Google Stadia launch fails to make a splash on Google Play and App Store rankings

Mobile insights analyst Sensor Tower Intelligence has revealed the app for Google’s streaming service, Stadia, has been downloaded more than 175,000 times.

Released ahead of the roll-out of Stadia on November 19th, 2019, the app has been downloaded 159,000 times – 90.7 per cent of all downloads – on Android devices since it launched on Google Play on November 5th, 2019, and 16,300 times on the App Store – just 9.3 per cent of the total – since its later release on November 12th. 

The early analysis shows the Founder’s Pack has proved most popular in the States with 73,000 downloads, which is the equivalent of 41.7 per cent of all installs.

Interestingly, even on launch day Stadia ranked at just number 82 in the list of most downloaded entertainment apps on Google Play, and a stood at an even lower 1,169 on the App Store. It’s possible the delay in the dissemination of invitation codes to founders – which Google acknowledged was “an issue” – has resulted in the slow uptake, as players could not register on the app without an invitation code.

Though the issue has purportedly only affected “a small fraction” of preorders, a number of customers reported that despite ordering the Founders’ Edition when preorders went live, orders have still not been shipped and they have yet to receive correspondence from Google inviting them to register their gamertag/nickname – 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 appears Stadia’s Founder’s Edition will now 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. 

Early adopters will not be able to use their official Stadia controller on their PC or phone wirelessly, nor use their official Stadia controller with any currently owned Google Chromecast Ultra. They will also be unable to play games in 4K/HDR/5.1 “on any device other than your TV with the Founder’s Edition Chromecast connected”. Support for 4K streaming on PC is expected to follow in 2020.

While Family Sharing is considered a “high priority” for players, right now there’s no way to enable parents to share games with an associated child’s account – which means families hoping to play together over the holidays will have no choice but to buy additional copies of games to play (or buy them on a different platform entirely, of course). 

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. 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).

Just hours before its official launch, Google Stadia almost doubled the number of games coming to the streaming service on launch day.

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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