Google Stadia is due to launch this November, and now further details are beginning to emerge regarding its business model.
The streaming service will release in select territories with a Pro subscription tier that will cost players £8.99 a month, coming with a select library of titles on release which will include Destiny 2.
Stadia Base, a free version of the subscription, is scheduled to arrive in 2020. With both tiers, you will be required to purchase new titles outright before having the option to stream them.
Speaking to Eurogamer during a recent roundtable interview, Google’s Phil Harrison expanded upon the pricing options Stadia will feature:
“I don’t know why it would be cheaper,” Harrison said. “The value you get from the game on Stadia means you can play it on any screen in your life – TV, PC, laptop, tablet, phone. “I think that is going to be valuable to players.”
Regarding the price of individual games, Harrison said that this decision will likely be up to individual publishers to decide: “The publisher or the developer is in as much control of the prices as we are, so it’s a bit difficult for me to say what the prices will be right now,” he said. “But, we’re obviously going to be very aware of prevailing prices in the marketplace.”
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Google seems aware that not all developers and players are ready for on-demand streaming in the gaming space, although recognises a transition may occur in the future.
“The industry is in transition,” Harrison explained. “Not every developer and publisher is ready to move to subscription yet. Frankly, not every gamer is ready to move to subscription yet. So we wanted to give gamers a choice so they could engage in the games they wanted in the way they wanted – and in all cases, without the very high upfront cost of buying a sophisticated device to put under their TV or on their desk.”
So, if you want to play major upcoming titles such as DOOM Eternal or Watch Dogs Legion on Stadia, you’ll likely be paying a similar price to existing platforms. Google Stadia will launch this November with a Founder’s Edition costing £119. It will include a Stadia controller, Chromecast Ultra and three months of the Pro subscription. We went hands-on at E3 2019, and came away with some concerns:
“Google Stadia still has so much untapped potential, and I feel it’s still too early in the world of on-demand streaming for it to really capitalise on a huge audience. I’m willing to be proven wrong later this year, but seeing DOOM Eternal falter under optimal conditions has left me doubtful.”
Will you be jumping on Google Stadia this November? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.