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Games for Google Stadia Will Be Full Price

When Google finally confirmed the release date, games lineup, and more for their new Stadia streaming platform – many onlookers assumed the included games were just that – included with their subscription options. Google has confirmed this is not the case.

In a roundtable interview with press, Stadia boss Phil Harrison (via Eurogamer) indicated games on Stadia will likely be the same price as other platforms, like PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

“I don’t know why it would be cheaper,” Harrison replied when asked. “The value you get from the game on Stadia means you can play it on any screen in your life – TV, PC, laptop, tablet, phone. I think that is going to be valuable to players.”

Harrison added, “In theory, the Stadia version of a game is going to be at the highest-possible quality of innovation and sophistication on the game engine side.”

Despite his suggestion that games on Stadia will probably cost the same as other platforms, he couldn’t confirm how much they will cost. He pointed to competitors instead.

“The publisher or the developer is in as much control of the prices as we are, so it’s a bit difficult for me to say what the prices will be right now,” he said. “But, we’re obviously going to be very aware of prevailing prices in the marketplace.”

While Google and Harrison are positioning Stadia as “Netflix for games,” this is clearly not the case. On Netflix, or even Sony’s PS Now and Xbox’s Game Pass, you pay one subscription fee and get access to everything. On Google Stadia, you’ll have to purchase games on top of your subscription.

“We’re definitely in a great moment of transition and inflection in the industry, going from an ownership consumption model,” Harrison replied when this was pointed out.

“Around the world we’re already way past the physical digital tipping point. Particularly in the UK, that’s accelerating as time goes by,” he added. Harrison then suggested Stadia is still a better option as you’ll theoretically never have to buy a new gaming console or PC.

“The industry is in transition,” he said. “Not every developer and publisher is ready to move to subscription yet. Frankly, not every gamer is ready to move to subscription yet. So we wanted to give gamers a choice so they could engage in the games they wanted in the way they wanted – and in all cases, without the very high upfront cost of buying a sophisticated device to put under their TV or on their desk.”

Stadia is launching sometime in November of this year. In case you missed it, you can find our rundown on pricing, games, and more here.


Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer, Nicchiban, and Pretentious Media. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.