Report: Developers don't trust Google Stadia or offered enough to port games

Stadia on a Monitor
Stadia on a Monitor (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Stadia is a game streaming service from the search giant.
  • It still doesn't have a lot of games that would attract a lot of people to the service.
  • Business Insider managed to interview developers who have concerns about compensation and long-term survivability.
  • You can purchase a Stadia: Premiere Edition for $130 on the Google Store.

Google Stadia is a cloud game streaming service that launched late last year. Since then, it hasn't really seen a tremendous influx of games and it seems like a lot of developers don't support the platform even after all this time. Additionally, image quality is also questionable since many games run at lower resolutions and sometimes frame rates than the Xbox One X.

Recently, Business Insider spoke with a number of game developers about their thoughts on Stadia. Unfortunately, some significant issues emerged during those discussions. The outlet said the following about the topic of compensation.

'We were approached by the Stadia team,' one prominent indie developer told me. 'Usually, with that kind of thing, they lead with some kind of offer that would give you an incentive to go with them.' But the incentive 'was kind of non-existent,' they said. 'That's the short of it.' It's a statement we heard echoed by several prominent indie developers and two publishing executives we spoke with for this piece. 'It's that there isn't enough money there,' one of the publishing executives we spoke with said. The offer was apparently 'so low that it wasn't even part of the conversation.'

Since Stadia doesn't have a large subscriber base at the moment, or even active players in a game like Destiny 2, developers need to be reimbursed for their time to port a game over. However, there's a bigger issue of trust it seems. Developers said the following when asked about Stadia's long-term success.

'If you could see yourself getting into a long-term relationship with Google?' one developer said. 'But with Google's history, I don't even know if they're working on Stadia in a year. That wouldn't be something crazy that Google does. It's within their track record.'

Google has a history of shutting down services that don't work and Stadia may go the same route, even though it's completely unlikely since many gamers have invested hundreds of dollars in it already. However, you never know because the gaming industry is a volatile place.

Hopefully, Google will offer more money to developers and reassure them that the service won't be shut down in a year or two if it doesn't take off to the extent the company had hoped. There are a lot of threats to it right now, mostly from Xbox Project xCloud cloud game streaming, which has thousands of testers and is rumored to be part of Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass subscription which has "millions of subscribers," according to Xbox's Phil Spencer.

What's going for Stadia right now, in my opinion, is the fact that it has a lot of amazing games as part of its Stadia Pro subscription that costs $10 a month. Titles like SteamWorld Dig 2 and other gems are available right now. If the company keeps this up, it may be able to attract a lot of gamers to the platform. I know that's why I still have my Stadia Pro subscription, and I'm sure there are others like me.

Asher Madan