Google apparently went all out to secure third-party publishing deals in a bid to populate the Stadia library of games.
According to a report by Bloomberg on the weekend, Google spent “tens of millions of dollars” to convince major publishers to port their best franchises and games to Stadia as part of an overly expensive agreement that unfortunately never broke even for the cloud gaming platform.
Ubisoft as one notable publisher is said to have received $20 million from Google just for its Assassin’s Creed and The Division franchises. That includes Syndicate, Unity, Origins, Odyssey, and the most recent, Valhalla. Besides The Division and The Division 2, Ubisoft has also brought other games to Stadia which likely cost Google another and equally expensive deal.
The Crew 2, Watch Dogs: Legion, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Just Dance 2020 and 2021, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and others are all available on Google Stadia with the upcoming Far Cry 6 joining the cloud-powered library as well. It remains to be confirmed how much Google paid to have those games as well.
Take-Two Interactive as another such example was reportedly “raking it in” while porting Red Dead Redemption 2 and NBA 2K20 to Stadia at launch. PGA Tour 2K21, Borderlands 3, and the remastered Mafia 2 and 3 games are some of the other names from subsidiaries under Take-Two Interactive that made it as well.
Google recently decided to shut down its internal studios for first-party games which means that Stadia as a platform currently only caters to third-party games. The promise of unique and exclusive content has hence been dissolved within just a year after the subscription-based cloud gaming platform was launched.
A couple of weeks back, Google Stadia vice president and general manager Phil Harrison reportedly pointed at Microsoft or rather its acquisition of ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion as one of many factors to mark the closure of first-party Stadia games.