Google Stadia "Is Not Netflix For Games," Company Insists

"A closer comparison would be Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus."

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Now Playing: Google Stadia Dev Talks "Netflix For Games" - GS News Update

Google Stadia launches in just a few months, but there remain some questions about exactly how it will work and what role it's looking to serve. In an attempt to clarify people's questions, Stadia's product director, Andrey Doronichev, held a Reddit Q&A in which he sought to distance the platform from comparisons to Netflix, which has often been cited by some.

"To be clear, Stadia Pro is not 'Netflix for games' like some people have mentioned," Doronichev explained. "A closer comparison would be like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus. The Pro subscribers get 4K/HDR streaming, 5.1 sound, exclusive discounts and access to some free games. Roughly one free game per month, give or take. Starting with Destiny 2 (yay!)."

Stadia Pro is the premium subscription service that Stadia users can subscribe to if they wish. It gets you everything listed by Doronichev above, but Stadia Pro subscribers will still have to pay full price for additional games beyond those offered for free, despite a Pro membership already costing $10 / £9 per month--coincidentally the same price as a Netflix Premium subscription in the UK.

Stadia Pro will be launching as part of the Stadia Founder's Edition, which is currently scheduled to release in November 2019. The premium subscription will be the only way to play Stadia at first, but not forever: a separate Stadia Base service will launch in 2020. Base will be free, but you'll miss out on the free monthly game and resolution and sound quality will be slightly diminished, to a maximum of 1080p and stereo sound.

Elsewhere in the Reddit thread, Doronichev addressed what would happen to your games if Stadia were to shut down. For more details on the streaming service, check out everything we know about its Stadia's pricing, release date, and game lineup.

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Avatar image for jark888

The success of Stadia only benefits the gaming industry and consumers, not to mention the acceleration of its surrounding infrastructure developments on a global scale.

Well, I'm not in Google developing teams, just a gamer.

Avatar image for ggregd

Google: Kills Hangouts, Trips, YouTube Gaming, Google+, Goggles, Chrome Apps, Google TV, URL Shortener, Chromecast Audio + 163 more.

Consumers: What guarantee do we have that games we buy will not be lost?

Google: We're committed to this service. Not like those dozens of other services we killed. Trust us. You don't need any sort of agreement assuring you of anything either.

Avatar image for jazneo

people call ouya. this device not trying to be android device it trying to be Onlive 2.0

Avatar image for anti-hyperlink

I'm not giving google a god damn fucking cent.

Avatar image for cyberpunk_2077

It's too soon for stadia, given the way things are at the moment with digital content.

I remain skeptical of this platform.

Besides, Microsoft or Sony could easily up their own offering to drown stadia out.

Avatar image for Cashmoney007

The sheep are the only ones that are excited for the Stadia and many other gaming services. They will accept anything in gaming.

Avatar image for santinegrete

Be honest man, we pay for the right of playing your collection of games, we don't even get a real license.

Avatar image for Schizycho

Gamers: We want to actually own our games.

Google: Here's another service where you pay full price, but we own your stuff.

GoG: Here are some games. You own them.

So hard to tell who is listening and who isn't.

Avatar image for streamline

“Base will be free...”. Finally a development to the “All your base are belong to us” problem.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

Buyer beware. This is going to flop.

Avatar image for wendayy

And it's not. I don't understand why people keep comparing these. Stadia is like GeForce Now, but has no Steam support. A minor trade off for convenience.

Stadia can be a success, if the storefront isn't like the Nintendo Switch. I think it's stupid having to pay full price simply because you can play on the go. Digital distribution doesn't have to be that expensive.

Avatar image for Ohaidere

I'd say you heard it here first that it would fail... But that's pretty much what a lot of people have said since the announcement.

Streaming games aren't more than a niche market as long as US infrastructure for such products isn't in place.

Avatar image for Cikatriz_ESP

He’s absolutely right: Netflix doesn’t charge you per movie.

Avatar image for Barighm

Translation: they're not getting the reaction they were expecting, so let's compare it a popular service.

Avatar image for Utnayan

This thing will fail.

Avatar image for patsfan365

HOLD UP, did they just say "one free game per month, STARTING WITH DESTINY 2"?

The game that's going free-to-play on every other platform 2 months before stadia even launches?

This is literally Ouya 2.0, holy shit, what a scam.

Avatar image for jark888

@patsfan365: They offer "The Collection" edition which is the complete edition of the game.

Avatar image for patsfan365

@jark888: that's literally what's going free-to-play. The base game and all currently released DLC. Only Shadowkeep, the upcoming DLC, is going to cost money.

Avatar image for xantufrog

They're really doing a poor job branding it and communicating what it is for the masses.

Consider this:

With Steam, you buy/build a PC, go on the digital storefront, buy game, download game, play game

With Stadia, _____________________, go on the digital storefront, buy game, ________________, play game

If you do a good job highlight how those two "skip a steps" could benefit at least some consumers, it sells itself. It's NOT Netflix of games, no, but you haven't done a good job highlighting why that's a GOOD thing. You need to highlight the benefits ASAP, because right now people only see what it's not.

Considering the non-4K version of Stadia is actually free, the proposition above could look pretty great to some people when juxtaposed this way with traditional PC (or console) gaming. But instead people are fixated (perhaps erroneously - I've seen many unaware of the free 1080p service) on the more expensive paid model and what they DON'T get from that (e.g no unlimited games included), and people are fixated (rightly) on concerns regarding streaming outages and what happens if your service fails.

Avatar image for Dudeman315

@xantufrog: The free version is free because it does nothing until you buy a game. They need to state why the underlined parts are better for the average gamer for sure to build hype

More accurate comparison:

With Steam/Digital Downloads, you buy/build Game console/Computer and screen, go on the digital storefront, buy game, download game, play game online, play game offline

With Stadia, you buy a controller and screen, go on the digital storefront, buy game, ________________, play game online, ___________

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Yeah Netflix for games would actually be good. Choose any game from the last 40 years and play it whenever you want.

Instead we get your vastly inferior offerings that no one wants.

Avatar image for videogameninja

-“Stadia "Is Not Netflix For Games," Google Insists.”-


Google wishes Stadia would become just that.


Avatar image for vakiva

You're right Google it is not Netflix: It's worse than Netflix. With Netflix every title is free if you pay your subscription. With Stadia, you're still charging for the vast majority of games with no real benefits over consumer options that are already on the market that don't have game lag and keep their games when the service shuts down.

Avatar image for psycho91-1

I think the only way Stadia could be interesting was being Netflix for games.

Otherwise it's just a platform, a very closed one (no mobile 4G streaming at all). It's cool to play with no hardware. But with many others limitations. Plus paying a subscription wouldn't give you any great bonus because you have to buy newest games individually

Avatar image for izraal


Well said. The only way to rationalize the product is if it is set up to be Netflix for games. With no ability to download the games onto a local hard drive, the permanency of ownership is far more dubious than any current digital platforms. A subscription service offering access to a large library, without any of the upfront hardware purchases needed to use the similar existing service, Gamepass (which requires a current gen Xbox console or a gaming capable PC) could definitely have an audience. This current model has no audience, and no relevance.

Game streaming may be the future. Early online console gaming efforts were failures - few people recall things like The Sega channel or the limited online functionality of the Dreamcast. It's probably that Stadia will be a failure that will pave the way for a later success in cloud based streaming gaming. It's odd, however, that Google would set themselves up for failure, seemingly intentionally.

Avatar image for jark888

@izraal: Google is among a few companies in the world that can pull this off.

The only way Google can actually fail is the project plug get pulled off, or their teams don't do their jobs.

How graciously they can do it is another story.

Avatar image for johnnyboy787

Still sound like Netflix.

Avatar image for gunnyninja

@johnnyboy787: Several people here have explained why it doesn't. Read through the comments.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

Google seem to be very defensive of their product, anyone would think that people had deemed it a failure already.

Avatar image for Pyrosa

@gotrekfabian: Unsure how they could possibly think that... ;)

"Hey Ubi, you have tons of skin in the game... Can you say something nice about how 'easy' it is to port your games to yet another platform? MS is hurting our feelings by pointing out 'there IS NO PORTING' on theirs, because they've been streaming PC screens for ~20 years."

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@Pyrosa: lol. The battle of the underperformers has commenced.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

@gotrekfabian: Which ever wins, we lose.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@edwardnygma: If digital only is the future then I guess you're right. I'm not going down that road just yet though.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

@gotrekfabian: Ditto. It will probably be the end of gaming for me.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy

It sounds like they're trying to course correct before a soft launch. Not a good sign. Plus they're tone deaf.

They have good people behind Stadia, but it's the "Google" part of this that's stepping in with dog poo on their shoe. They're the ones deciding the model and the PR approach aren't they? And it doesn't help that nobody wants this.

Google ya screwin it up

Avatar image for Pyrosa

@girlusocrazy: They should do what they did with Youtube: Make it free for about a decade, make it work really well, layer in monetization schemes, and then POW! Start injecting full-length commercials arbitrarily into anyone's games. Just pause the stream for all players, inject the paid ad, and unpause again. REALLY put the screws to people...

"But hey, you can buy a subscription to remove those..."

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

One free game a month for 9.99 a month!? This service sounds worse the more they talk about it. Buy full priced games on here at your own peril guys...

Avatar image for gamer112696

@gamingdevil800: Right?! I get like 6-8 free games a month for $10 on Humble Bundle (guess that’s not technically free then lol).

Avatar image for Red_Frog

No, it's not like Gold or Plus at all. With Gold and Plus you actually have your games you buy on your own system, and they don't inherently have a pile of streaming lag dumped on top.

Avatar image for Pyrosa

@Red_Frog: Huge plus points for visceral imagery. :)

Avatar image for furiouswk

cool. if it's like xbox gold or PS plus we don't need you. bye

Avatar image for cottonfly

"To be clear" be clear? No. You are not clear at all! Tell us all about what will happen to our games library if Stadia were to shut down? Forget those free games. What happens to the games we paid FULL PRICE for? Come on, Google, let's be CLEAR: We will lose all those games, won't we!

Avatar image for jark888

@cottonfly: A direct hit to the crotch. Lol.

Avatar image for vfighter

Its not Netflix for gaming as that would mean a success. Stadia is already dead, its the Ouya of gaming.

Avatar image for gamer112696

@vfighter: I think GameFly is actually the Netflix of gaming but I don’t think that got too popular (correct me if I’m wrong, I just haven’t heard anything about it in a long while). Although it sounds like Xbox Game Pass is taking off pretty well, so maybe the Netflix of gaming concept can work

Avatar image for locutus442

@vfighter: What I would call the Stadia is Ouya 2.0.

Avatar image for Pyrosa

@vfighter: Wasn't Ouya the Ouya of gaming?