Andrey Doronichev was asked a series of questions last night regarding Google’s foray into streaming videogames.
I think it would be fair to say that opinions on Stadia are currently divided. Many people are excited at the possibilities and convenience of having entire game libraries stored on the cloud, many others have doubts regarding the security of Stadia as well as the inability to “own” their games. Director of Product, Andrey Doronichev, hosted an Ask Me Anything on Reddit last night to answer some of the public’s more pressing questions regarding Google’s latest experiment and some very interesting details came out of it. I’m gonna highlight some of them here for the TL;DR crowd of you (I know you’re out there, I see you), but if you’re interested in reading all the threads, you can check it out here.
First off, Doronichev clarified a slew of details regarding the subscription model of Stadia. Debunked the phrase that “Stadia is Netflix for games” he goes on to describe the subscription model as being more along the lines of PS+. Players who subscribe to Stadia Base will not receive the periodically free games and will only have access to the database of Stadia; any games Stadia Base players want will then have to be bought. People who want a bit more can pay for Stadia Pro which comes with 4K streaming, 5.1 sound, exclusive discounts and access to a select range of free games, roughly one per month starting with Destiny 2. Cheeky.
Stadia will come with achievements for both new and old games, much like their console-based counter-parts and at the time of writing the UI is not ready for public display but is supposedly “looking good”. At launch, Stadia will have a Friends System, meaning players can invite their friends, build parties and even communicate over platform-based voiced chat with more social features planned for the future.
Stadia will also launch with options that will allow users to tailor the system to their specific data packages, making it so players can monitor their usage within Stadia itself. Perhaps the biggest question to come out of the AMA is the one that’s been haunting many enthusiasts of the system: What happens to our games if something happens to Stadia? To Doronichev’s credit, he answers it very well, albeit while also dodging the bullet slightly.
“We’ve been investing a ton in tech, infrastructure and partnerships over the past few years. Nothing in life is certain, but we’re committed to making Stadia a success. The games you buy on Stadia are yours to play. From day one we’ll support Takeout, so that you can download your game metadata, including saves if you want to. Of course, it’s ok to doubt my words. Theres nothing I can say now to make you believe if you don’t. But what we can do is to launch the service and continue investing in it for years to come. Exactly how we’ve been doing with gMail, Docs, Music, Movies and Photos. That’s exactly what we’re committed to”.
So no real explanation as to what happens if Stadia is to ever eventually close down or stop running, but at least Google is aware that this is something that people are actively concerned over. There’re a bunch more questions detailing things like family-sharing and price points for games within the AMA so if you’re at all interested in those things, check out the link above.
Last Updated: July 19, 2019