When Microsoft was slammed for not offering enough compelling exclusive games to attract gamers to Xbox, it bought its way out — purchasing game developer after game developer to prep itself for the next console war. Now, it appears Google may similarly be shoring up the upcoming Stadia cloud gaming platform by building multiple internal game studios of its own.
In March, Google suggested its plans to become a game developer would start small, hiring Ubisoft and EA industry vet Jade Raymond to lead up a single studio dubbed Stadia Games and Entertainment. But in a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Raymond reveals that Google isn’t planning to stop at just one.
“We have a plan that includes building out a few different first-party studios,” she tells the publication, adding later that Google plans to release Stadia-exclusive titles every year, including games that do things which aren’t possible with today’s game consoles, like full physics simulations or integrating the Google Assistant to be the voice of NPCs in the game. (The former might be possible because of Stadia’s distributed cloud architecture, which lets it combine the power of multiple gaming PC-like servers together.)
Raymond suggests that won’t be the kind of gaming lineup we’ll see at launch, which is mostly an array of existing games from third-party publishers. (Here’s the full list.)
But she says Google has “quite a few exclusive games in the works” that use the cloud, and “[i]t won’t be four years before gamers get to see the new exclusive, exciting content. There will be some coming out every year, and more and more each year.”
You can read the full interview at GamesIndustry.biz, which includes more of Raymond’s thoughts on the kinds of games Stadia might eventually produce.
When I wrote about OnLive, Gaikai, PlayStation Now, GeForce Now, and other cloud gaming platforms, I often asked execs if anyone had committed to building a game that would actually take advantage of the cloud instead of just doing what consoles and PCs can already do. I never got a straight answer, so it’s refreshing to think it might finally happen with Stadia.