Google’s new Stadia game streaming service will launch in select markets on November 19, and the Stadia Store already features many high-profile AAA games such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Red Dead Redemption 2, Borderlands 3, or Mortal Kombat 11. If Google has been able to bring many publishers to support the new Linux-based platform, the Stadia Store won't have any first-party exclusive games at launch.
In an interview with GameIndustry.biz, Jade Raymon, the head of Stadia Games & Entertainment at Google said that the company is still in the process of launching “a few different first-party studios,” which means Google won't be able to launch first-party games anytime soon.
"It is a long term view that Google is taking," Raymond stresses. "For a big bet and a huge new IP that's going to fully leverage the cloud, it may be several years. But we do have quite a few exclusive games in the works that will demonstrate some of the exciting things about the platform all along the path. It won't be four years before gamers get to see the new exclusive, exciting content. There will be some coming out every year, and more and more each year.”
While Google will be busy figuring out its first-party offerings, the company’s publishing arm plans to create a collection of second-party games built by indie studios. "Initially we're going to have some interesting indie-style titles we sign and they might look a little different, or take advantage of a YouTube integration, or have a different role for a streamer," Raymond said. "But they won't right away solve every problem or uncover every possibility of what cloud-native gaming is going to open up."
In the interview, Raymond highlighted some unique things the Stadia platform could offer including integrations with YouTube, the use of Google’s AI technology to make NPC in games provide more human interactions, and more. Unfortunately, all of this is still years away, and Google also recently shared some bad news for Stadia early adopters: The Stadia Founder’s Edition and Premiere Edition pre-orders won’t ship to everyone on November 19, and we also learned that the Stadia Controller won’t support wireless gameplay with PCs and mobile devices at launch.
With Stadia, Google promised a wireless controller that works on all devices, accepted pre-orders for launch & said it would have exclusive games.
In reality, wireless only works on Chromcast Ultra, some pre-orders are delayed & it has no 1st party games in the near future.
— Dom (@DomsPlaying) October 24, 2019
Will Stadia be able to make a dent in the gaming market with unproven streaming technology, no exclusive games at launch, and no free tier until next year? Waiting years to build innovative first-party that Raymond mentioned is an eternity in the tech world, and Stadia competitors including Microsoft and Sony certainly won't rest on their laurels in the meantime. It's pretty mind-boggling to see that Stadia won't have any exclusive games at launch, while the original Xbox had Halo and the Nintendo Switch got the critically-acclaimed Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Both titles have been considered "system sellers" for the two consoles, but unfortunately for Google it looks more and more that they may have some real trouble selling a service with which won't have any exclusive content.