It seems like Cloud Gaming has been a bit of a buzz word in the past couple years, with many companies trying to launch their own service like Microsoft or even Amazon, yet the industry is still in it’s infancy and the demand for such services seems to be pretty low still. Arguably what made the most impact in viewer awareness was Google’s announcement of Stadia, but the CEO of Take-Two Interactive, Strauss Zelnick, has said that Google overpromised on the market’s demand, and that the technology wasn’t nearly as revolutionary as they made it out to be.
"The launch of the Stadia has been slow," Zelnick said at the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, "I think there was some overpromising on what the technology could deliver and some consumer disappointment as a result."
There was also a severe disappointment in the actual numbers of the audience, as not nearly as many people signed up to the service as they had hoped. Take-Two expected more consumer interest in their games and a higher player count since they released 3 titles for Stadia when the service launched (which included popular titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Borderlands 3), but it turns out that wasn’t necessarily the case. Zelnick’s concerns mainly came from an audience who maybe wanted to play these games on Stadia, but already had a console and weren’t prepared to fork out more money for interest in another service.
"The belief that streaming was going to be transformative was based on a view that there were loads of people who really had an interest in interactive entertainment, really wanted to pay for it, but just didn't want to have a console. I'm not sure that turned out to be the case."
But Zelnick stressed that they’re not cutting ties with Google, as Take-Two will continue to support "high-quality streaming services" for Stadia as long as it continues to make sense for a business.
After all, cloud gaming relies on a strong enough internet connection to experience the games at an enjoyable quality. Whilst single player games might be fine, it’s the multiplayer ones where you can see the most significant performance issues due to latency. It is technically cheaper and quicker to buy a new console than it is to wait for a higher speed internet service to be implemented in your neighbourhood.
But as digital platforms and services continue to rise, who knows where we’ll be in the future?
What do you think? Did Google overpromise on Stadia? Will cloud gaming ever become ‘the norm’? Let us know your thoughts on it!