Google’s Stadia technology is now called… Immersive Stream for Games?

Google Stadia was once, apparently, the future. Google itself declared him “alive and well” in may of last year earlier in June, announcing that it would license the technology to “industry partners”. Last month, we reported that Google was planning to turn it into a white label streaming platform (one licensed by companies and used under their own brand), a strategy known internally as Google Stream (which was one of the prototype names for Stadia).

Now it’s official. At the ‘Google for Games Developer Summit’, the company announced that it will sell the underlying technology as a Google Cloud service called… ‘Immersive Stream for Games’ (thanks ArsTechnica). I didn’t think Stadia was such a good name, but that’s a lot: of course, it’s now a B2B service rather than trying to attract customers.

The talk showed a presentation of Batman: Arkham Knight running on AT&T mobile devices, showing that there is no longer any Stadia or even Google branding. Google obviously has the scale that this might be an attractive proposition for some companies: when reports started circulating about this pivot, there were rumors that Bungie and Capcom were interested in using the technology for their own purposes.

(Image credit: Google)

Google being Google, is also aiming beyond the obvious: Another customer announced last year was fitness bike maker Peloton, with a game called ‘Lanebreak’ receiving a closed demo.

It’s an odd turn for Stadia, which arrived with big promises and a promise to shake up the traditional hardware market. A disappointing lineup of titles and a muddled approach to pricing have seen a lukewarm consumer response, and Stadia has never seemed to break through or find big advocates for its approach. Google’s own target was 1 million subscribers by the end of 2020: a target missed by about 25%, with one source saying “retention was a real issue”.

AN Earlier this year Business Insider Report cited current and former employees estimating that “about 20% of the focus was on the consumer platform” and the rest is selling the technology and “proof-of-concept work for Google Stream”. Stadia-exclusive titles are now “out of the question”. So if you own one of the devices, don’t expect the service to suddenly shut down: but this is a fork in the road for Google Stadia.

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