Without knowing the hoped-for success, Google Stadia will indeed turn into a white label. A cloud gaming service available to publishers.
Slowly but surely, cloud gaming settles in the video game landscape. Microsoft has strengthened its Xbox Cloud Gaming to be available on many devices, even its Xbox consoles, and the service is now powered by Xbox Series. Nvidia has also given a boost to GeForce Now with the launch of a new offer that promises to be overpowering.
For his part, Google Stadia seems a long way from the party. Subscription Stadia Pro certainly adds new titles regularly, but the evolution of the service seems very slow. When presenting the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which we were able to take in hand, the firm has not once mentioned its cloud gaming service. We are now learning what we could already suspect, Google Stadia is evolving to become a white label.
A service at the service of other services
The American telephone operator AT&T has indeed announced the possibility of playing the game Batman Arkham Knight in streaming, for free, thanks to cloud gaming, without specifying which technology the service used. Asked about the subject by The Verge, the operator confirmed that it was indeed Google Stadia which animated its offer.
AT&T therefore signed a contract with Google to offer cloud gaming “Powered by the Stadia technology”, but without ever clearly indicating this to the end user. We are indeed in the presence of a white label: Google is content to provide a service to AT&T, and the only trademark used is that of the American operator. The game is offered in 1080p at 60 frames per second for the carrier’s customers, the equivalent of what Google offers free to Stadia customers.
This is a first partnership, not necessarily the most heartbreaking that can be, but now we can expect to see other services asking for help from Google Stadia to propel their offerings. We could imagine tomorrow a publisher like Ubisoft or Take Two offering a cloud gaming service directly to its fans, via Google Stadia.
Since the launch of Google Stadia, the press has unanimously praised the quality of the service’s technological stack: the latency is very low and the image quality is quite good. Only the commercial offer from Google, which required both to subscribe to offer the best image quality and to (re) pay for its games, had not convinced. Pivoting towards a white label therefore makes perfect sense for this quality service.
It remains to be seen whether Google will manage to sign contracts juicier than a simple test on a game by AT&T. Above all, it would be interesting to know if Google still plans to improve the hardware of its servers. The service is certainly good, but the games generally run on a profile similar to the consoles of the previous generation, rather than the new consoles. A hardware update would allow us to stay in the race against GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming.