Google Stadia Games Won’t Come With a Discount, No Beta Planned Before Launch
When Google Stadia was unveiled last month, there was a lot of confusion about the streaming service's pricing scheme. Many expected Stadia to follow a Netflix subscription model, but that isn’t exactly the case. You can subscribe to Stadia Pro, which costs $10 a month and gives you access to 4K streaming and a catalog of older games (so far Destiny 2 is the only title announced). A free option, Stadia Base, which caps resolution at 1080p and doesn’t include access to the catalog of free games, will also be available in 2020. Neither option gives you access to new-release titles – those have to be purchased separately.
Given Stadia’s setup, some have wondered if new titles might come with a discount to make up for the price of Stadia Pro and the fact that you’re not actually getting a copy of the game you bought. Well, per Stadia boss Phil Harrison, publishers can offer discounts if they want, but don’t expect it.
I don't know why it would be cheaper. 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. In theory, the Stadia version of a game is going to be at the highest-possible quality of innovation and sophistication on the game engine side.
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. But, we're obviously going to be very aware of prevailing prices in the marketplace.
In another interview, Harrison also shot down the idea of doing further Stadia beta testing before launch. Google did a beta of sorts in the US with the “Project Stream” launch of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but in the rest of the world they haven’t done any testing at all. Despite this, Harrison still seems confident things will go well…
Geographically, the US is the most complex place to test, just because of the size of the country. And actually, Europe – and particularly the UK – they are relatively easier to launch. So we are not going to do another test in the UK or Europe. If we had time we probably would have done so, but we don't need to.
Google certainly seems confident in their product. Maybe a little too confident. Here’s hoping the Stadia launch goes off without a hitch.
The Google Stadia Founder’s Edition package rolls out this November in 14 countries, including United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. You can pre-order here.