Google Stadia Overpromised On What It Could Do, Says Take-Two CEO

Strauss Zelnick says the promise of Stadia was an expanded market, but that it fell short of the ambition.

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Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick says that Google Stadia overpromised on its technology, and didn't seem to expand the market like it had hoped. In a talk at the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, Zelnick explained why the company had supported the release of streaming, and he doesn't sound positive on the platform so far.

"Streaming technology is upon us," he said. "The launch of Stadia has been slow. I think there was some overpromising on what the technology could deliver and some consumer disappointment as a result."

Most of his comments, though, were focused on the business aspect. Zelnick was critical on that point as well, appearing to suggest that it doesn't have immediate plans for Stadia and stressing that it wasn't the "game-changer" it was made out to be.

"Anytime you broaden distribution you potentially broaden your audience, which is why we supported the release of Stadia with three titles initially and will continue to support high-quality streaming services as long as the business model makes sense. Over time I believe streaming will work... The belief that streaming was going to be transformative was based on a view that there were loads of people who really had an interest in interactive entertainment, really wanted to pay for it, but just didn't want to have a console. I'm not sure that turned out to be the case."

He also emphasized that subscription models and streaming are two different things that don't necessarily connect--you can have a subscription model without streaming, as in Game Pass, or streaming without a subscription, like Stadia. In the past, Zelnick has been bullish on streaming and skeptical of subscriptions.

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