At its Google for Games Developer Summit, Google today unveiled Stadia’s B2B offering called “Immersive Stream for Games.” The offering, which was created in partnership with Google Cloud, will allow companies to take advantage of Stadia’s underlying platform technology and deliver games directly to players. With this offering, Google is branching out by opening up Stadia’s streaming technology for other companies to license.
Google says the service will allow companies to run game trials, offer subscription bundles or entire storefronts. Google began working with AT&T last year to pilot the new offering. AT&T used the service to power its offering of Batman: Arkham Knight to thousands of its users for free. The company will be using Immersive Stream for Games to power another game coming soon to its customers, which will be playable on the web and on mobile. Google plans to scale Immersive Stream for Games more this year.
“The Google for Games Developer Summit is designed to support studios of every size, with tools and innovations from teams across Google,” said Dov Zimring, Stadia’s head of product, in an emailed statement to TechCrunch. “The core features we’re talking about today are benefitting both the development journey and player experience for Immersive Stream for Games customers, including Stadia. In partnership with Google Cloud, we’re working to build out the underlying cloud gaming technology that powers both Stadia and our customers’ offerings via Immersive Stream for Games. A rising tide for cloud gaming lifts Immersive Stream for Games as well as Stadia, and we’re excited for what’s to come in 2022 and beyond.”
Google’s official unveiling of the offering follows a report from February that indicated that the company was deprioritizing Stadia and focusing on striking deals with companies through a B2B cloud gaming service. Today’s announcement finally gives this project a name.
As for Stadia itself, Google announced plans to launch new features to make it easier for players to discover and play games. Google is making it possible for people to browse games in the Stadia store without needing to log into the service or create a Stadia account. The company says this will make it easier for users to browse titles available on the store.
Google is also launching new “Click to Play Trials” to enable players to try out games on Stadia. Players can try out games without having to pay or sign up for a Stadia account. Developers can choose how long they want a game trial to last. The company launched its “Click to Play Trials” pilot phase last October with select developers. In the first public test, Google found that players are about 35% more likely to respond to a “Click to Play Trials” promotion than a traditional “buy or claim” message. Google plans to offer the trials as an option for all titles on Stadia in 2022.
The company is also working to make it easier for companies to port Windows games to Stadia. Its new “Low change porting” toolkit is designed to reduce the time and resources required for developers to bring games to Stadia. Google revealed that more than 10 studios, including Paradox Interactive and Team 17, are currently testing the toolkit in order to port their Windows-based games to Stadia. The new toolkit will be made more widely available to developers later this year.
It’s no surprise that Google is looking to deliver Stadia gaming streaming technology to other companies, as Google has struggled to grow and scale Stadia over the past few years since its launch in 2019. Although the company initially planned to release exclusive titles, Google closed Stadia’s in-house game studios in early 2021.