Stadia: How Google created the best gaming platform & its marketing burnt it down 🎮

Google Stadia could be the most controversial gaming platform of all time. The large majority of the gaming community resents it, and the reason why they hate Stadia is completely incorrect.

What is Google Stadia? ☁️

Google Stadia is often referred to as a games console, which it isn’t. Stadia is a service that allows you to play video games without a gaming PC or console.

You simply buy a game on Stadia’s online store & start playing; no need to download the game & install it, or put a disc into your console.

How does it work? 🎮

Essentially the game is playing on a server elsewhere & your TV, computer, tablet or phone is just acting as a screen.

With a good internet connection it works perfectly (based on the free version of Stadia).

Why Stadia is a great concept 🥳

In theory Stadia should be the casual gaming demographic’s best friend.

If they try to play a game on their PS4 or XBOX One it’s slow to load, often buffers & the quality is generally not great. Ordinarily they either have to put up with the experience, pay several hundred pound for a new console or even more for a gaming PC.

Stadia allows them to save on this cost, instead the only cost is the games themselves. Or, if you pay for Ubisoft+ for £14.99 you don’t even need to worry about that (if you’re playing a game by them).

Additionally, when you bought Resident Evil 8 on Stadia they sent you a Chromecast & controller for free. What insane value!

Stadia should be doing so much better than it is, especially at the moment whilst most new games consoles are extremely expensive due to scarcity. Parents should be rejoicing at Stadia, too, as it provides a massive saving if your child plays games.

How did Google make people hate Stadia? 😠

Stadia as a service has seemingly changed on multiple occasions, which has resulted in people completely misunderstanding what the service actually is.

At first it seemed like Stadia would be a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee and have access to any game on their library. But then that wasn’t the case.

Stadia kept the subscription model for its premium service, which promised better graphics & performance in addition to free games each month. However, they didn’t really make it clear that you didn’t need to pay for this subscription to play games on Stadia.

Then it was announced that games would be full price on Stadia.

So what people understood was that Stadia required you to pay a subscription to play the games you own. In reality, you don’t have to pay a monthly fee and can just pay for the game on its own with no other commitments necessary. Stadia’s marketing doesn’t effectively communicate this at all, though.

In fact, if you go on their website it makes it as unclear as possible that Stadia is free if you don’t want to pay a monthly fee.

As a result the service isn’t doing great.

What can we learn from Stadia’s failures? 💩

  • Know exactly what your product is before announcing it.
  • Clear messaging is essential, otherwise people will just assume in incorrectly & refuse to learn otherwise.
  • Focus on advertising to the right demographics. In this case parents, & people looking to play games which run badly on old hardware which run well on Stadia.
  • Understand your product before promoting. Stadia was trying to compete with games consoles; why? Spotify doesn’t compare itself to a CD player, because that’s stupid & would confuse people what Spotify’s purpose is. If Stadia just said “Buy *insert game here*, play anywhere on any device you want.” … Well people wouldn’t be so confused.

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