With just 26 days to go until Google Stadia’s launch, we’ll admit to being slightly worried that Google has just opened its first games studio. As in, today, right now, with 620 hours to go until launch. It’s a truly unorthodox way to go about launching a new competitor to PC, PlayStation and Xbox.
Dubbed Stadia Games and Entertainment Montreal, the new studio is headed up by Jade Raymond, ex-Ubisoft and Electronic Arts alumni. Stadia Montreal will be dedicated to the creation of exclusive gaming content for Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service.
“Stadia Games and Entertainment’s studio will produce exclusive, original content across a diverse portfolio of games in all your favorite genres,” said Raymond. “Stadia is designed to be one destination for all the ways people play games—and Montréal is where we’re going to start building them.”
Google plans to build out multiple first-party studios in conjunction with approaching third parties with the view of publishing exclusive content from external developers and indie devs. That’s paying for exclusives to you and I, and is certainly a necessary step to help Google Stadia stand out from the crowd.
The priority for first-party games will be to ensure they’re titles which wouldn’t be possible on any other platform. Raymond has explained how the in-house titles will leverage the power of the cloud to deliver experiences on a scale and complexity that we’ve not seen before. This includes extremely detailed simulations, full physics-based titles, or support for thousands of players on a single server simultaneously.
During a chat with GI.Biz she also raises the possibility of leveraging Google’s Duplex tech to deliver AI powered NPCs who will dynamically respond to what you say to them in real life. In this scenario you’d actually be able to talk to characters in a game and those perception checks and intimidation tests would have to be mastered by you in real-time.
At the moment though, this all sounds like pie in the sky stuff, particularly with Stadia Games Montreal only just opening its doors. Nevertheless, Raymond has said we may not have to wait too long to see the Stadia-exclusive content. “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.”
For now, Google Stadia’s success hinges entirely on delivering a better version of the games we already know and love. If it fails to be better than a typical local experience (either on console or low to mid-range PC) then it becomes a very tough sell without exclusive content.