Estranged cloud gaming service Google Stadia has been facing an uphill battle since it launched back in 2019. The latest shakeup saw its internal game development shuttered as the company decided its Video Games should be handled completely by third parties. Although this move is perceived as another sign of its imminent demise, it might actually be the contrary.

Why Stadia exists

Like many other cloud gaming services, Google Stadia owes its existence to OnLive, the first-ever of its kind starting in 2003. Back then, the concept that anyone could run virtually any game on a server to play them remotely was ahead of its time but held great potential.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of a leadership structure and effective marketing, the Californian based cloud provider finally shuttered in 2015, causing many to doubt that industry would have ever emerged from it.

Fast forward to the present day, and there are many cloud gaming services to choose from. OnLive’s shutdown wasn’t in vain, and ironically so; it was liquidated soon after by Sony Computer Entertainment to help sow the seed for its own service, PS Now. Many others would soon be joined that include Amazon Luna, Nvidia GeForce Now, and more—forming the cloud gaming market known by many today.

Eventually, an ambitious Google sought a piece of the pie and would launch its Stadia service in 2019.

Stadia would allow just about anyone to play the latest AAA titles on the market without owning a powerful console or PC but with the added feature of joining active games that are being live-streamed via YouTube. This feature alone put Stadia at a huge advantage over its competition.

The struggle for Stadia

Sadly, like many streaming services, Stadia had its own gremlins to deal with.

The service had experienced technical difficulties that prevented games from reaching optimal resolutions and frame rates as initially advertised on launch. There was also the absence of some essential features like voice chat and achievements. What's more, the pricing was too lofty for many gamers to put up with.

The company has decided to pass on its internal game development studios SG&E, effectively gutting 150 jobs and any future projects they had planned.

To many, the latest development has raised a death flag for the cloud gaming service just two years after it was launched.

However, the company isn’t giving up on Stadia. In fact, it is now offering publishers full access to its cloud gaming tech—a decision that will undoubtedly attract large scale third party support for the service and perhaps secure its future.

A brighter future

Google Stadia's shift from first-party game development to a third party one opens the door to an opportunity to turn the tides for the company. The offer would strengthen relations between the cloud service and those game publishers wanting an extra window for their products on paper.

It would also streamline development that would lead to further improvements in cloud technology being offered.

Indeed, Google Stadia isn’t the best of the lot, but it isn't the worst of them either. Like their competitors, though, Stadia techies have come a long way and have since nicked most of these issues.

Those missing features are now available, and more games have been added over time. These improvements and more will become extensive once third parties take the bait for this new deal. But above all, it will undoubtedly prove more cost-effective for the company now that those publishers will be footing the bills for all game development under Stadia.

Competition no longer matters

To say Google Stadia’s enhanced relationship plan could go beyond what other services have achieved would be an understatement.

In fact, some of its competitors aren’t really faring well with third party game support by comparison. For example, PS Now mainly offers first-party titles spanning its PlayStation brand’s history.

Another example is Nvidia GeForce Now, a service that allows users to stream games they already own while leveraging the company's patented GPUs' power. Although the service features support hundreds of games, it has lost a good chunk of them after certain publishers decided to pull their games from it, including Rockstar, Activision, Bethesda, Capcom, just to name a few.

Then, there are those services that do have great support but are currently gatekeeping. Up-and-coming services like Amazon Luna and Microsoft xCloud are still undergoing ‘early access’ routines, inviting a small number of early adopters for their beta testing.

Hence, most of these companies are unable to fully overtake Stadia on the market with publishers' help, especially now that it’s heading in this new direction.

By offering its cloud tech directly to countless publishers and developers worldwide, Google can effectively place its service above other cloud gaming services if not the entire game industry. Hopefully, the gamble pays off for the company and its consumer base.