Whenever anyone looks at a gaming platform, of course, it’s the big-name, popular titles that catch the eye, but in the modern era of gaming, it’s the rest of the game library which keeps players engaged. Bringing in a bunch of games from indie developers that explore themes and genres that the mainstream developers no-longer explore is a great way to expand a library and make a platform more accessible to all preferences of potential gamers.
Stadia is the newest gaming platform on the scene. Backed by the almighty Google to usher in an age of video game streaming, the platform hasn’t exactly been as industry-changing as it once claimed. Stadia suffers from many problems across the board, but the one hindering the platform the most is its inaccessibility.
The state of play of Stadia
It took some time for Stadia to put distance between itself and the assumption of it being ‘the Netflix of games’. If this were the case, Stadia could have been a smash-hit, even with its meagre offering, making triple-A titles incredibly accessible to all. Instead, it takes the form of a regular game store – akin to those found on consoles – with games at full price that can only be streamed (and never owned) to a selection of devices.
Despite having one of the biggest companies in the world behind the platform, Stadia launched with a tiny games library. Just before its 19 November release, the platform hurried a few more games into the initial offering, releasing with a grand total of 22 games – most of which were well over a year old. Four months later, there are 28 games available on the platform.
Looking into exactly why Stadia has been so lacking on the games front, Business Insider asked several developers why they weren’t porting their games to the streaming platform. They note that indie games greatly help to bolster the libraries of consoles, with some going on to sell millions, but Stadia hasn’t given any incentive for indie developers to get on board, apparently making indie publishers offers that have been “so low that [they weren’t] even part of the conversation.”
Indie developers have become integral to platforms
Every platform attempting to make waves in a sector of gaming inevitably pads their game library as much as possible with big-name titles as well as novel creations from indie developers. This is why new online casinos decide to launch with thousands of titles. For example, Captain Spins is the new casino online, which presents users with over 1500 options, from must-have games like Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst to titles from indie developers like Relax Gaming, No Limit City, and Ainsworth.
The Nintendo Switch, which has surged in sales to surpass even those of the Xbox One which launched over three years earlier, has championed indie games. The console already has a library that exceeds 1000 games, with a huge chunk of those games hailing from indie developers. Nintendo wanted to push for more indie games on their innovative console according to Time, with the company reaching out to developers knowing the value in having a vast, high-quality, and diverse game library.
If Stadia is to succeed and avoid being another of Google’s scrapped projects, it needs to pad its game library quickly. Even if it means taking a loss upfront, which Google would almost certainly be able to sustain, they need to be appealing to as many developers as possible as more games will ultimately bring in more players.