Google Stadia is launching this month and the option of streaming video games promises to change the way the video game industry does business. But, is this all hype? Not long ago, OnLive launched a similar video game streaming product that worked surprisingly well, but it never took off. What is different this time?
Aside from the rumors of mismanagement and some poor decisions around titles, the real answer is likely to be time. Thanks to Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, consumers are now used to the idea of streaming—they know what it means to stream and they love it. Additionally, technology has improved immensely since the launch of OnLive, and with 5G on the horizon, latency and low-quality visuals may be less of an issue. We, at Escalent, believe that these two factors will play a major role in the adoptability of Stadia and other video game streaming options that come along.
To further support this, we recently conducted a study and found:
These findings highlight the idea that nontraditional gaming companies have just as much of a chance to successfully launch a video game streaming service as the traditional gaming companies. And, it makes sense—Amazon and Netflix are streaming experts and have completely changed the way consumers watch TV. Everybody knows what is happening to cable companies thanks to these two companies. It is unlikely that Netflix will jump into this industry, but Amazon is rumored to be working on its own streaming services.
Another key sign of acceptance is high interest from developers. Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series and recently released Death Stranding, is considering streaming for his next game. Metal Gear Solid was a key step toward more-cinematic games. A Hideo Kojima game on a streaming platform will get many gamers to try out the platform and Kojima has the creativity to take advantage of cloud-based technologies to further the medium. But Kojima isn’t the only one. Google was able to sign on Jade Raymond, an executive producer on popular franchises Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs, to lead its Stadia Games and entertainment studio.
The bottom line is interest is high and the technology is there. Not only that, but Google and Amazon pride themselves on meeting and exceeding the needs of their customers. With the infrastructure in place and proven business acuity of Google and Amazon, all of the ingredients for a major industry disruption are there. This is a wake-up call to traditional gaming providers to get their game on when it comes to streaming. Download The State of Video Game Streaming for a deeper look at video game streaming.