In a new class-action lawsuit, Google is being sued for advertising that Stadia was more powerful than Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox by streaming in 4K when, in fact, few games took advantage of this quality when the service first became available. Instead, most games at launch streamed at 1080p. Despite this, Stadia’s management and marketing teams did nothing to update their campaign to reflect this. The lawsuit alleges that Google “greatly exaggerated the streaming quality and display resolution” and sought to juice up its subscriber numbers this way.
While Google did provide the capability to developers to deliver their games in 4K quality and 60 frames per second to consumers, many did not take advantage of it at launch. Basically, it’s possible that many gamers bought into Stadia on the promise of competitive console-quality 4K game streaming and were instead given something less than advertised. The marketing essentially misled consumers into thinking that all of its games were available in 4K – whoops!
If you want to see Google’s original commercial, you can watch it below. Besides being completely stupid and annoying, these commercials constantly hammered 4K and 60 FPS, and that Stadia is basically like… “electric air”. Instead, they should have been driving home the fact that gamers could play anywhere and on the hardware they already own. After learning the hard way that their target market was not hard-core gamers, they finally came around and began using this marketing, but not before the courts got involved and this lawsuit popped up, I guess.
Stadia is only the newest, most logic-defying, mind-bending, absurd gaming platform on earth!It’s basically “electric air”
The lawsuit, should it to to the courts, seeks to cover all people in the United States who purchased the Stadia Founder’s Edition, Premier Edition, and/or a subscription to Stadia Pro between June 6, 2019, and the date when the lawsuit resolves. There is currently no amount per user attached to the classaction.org coverage of this, but litigation like this takes time, so just keep an eye on the news. So far, you won’t need to “join” the lawsuit in order to receive reparations if you’re a part of the affected group.
Stadia’s leadership decisions
You know, I love Stadia conceptually and as a service, but Google seems to be doing everything in its power to end up in the news every week for something else. It’s a shame that the hard-working, passionate team of Stadia developers are doing everything in their power to make the service something world-class and revolutionary while the leadership team consistently makes decisions that negatively impact everyone around them.
I have no idea what’s going on at Google this year, but I’m starting to see a pattern – they create an awesome team of talented, creative people who want to bring an idea to life, and then hire someone into leadership who destroys it all. I know that may sound a bit harsh, but it’s true. These individuals seem to have bad industry track records, or just be out of touch with the community they’re serving in general. How does that even happen?
I want to make it clear that individuals like Grace “GracefromGoogle” Yang and others have publicly expressed their dismay at unwarranted hate and personal attacks when instead that anger from gamers should be directed towards those at the top who are oblivious to the rhythm and culture of the gaming community that she and her team have worked so hard at every single turn to capture and cultivate. Seriously, the Stadia community team exhibits the best customer service and most passion that I’ve ever seen in my entire life and the product they’ve built is incredible, but it’s being overshadowed by the company’s poor leadership decisions.
I mean, they hired Phil Harrison, Google’s general manager, as the platform’s product manager. Sadly, he previously left both Sony and Microsoft among several other jobs not three years apart from each other. He may have been directly responsible for shuttering the first-party development studios out of fear in response to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda. He or his leadership team also mismanaged resources and individuals before and during the pandemic – so much so that they told everyone on the Stadia Games and Entertainment team that they were doing a great job in an email a week prior to laying them all off, knowing that Google wouldn’t have fitting positions for game developers. I just don’t get it.
I just hope that however this lawsuit turns out, Google learns a lesson. Care more about your public image than your wallet, and care more about your people than your public image – both users and developers alike. Improving lives should go beyond providing an innovative product, it should mean putting your ethics over your desire for money first and foremost.
Grace and her team as well as those who were displaced with little to no warning when SG&E shuttered should receive the reparations they so badly deserve – perhaps through a second lawsuit. It’s disheartening to see how many people have uprooted their lives and gave their all to the cause only to be jobless or in a position that they could probably care less for. It’s absurd that the remaining developers must continue to swim upstream against a torrent of internal conflict, giving more than 100% and yet they continue to do so with a smile because they’re incredible people. As all of this unfolds on a weekly basis, they just want to create something transformative and fun for gamers who can appreciate it, and even for those who are consumed by misplaced vitriol.
As a Google “fanboy” and Stadia addict, it hurts me so badly to say this, but perhaps it would be better for all parties if Stadia were owned by any company other than Google. It deserves its own identity apart from the damaged reputation that Google has become known for and I hope more than anything that it gets to continue serving its fans and providing a disruptive experience.