NEW from me on the failure of Google Stadia:— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) February 26, 2021
- Missed initial sales targets by hundreds of thousands
- Tried to take on consoles rather than starting small
- To bring in games like Red Dead, Google spent astronomical sums (tens of millions *each*)
Nothing shocking here, I guess, but boy that does not seem to have been a well run project. Apparently some people in Google wanted a soft beta launch and then to scale up, but instead they decided to launch in beta without calling it beta and just blow a bunch of money, then scale back after that didn't work.
I think this, in some ways, is more of a nail in the Stadia coffin than even shutting down internal development. If they spent that much for those games that means it's likely lots of big games won't be coming in the future, and that could seriously harm the platform's chance to resurrect (if there is any.)
In addition it makes me wonder what Microsoft is spending on Game Pass. If it cost tens of millions just to get Red Dead on Stadia in order to sell it for full price, how much was Microsoft paying to get it on Game Pass in order to give it away? To be fair on Xbox the port was already done and maybe Take 2 was just hoping to rake in more online players, but I wonder...perhaps the Bethesda acquisition would make even more sense if we knew what MS was spending now.
Of course because Game Pass is a subscription service it doesn't really matter to the consumer if it's unsustainable because if it shuts down or gets bad in a couple years you can just unsubscribe, and you don't really lose anything (even if you bought an Xbox for Game Pass you can still sell it, or play normal Xbox games on it.) The risk with Stadia is that if it shuts down you'll lose hundreds of dollars of games.