Take-Two Interactive’s managing director, Strauss Zelnick, has sharply criticized cloud gaming provider Google Stadia. The platform has broken its promises.
The statements of the CEO of one of the largest publishers in the game industry are exciting because direct criticism is now coming from a partner. According to Zelnick, Google clearly “promised too much” with Stadia. In addition, the service had not become the “game changer” that Google had promised not only to customers but also to its partners: “The launch of Stadia was tough. I think too much has been promised in terms of what technology can really do. As a result, customers are disappointed. “
For example, Google was unable to provide many of the functions initially presented for Stadia – and even 4K is nothing more than a bogus pack today, since the majority of the games run in lower resolutions and sometimes lower detail settings than an Xbox One X. At Zelnick you can also read that he has been anything but satisfied with the economic aspects so far: “Whenever you expand your sales channels, you potentially expand your customer base. That’s why we supported Stadia with three titles for the launch. We will continue to support high quality streaming services in the future if the business model makes sense. In the long run, streaming will work, I think. But the belief that streaming would transform the industry was based on the assumption that there were many people who were genuinely interested in gaming and willing to pay but did not yet have a console. I’m not so sure if that’s really true. “
In addition, Zelnick pointed out that it has now been noticed that streaming services and subscriptions are two different pairs of shoes. Stadia is known not to offer a game flat rate. Instead, users have to buy the games individually – the prices are usually higher than in the digital stores of Microsoft and Sony – not to mention the even cheaper, physical store versions with resale value. Without a flat rate, Stadia would not appeal to many interested parties
Xbox Game Pass as a successful counter example
The Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft is the perfect counterexample: Although it does not offer streaming, it does contain a flat rate. So far, this has been well received by players. Microsoft later wants to link its own streaming service, xCloud, to Game Pass. This may be the more appropriate strategy, but it should make it even harder for Google Stadia.
So let’s wait and see – is Google Stadia already threatening the ever popular Google Cemetery?