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Report: Stadia didn't achieve Google's subscriber expectations

The search giant reportedly paid out tens of millions for titles like Red Dead Redemption 2

Report: Stadia didn't achieve Google's subscriber expectations

In news that will shock very few of you Google's Stadia streaming service apparently did not hit expectations.

That's according to a report from Wired, which says that two sources claimed that the platform had not met the forecasts set out for it by the search giant. Since its launch in November 2019, Google parent company Alphabet has not mentioned Stadia once in its financial reports or its call with investors; nor has it publicly said anything about how well the cloud games platform has performed.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Stadia boss Phil Harrison (pictured) courted big name publishers like Take-Two and Ubisoft and that Google paid of "tens of millions of dollars" to bring games like Red Dead Redemption 2 to the platform. Apparently, the amount of money the company was willing to pay to bring big names to the service even shocked industry vets.

First-party down

This news comes in the wake of Google closing down its first-party Stadia Games and Entertainment development studio at the start of February. This reportedly came just days after Harrison had praised the development teams and had seemingly made it seem like they had a future ahead of them.

The decision to close Stadia Games and Entertainment was in-part due to anxieties about Microsoft's continued studio spending spree, not least the purchase of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media. Wired also reports that while Google announced the opening of a Playa Vista in March 2020, the following month the search giant put a hiring freeze into effect. The company was not able to bring new blood in, save for some "strategic areas," of which game was not one. 

This story first appeared on PCGamesInsider.biz.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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