Google's cloud-based Stadia game streaming platform is set for big growth through 2021 and beyond
Now just over a year old, Google's Stadia video game-streaming platform has plans for huge growth over the next couple of years.
The system, which streams games from a server to televisions, smartphones and other devices instead of using a traditional game console, launched with just 22 games in November 2019.
Four more titles were added the following month, before growth accelerated through 2020, which saw the platform pass the 100 games mark. By the end of 2020, Google Stadia has pledged to provide gamers with access to over 130 titles.
Some of these are available through Stradia Pro, the $10 monthly subscription service, while others have to be bought for their regular retail price. Those games can then be played by those who use the free version of Stadia, as well as Stadia Pro.
Looking to 2021 and 2022, Google says many more titles are on the way. Speaking to MobileSyrup, Jack Buser, who is Stadia's director of games, said 400 titles from 200 developers are currently being built.
"We've built a roadmap of about 400 games in development right now from 200 developes," Buser said, adding: "My team is almost done with 2021. We're thinking about 2022 right now – that's our focus. 2023 is really kind of where we're aiming our sights [and] 2021 is in incredible shape."
But a huge catalogue of games on its own won't be enough for Stadia to tempt gamers away from their Xboxes, PlayStations, Nintendos and gaming PCs. That catalogue needs to be full of familiar AAA titles and enticing exclusives to make Stadia stand out for its content, not just the way it works.
Google also needs to bring Stadia to as many devices as possible. It can currently be played on any television or monitor with an HDMI port, via the Google Chromecast Ultra streaming dongle, as well as PCs and Macs via the web browser, and on Android phones and tablets.
The next step is to bring Stadia to iPhone and iPads, which will happen via a web app. Google said in late November that public testing of the iOS web app will begin within a matter of weeks. Instead of being accessed through a Stadia app distributed via the iOS App Store, Stadia players will need to open a web browser like Safari and navigate to Google's web app, due to Apple's application distribution rules.
Google is also drumming up interest in Stadia by offering a free Stadia controller and Chromecast Ultra to everyone who pre-orders the hotly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia before December 10.