indicate similar but worse failings there.
The sad thing with Stadia is that, at this point, it actually works pretty well. I tried out a free month recently, together with the free games, and I was get 60fps, almost no perceptible input lag, and a decent image quality. Though image quality was not as good as it’s been cracked up to - specifically and weirdly in complex images it looked good, but the more blocks of colour or similar colours (like y’know, human faces) in the picture, the more muddy and compressed-looking it got.
I was able to make really direct comparisons by playing Hitman 2 on my PC vs on Stadia. I feel like Stadia had a slightly more stable framerate and seemed to have the graphics slightly higher, but overall the experience on my PC was better, especially when things got shooty (which admittedly they ideally never should). It wasn’t a huge difference though.
But was I going to pay to subscribe with the weak selection of games they have, or buy full-price games on it with no certainty that they’ll even be available in 2-3 years? Absolutely not. The sales model is pretty fundamentally shit. They need to either massively up the number and quality of games on the subscription and get people that way, or give people some kind of assurances re: full-price games.
They’re running the first sale I’ve ever seen them run right now (albeit on very few games), but their prices generally are hideous, always the most that a game has ever cost, which seems to indicate a basic failure to understand how this is all about a “value proposition”, and their innate value to the customer is between a bit and a lot lower than a conventionally purchased game. They make a huge deal of their “you don’t have to download the game!”, trying to make people impulse-buy stuff, but then they have prices high enough to reliably deter impulse buying. It’s particularly laughable when they’re selling some game, like GR: Breakpoint, which Ubi were barely able to move for £15 on deep sale (not even that long after release), for £60.
They seem to be assuming that the Stadia customer is basically dumb, in that he has no idea of how much certain games have cost, and doesn’t make comparisons, and rich, in that he’ll drop £60 to £100 on a game just like that, which is weird because it runs against everything they were saying about their expected customers and so on previously (supposedly canny and unwilling/unable to drop £300+ on a console - like, you expect people who won’t drop £300+ on a console to drop £60 on a bunch of mediocre AAAs? Really?).
A lot of it is straight-up more expensive than PC too - AC:Origins, for example, two generations old, and costing at most £49.99 on PC (and you have to kind of work to not find a way to get it much cheaper), is £59.99.
Like what? £59.99 for a game two gens old, which you can’t guarantee will be available in 2 years?
About the only reasonable offer I see even with the sale is £8.49 for The Division 2. It’s almost worth that because that’s online-only anyway, and it would mean not having to keep it installed. But even then it’s like… meh…