Launch Day Jitters for Google Stadia? – Hot Take

Last week Google Stadia announced what game titles would be available for purchase at launch on November 19. Now Stadia has revealed they are adding 10 more titles for purchase day one. Could this mean launch day jitters for Google Stadia?

Well Stadia hasn’t been having an easy go of it. The additional launch titles could be an attempt to repair the criticism of their original launch line up news. The 12 games they announced offered an underwhelming selection, including many games that were already established on other platforms. 

The selection of the 10 new games wasn’t exactly a surprise because they had already been announced for Stadia. Just not for launch day. In addition to their day one titles they had also revealed what gamers could expect for later in 2019. Ten of those titles are the ones that have been pushed forward. This leaves only four games to look forward to for the rest of the year.

This could backfire on Google Stadia when subscribers feel the library is stagnant for the next couple months. Their original plan to start with 12 and over six weeks release the remaining 14 games was a solid strategy. Now there is hardly any new content coming out until sometime in 2020. What could have inspired this change in direction?

Bad public perception

Stadia received a lot of criticism for their public communications around pre-order shipments and day one features, or lack there of. First they couldn’t guarantee day one deliveries of Founder’s Edition pre-orders. Or even confirm when pre-orders would ship at all. Then there was their Reddit AMA where it was revealed how many features were delayed to 2020. Many who had pre-ordered Stadia were left feeling nervous about their purchase.

Then there was xCloud

It also didn’t help perception of Stadia when Xbox made their reveal of Project xCloud (Preview) during Inside Xbox X019. They revealed a cloud gaming service that was a free preview with over 50 games included. This drew a lot of comparisons to Google Stadia and not in Stadia’s benefit. Games were drawn to the messaging of Project xCloud and felt Xbox actually valued user input on their service. This is evidenced by them not charging a fee to use it during the initial stages. Instead Google Stadia charged to get in early to a service that sounds like it’ll launch in a preview state.

And then the reviews

On November 18 reviews of Google Stadia started popping up and it’s not looking good. Possibly if Google caught word of the critical consensus they could’ve tried to sweeten the deal with more launch titles. Some choice quotes from Google Stadia reviews are:

  • There’s no reason anyone should buy into Stadia right now.” The Verge
  • “If you head in anticipating an experience with the same graphical fidelity and tight, instantaneous control as you’d get from a high end gaming PC or console, you’re bound to be at least a little disappointed.” Financial Post
  • “A glimpse of a future some other company will probably perfect.” PC World

So is it possible there’s some launch day jitters for Google Stadia? With buzz like this I would certainly hope so.

Hot Take is a live-streamed show where two of our hosts jump in-front of a camera to discuss the latest gaming news and trends. These videos are personal opinions and not intended to be news reports.

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