STORY: Stadia director of games praised for opening up about Stadia year one. Gives surprising answer about Stadia road map and future games
Stadia’s Director of Games, Jack Buser, sat down with Mobilsyrup to talk candidly about the platform. This sit-down occurred during Google and fans of the platform celebrating Stadia’s 1 year anniversary.
Those that praise the platform have congregated together in support of it in various ways. This includes a 36-hour straight event titled Stadia Super Saturday. This events kicks-off November 21st 2020. It includes 40+ content creators that will showcase everything from gamestreams to podcasts, all related to the platform.
However, it’s not only Stadia’s fans praising this interview. A lot of skeptics are praising the honesty of Jack Buser. They also appreciate the higher level of transparency shown. This interview with Mr. Buser details the closest thing the community has been given in regards to a long-term roadmap for Stadia.
Buser admits that “every step has not been perfect”. He attributes a lot of this to the fact that “…there wasn’t a Stadia before Stadia”. Meaning, Stadia was the first sole cloud gaming solution that offered comparable fidelity and (often better) performance than the most popular consoles currently on the market (PS4 slim & XB1S). In addition, it is a platform that allows that exact fidelity and performance to be transferred in an instant across multiple screen types.
He also confirms the company is fully self aware of their situation, stating:
“As a new entrant into this industry, it’s tough. Every new entrant in the games industry has experienced this. You have to prove yourself.”
WHO IS STADIA FOR
We hear a lot of disparaging rhetoric from the mainstream game media about the platform. What they often question is “who” Stadia is for. This is likely due to their inability to relate to the challenges of the gamers Stadia is trying to connect to. Jack goes into great detail explaining who a portion of those gamers are, and the appeal Stadia presents for them:
… There are plenty of folks that are much younger on the platform as well. There are folks of all races and genders on the platform. It’s really a diverse crowd. So we actually look at our crowd — rather than just pure demographics — a bit more in terms of psychographics. What’s your state of mind? What’s your sort of need from a game platform? And that can span demographics. You can have people that are totally different from a demographic standpoint actually have the same need. And two things that really popped up from our user base. One is convenience. Think of all the different types of people you know that really value convenience and entertainment — Stadia really speaks to them. Because you can play them on a screen you already own. If I get kicked out of the living room and have to play downstairs — no problem! I can pick up where I left off. Not that I ever play a video game at work, but I can on my work laptop or tablet. That convenience really resonates with our user base.
…And value really resonates with our audience. We see the Reddit threads all the time: ‘I cannot believe this is the first time I’ve ever gotten this number of games, literally for free. I have not spent a dime on hardware. I’m on my free month of Stadia Pro and I’ve got all these games. What a tremendous value.’ You see people like, ‘there are 100 games in the catalogue, but I’ve been around since day one, and I have more than half of them as part of my subscription fee.’
This underscores the mainstream media’s difficulty in seeing the platform’s appeal. They often are sent free games, hardware etc. Those who find this platform appealing during these early stages, are not awarded the same luxury. This disconnect is why more gamers, once experiencing Stadia, are scratching their heads at the media reception.
Of the most astonishing from this interview is the roadmap Buser lays out for the platform. He reveals that Stadia is well ahead in its annual planning and partnership growth:
What I can tell you is that we’ve built a roadmap of about 400 games in development right now from 200 developers. So when those games land, whether it’s in the calendar year of 2021 or beyond, is something that you’ll hear more from us in the future. Will there be more developers and more games on the platform? Absolutely. But frankly speaking, my team is almost done with 2021. We’re thinking about 2022 right now — that’s our focus. 2023 is really kind of where we’re aiming our sights. 2021 is in incredible shape. Hopefully, that gives you a sense of the scale of where we’re moving.
Anti-Google sites like Google Graveyard suggest that Stadia will soon get the “axe”. In response, here’s what Buser has to say regarding Google’s commitment to the platform:
A lot of people ask us: ‘is Google committed to this platform? Are you guys in it for the long haul?’ And I can tell you, unequivocally, ‘yes.’ Just because the time horizons alone of our industry mean that we are looking many years out into the future. Gaming is one of the biggest businesses at Google. If you look across Stadia, [Google] Play and YouTube, it’s so incredibly important to our company. Which is why you see us investing so much time and energy to support all these hundreds of developers building all these games. We have a very exciting year ahead of us. And, in fact, we have a very exciting many years ahead of us.
This was a great sit-down. We highly recommended you read this interview in its entirety here.