Google reportedly selling Stadia technology as “Google Stream” to Bungie, Peloton, and others
The Stadia streaming service has been an uphill battle for Google, and the company shutting down its only in-house game studio in early 2021 wasn’t a great sign. Stadia has continued to stick around, but a new report from Business Insider reveals how the platform’s priorities are shifting from a consumer product to a service for other businesses.
Google publicly confirmed in 2021 that it planned to sell Stadia’s technology as a service to select partners, allowing companies to build products that use Stadia streaming to varying extents. Business Insider reports that this technology is called “Google Stream,” and most of Google’s efforts with Stadia are now focused on striking deals to use Google Stream. Peloton is reportedly using Steam to power games on its fitness bikes, such as Lanebreak. Google was also in talks with game developer Bungie last year, which would have involved Bungie creating a Stadia-like streaming platform of its own and using Stream for the technical side, but it’s not clear if those plans will continue now that Sony is purchasing Bungie.
Meanwhile, Google’s plan for the Stadia-branded service is a “content flywheel” strategy, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. The idea is to retain a steady flow of new indie games and content from existing publishing deals, which is definitely noticeable — the Stadia Pro subscription service recently passed 50 included games, many of which are independent games. One source told Insider, “the key thing was that they would not be spending the millions on the big titles, and exclusives would be out of the question.”
Even though Stadia doesn’t appear to be in danger of shutting down, Google is definitely done trying to directly compete with Xbox Game Pass Streaming and Amazon Luna. It’s not all doom and gloom, though — Stadia is expanding to both LG and Samsung smart TVs, and more games are planned throughout this year.