Stadia's Failures Analyzed

A couple of new articles are online with a look at what's going wrong with Stadia, Google's high-profile cloud gaming service. Recent Stadia setbacks include Google closing its internal development studio, a class-action suit over the failure to deliver on promises of 4K 60fps gaming, and problems supporting one of its games because the developers were all laid off. A new story on WIRED (may require registration or subscription) talks to inside sources who explain that Google never gave its development studios a chance to succeed. And there's a piece on Bloomberg (may require registration or subscription) talking about how "Stadia promised to change the industry and failed to deliver." Here are quotes from each story, first from WIRED:
Sources say they felt Harrison was, at best, not transparent throughout their employment with Google. They didn’t know how Stadia was landing with gamers. They didn’t understand why Google was shutting down first-party game development. And finally, they weren’t sure whether Google was ever really invested in making AAA games, or knew what it took. At worst, they think, Harrison misled them. Several Stadia Games and Entertainment employees, disillusioned with the games industry, are staying on with Google. Others are doing some soul-searching.
And this is from Bloomberg:
From the beginning, Google’s approach to video games wasn’t very Google-like. The Alphabet Inc. company tends to launch bare-bones products and test them as they grow. With Stadia, it came out big. Flashy press conferences and ad campaigns promised high-quality games with innovative features playable on Android smartphones or on the TV through Chromecast. Gamers would have access to a library of exclusive titles and well-known favorites like Assassin’s Creed without having to dish out $500 for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation or Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox.

So when Stadia launched in 2019, gamers were expecting the complete package, not the beta model. While the cloud streaming technology was there, playing to Google’s strengths, the library of games was underwhelming and many of the promised features nonexistent. Other platforms offer hundreds of games a year, but Stadia offers fewer than 80, according to Mat Piscatella, an analyst at the NPD Group, which tracks video game sales data.