According to a report from Business Insider, there are two major reasons why a number of game developers did not showcase their games on Google Stadia when the platform launched last year.
The reveal of Stadia, of course, marked a huge attempt from Google to break into the games industry. An online service that allows players to stream games without the need for a disc or a download, Stadia is an interesting idea in theory - it's one possible path that could define the future of gaming.
However, when Stadia launched in the second half of 2019, there weren't quite as many games on the service as you might have expected. Even players that paid for the highest tier of Stadia membership only had a handful of games to choose from, and some of them required extra payments on top of the monthly subscription fee.
There was also only one exclusive game on Stadia when it launched - a horror title called Gylt, developed by Tequila Works - meaning that everything else on the platform could be played elsewhere. This raises questions about the necessity of Stadia. For instance: Rockstar Games allowed Red Dead Redemption 2 to appear on Stadia, which felt like a significant achievement for Google, but wouldn't most people interested in that hugely popular game have already played it on PS4?
Now, thanks to Business Insider's interviews with several developers that aren't on Stadia, we know why there wasn't more uptake from studios. It comes down to two major reasons: developers were not offered enough money from Google to take part, and, apparently, they didn't "trust the mercurial company to stick with gaming in the long term."
Although all the developers that spoke to Business Insider chose to remain anonymous, their quotes in the article speak volumes. One developer said bluntly that "there isn't enough money there," and went on to describe Google's financial attempt to entice developers onto Stadia as "so low that it wasn't even part of the conversation."
Another developer, described as a 'prominent' name in the world of indie games, says that the incentive to sign up with Stadia "was kind of non-existent." But it wasn't just the financial side of the equation that failed to get studios interested in Stadia. The lack of a sizeable player community is also said to have been a contributing factor in decisions.
Additionally, developers doubt that Google will stick with Stadia for an elongated period. This makes sense as a concern, considering the company's track record with giving up on ideas. Let us not forgot that Google+, the search engine giant's attempt to launch a social network, was eventually shut down.
For now, though, Google has claimed it is seriously committed to Stadia - 120 games are said to be hitting the service this year, including a number of exclusive titles. Perhaps, if Stadia can prove itself with a truly impressive 2020, more developers will want to get involved. Whatever happens, we'll be sure to keep you updated...