Stadia may have just lost its head of product as John Justice is now Vice President at Facebook, and it’s had its share of bad publicity over the past year, but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – it’s not going anywhere any time soon. This is a point that I continue to reiterate because for some reason, those who have it out for Google’s cloud gaming platform – primarily fanboys of other brands – prefer to ignore the facts.
In a new interview with GameIndustry.biz, Stadia’s Platform and Games Product Marketing Lead, Nate Ahearn, came right out and stated that the service is “alive and well”, and that it is now being led by “long-time Googler and Stadia founder” Dov Zimring in the wake of John’s decision to leave the company.
Apparently, Dov has had a big part in Stadia’s development, even so far back as its inception as “Project Stream”, and will be instrumental in leading the team toward their goal of creating the best possible platform for gamers and even the best technology for its partners. For now, Nate equates cloud gaming and its adoption to the early adopter’s stage of VR gaming – it’s still young, and has a lot of room to grow. Though we don’t yet know how many people actively use Stadia, we do know that the player base is “very hungry for titles” and is “engaged and vocal”.
“We’re well on our way to over 100 new games launching on Stadia in 2021, and we’re continuing to make Stadia a great place to play games on devices you already own,” he says. “I’d tell any non-believers to take notice of how we’re continuing to put our words into action, as we grow the Stadia Makers program and partner with AAA studios like Capcom, EA, Square Enix, Ubisoft and others.”– Nate Ahearn, Stadia at Google
Basically, Mr. Ahearn told naysayers to stop planning Stadia’s funeral just because there is internal reorganization occurring. It’s as I said before, just because someone core to the vision of the product leaves (which could be due to non-related circumstances), it doesn’t mean that the product is dead. I don’t blame people for having this fear – in fact, it’s normal. What I do have a problem with, however, is when a small, vocal minority use news like this to spell doom, fearmonger, and destroy the hopes and fun of those who believe in Stadia and want to see it succeed. I’m not saying that Stadia will last forever, but I am saying (once again) that it’s not going anywhere just yet.
The cold, hard truth is that Google is a company that is ever-evolving, and the ideas and passion at the core of its products and services continue to live on long after its team or original shape dissipate. Such innovation can be seen as a detriment to consumers, and I don’t disagree, but it can also very much be seen as a necessity for survival and evolution. In fact, as much as we all hate to admit it, it can, and should be seen as the very lifecycle of technology and innovation that we agree to when we decide to use it or invest our time and energy.
In essence, this is the way it has been, is, and will likely always be. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t desire stability, but we should also be willing to roll with the punches when they come in hopes of a better tomorrow. To resist so vehemently instead of assisting in the guidance of such a future and vocalizing our concerns in a responsible manner is to impede on its potential for success and our potential for advancement.
You can read more of Nate’s interview with GameIndustry.biz, and I recommend that you do so if you want to get the full picture in regards to how Stadia is appealing to indie developers via its Stadia Maker program, and so on, but I want to leave you with one final thought – even if Google’s cloud gaming initiative did collapse, the incredible passion and technological advancement that it’s made will go on to inspire future products and services in ways that we can hardly imagine. Google has already done more to prove that such a thing is not only possible but viable both as a business model and as a way of life for gamers, despite how messy its journey has been along the way. Cloud gaming is here to stay, and Stadia is, in large part, to thank for that.