Google has responded to the complaints of slow updates on Stadia, including the lack of new game announcements and zero new releases on the Stadia store for well over six weeks. In a nutshell? Google says it’s up to publishers when and where they announce their Stadia games, so it’s not Google’s fault there’s a complete lack of news.
“We understand the desire to hear more specifics on the games,” Google told GI.biz in a statement. “After all, that is what it is about: the games. Of course, not all 120 titles will be announced by the Stadia team, as we leave it up to the publishers to make the announcement about their IP/games, and which platforms it will appear on — just as we will do with the exclusive content coming to Stadia.
“There are a lot of reasons for the time of those game announcements — anything from planned promotions or events, title readiness, proximity to first playable demo, shareholder requirements, etc. We continue to work closely with our publishing and developing partners and are here to support them in all areas. We are excited to share more about some of the exclusive games coming to Stadia soon.”
As a platform, it takes a heck of a long time to build up such a reputation that in-house announcements aren’t a necessity. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have been established in gaming for decades and yet still make plenty of pomp and ceremony about game announcements, both first and third-party.
Google’s hands-off approach just doesn’t work for a new service, especially one which evidently isn’t doing the job of attracting a large audience. It’s operating in a similar manner to Valve, only Valve pushed third-party announcements plenty on Steam back in the early days. It’s only now, with Steam so well established, that Valve can afford to sit back and let the market dictate announcements.
From Google’s perspective they need to be grabbing the bull by the horns, so to speak, actively working with developers and publishers for big announcements, showcases, and anything which can get Stadia’s fan base buzzing with excitement for what’s to come. There’s a fundamental misunderstanding from Google here on how the games industry works. It lives on dies on hype, hardcore fan bases, and expectations being met. This isn’t the Google Play Store anymore.