Google partners with BT to ‘deliver the best cloud gaming experience’ in the UK

UK broadband provider BT has partnered with Google Stadia to become the streaming platform’s first European distribution partner.

The partnership will reportedly see BT and Google “deliver cloud gaming via this new-generation platform to more UK consumers as well as see the two companies work together on initiatives designed to build awareness, access and availability of it in the UK”.

The partnership will reportedly see BT and Google “take full advantage” of BT’s Superfast Broadband 2 service to “help deliver the best cloud gaming experience” by offering new deals on BT’s Superfast Fibre 2, Ultrafast Fibre 100 or Ultrafast Fibre 250 from today until January 30th, 2020. These deals will see new customers receive a Google Stadia Premiere Edition which includes a Chromecast Ultra, Stadia controller, and three months access to Stadia Pro.

Once that promotion expires, from February 7th BT will then offer “a range of Superfast Stadia gaming plans with Superfast fibre 2, Ultrafast Fibre 100 or Ultrafast Fibre 25”. 

“We continually look to provide our customers with the most exciting products and experiences, and by partnering with Google on Stadia, we’re able to help them push the limits of gaming,” said Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division. “We’re also investing in the UK’s fastest 4G, 5G and fibre networks, so our superfast home broadband service is the perfect accompaniment for those wanting to make the most from this innovative streaming gaming platform.”

“We’re excited to continue our cross-product partnership with BT in the UK to further drive the cloud gaming industry forward,” added Michiel van Eldik, general manager & VP, devices & services, EMEA. “BT has an established track record of leading the industry in delivering next-generation services and products to their customers. Through today’s announcement, we are able to make the best gaming content even more accessible, and to continue to change the way people access, play and enjoy their favourite games.”

It’s not been a flawless rollout for Google’s new service. Google acknowledged “an issue” delayed the dissemination of invitation codes to early adopters of its streaming service, Stadia, which launched at the end of November. In some cases, players had already received their packs but were unable to use it without the invitation code.  

Though the issue purportedly only affected “a small fraction” of preorders, a number of customers reported that despite ordering the Founders’ Edition when preorders went live, orders were not shipped in order and they had not received correspondence from Google inviting them to register their gamertag/nickname several days after launch – even though this was widely advertised as a perk of the Founder’s Edition. 

Just days before its launch, Google confirmed a number of key features originally detailed to early adopters of Google’s streaming subscription service will now be delayed. Further to a Reddit AMA with Google’s Andrey Doronichev and Beri Lee, it was confirmed Stadia’s Founder’s Edition would launch without achievement notifications, family share, or 4K streaming for PC. It’s also been confirmed that the much-publicised Buddy Pass – which enables players to gift access to a friend – will be delayed for approximately three months.

Google recently responded to criticism that its Stadia streaming service is failing to meet consumer expectations after it was advertised that all Stadia games at launch would support 4K and said the onus was on developers to “continue to improve their games on Stadia”. It also recently agreed to refund Google Stadia players who purchased Farming Simulator and/or Tomb Raider Definitive Edition ahead of news both games would be available for “free” to Pro subscribers as part of a promotion in December.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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