Stadia and AT&T’s partnership could be the beginning of a new evolution in gaming
This might just be the first of many similar deals to come in the future.
A couple of years ago, Google decided to work its way into the video game market with the launch of Google Stadia. Stadia is a game streaming service that lets you play games with nothing more than a controller and a solid internet connection.
Stadia launched with a lot of hype. This type of gaming was supposed to revolutionize the way that we experience video games. But the service never really took off.
Stadia has had a hard time keeping up with the competitive gaming market and much of its hype has died down. Google even shut down the developer studio that was charged with creating first-party games for Stadia after the platform launched to lackluster appeal.
But late last week, a little snippet of news hit the internet with signs of a new partnership for Stadia. Google has teamed up with AT&T to develop a white-listed version of Google’s technology to offer AT&T customers the ability to play Batman: Arkham Knight through a web browser.
While this may seem like a simple promotion, I have a feeling that this could be a brand new direction for Stadia that will help the platform grow and could ultimately revolutionize the way video games are delivered to gamers. Let me explain.
This deal might signal a shift in how games are delivered
Now, I’m not saying that the deal that Google recently struck with AT&T is going to be the saving grace of the Stadia platform. That deal is a nice incentive that should make some AT&T customers happy and may even entice a few users to sign up for the service, but it’s still only one game. What I’m looking at here is the impact that a deal like this could have on the bigger picture.
Google is essentially renting out Stadia’s technology so that AT&T can access a small portion of it as long as they are active customers of the telecom giant. AT&T doesn’t have any previous experience in the gaming world, but this deal has instantly thrust the company into an advantageous position in the industry: it is able to offer complex gaming technology to its customers with minimal effort.
So, now think about this sort of implementation on a larger scale. How many subscriptions or monthly services do you pay for? What if all of them had the ability to offer certain video games as incentives for signing up for their service?
Take Netflix, for example. The streaming giant has already expressed its own interest in moving into the video game industry. Think about how easy it would be for the company to just rent out Stadia’s technology, saving it massive time and effort in the long run.
Google may change the entire direction of Stadia to focus on deals like this one
For Google, Stadia certainly hasn’t been the success that the company has hoped for so far. But that doesn’t mean the company is abandoning the platform.
In the blog post announcing the closing of its Stadia Games and Entertainment studio, the company said it wanted to “work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia’s advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools.”
Right now, this new AT&T deal seems like the beginning of that kind of implementation. With the advanced technology it has developed over the course of the last few years, Google has an opportunity to shake up the gaming landscape pretty well.
I’m picturing a world where all of the major services that we subscribe to work out their own deals to offer gaming through Stadia’s tech.
Maybe Disney+ subscribers get access to a bunch of Star Wars or Marvel games. Verizon already offers a bunch of subscriptions bundled in with its service, so why not add some video games. Hell, maybe one day your car insurance provider will give you free access to GTA Online. That one’s probably a little less likely.
Still, you see my point. Over the last few years, gaming has become much more mainstream, and many companies are beginning to see just how lucrative the business can be.
Google has established a unique position for itself, with its massive amount of resources and the Stadia technology that it has developed over the years. If this AT&T deal goes smoothly, I think there’s a good chance that we will start seeing many more deals like this one popping up in the near future.
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