A new survey conducted by Broadband Genie in collaboration with Eurogamer has found that 73 per cent of the 3,165 gamers interviewed believed Google should be providing unlimited access to a Netflix-like library for Stadia’s monthly fee. 86 per cent of those polled would be unwilling to buy games for cloud streaming if the price was the same as digital or physical releases, and a further 62 per cent were “put off” purchasing games on Stadia as the service was “not tangible”.
Broadband Genie – an independent switching site for consumers and businesses – found that just 19 per cent of those interviewed said they were interested in purchasing individual titles, and only 5 per cent were happy to rent games.
The majority of those polled – 62 per cent – said they “were not interested in cloud gaming”, and more than a third (36 per cent) who said they were interested saw the “lack of a tangible product as a drawback”.
Google revealed details about Stadia’s launch at E3 2019. Launching in 14 countries in November 2019, initially, it will only be available as a £9/$10/€10 per month subscription called Stadia Pro, which will provide 4K/60fps streaming. Although there will be a small catalogue of existing titles – much like Xbox Game Pass – most games will need to be bought outright much like traditional game consoles. Subscribing will also give full access to Destiny 2 and all its content, though that’s a limited time offer.
A service with no monthly fee, called Stadia Base, will launch sometime in 2020, without any library of content. This service will be limited to 1080p streaming. Bandwidth requirements start at just 10mbit/s download and go up to 35mbit/s for the full experience. Both services will require consumers to outright purchase new releases in order to play them, presumably at typical retail prices through a Stadia store (though as yet this hasn’t been detailed).
“Stadia could be the perfect solution for those who would struggle to enjoy games due to the expense of a console or gaming PC,” said Alex Tofts, broadband expert at Broadband Genie. “But with this price structure, it’s unlikely to gain much of a foothold with anyone who already owns capable hardware. The issue with ownership and long term viability of Stadia is also a concern.”
“Stadia and other video game subscriptions are inevitably compared to Netflix, so consumers will expect to pay a fee for access to a huge library of video games,” added Wesley Yin-Poole, deputy editor of Eurogamer, who partnered with Genie for the research. “It’ll come as a shock to many to discover that with Stadia, you have to pay for new games on top of the subscription – and those new games won’t be cheaper despite being limited to streaming.”