Harrison was on the podium with Amy Hennig, a veteran game designer (who played a pivotal role in creating the Uncharted franchise before moving to Electronic Arts / Visceral Games to work on a now-cancelled singleplayer Star Wars game, codenamed Ragtag). Harrison said the fact that the developers can push the processing over to Google’s data centres will mean they won’t have to build their games around a specific technical limitation (such as a PlayStation 4, a high-end PC, or a smartphone), meaning they could have more ambitious ideas: „Now this transition to game development being cloud-centric will be a fundamental shift, but it will be a difficult shift as well. This is not going to be the easiest pathway for every studio to go through,” Harrison said.
He added that the multiplayer games could be bigger in scale, as the data centres have predictable Internet connections, and he’s also interested to change the way how we perceive a value of a game (which is currently driven by physical and/or digital retail stores – they define the value at the moment).
We can send a link of a Google Stadia game to a friend, who then can immediately hop in and play without downloading anything. He hopes developers can create unique experiences – as an example, he brought up Playdead’s Inside, which he named as one of this favourite games of the past few years. In the end, Hennig asked about the Stadia’s business model. Harrison didn’t say anything else but this: „Our platform, on a fundamental level, has been architected to support a very wide variety of monetization options.” (Who wants to bet money on in-game ads?)
Google Stadia, which was revealed at this year’s Game Developers Conference, will not have a box/console. It will only require a good Internet connection, and more details of it will be announced this summer. It is planned to launch in most of the major countries of the world (such as the US, UK, or Canada) by the end of 2019.