This past week, Google Stadia’s Director of Product, Andrey Doronichev, appeared to answer questions on a Reddit AMA regarding the new platform. Topics he answered include questions on data caps, achievements, social features, and more.
Here are the highlights below:
Can you clarify what the free game situation is for Stadia pro as it is confusing due to mixed messages?
Andrey Doronichev, Director of Product: “To be clear, Stadia Pro is not “Netflix for Games” like some people have mentioned, a closer comparison would be like Xbox Live Gold or Playstation Plus. The Pro subscribers get 4K/HDR streaming, 5.1 sound, exclusive discounts and access to some free games. Roughly one free game per month give or take. Starting with Destiny 2 (yay!).”
Are there plans for an achievement system? No details needed.
Doronichev: “Oh yes, achievements… as a lifelong gamer and a pathological overachiever, I love achievements! Of course we’ll have something similar to other platforms. However, it will not be there immediately at launch. Will come a little bit later.”
If the Stadia service is discontinued, do we know what (if anything) will happen with game purchases?
Doronichev: “We get this a lot. I hear you. Moving to the cloud is scary. I felt the same way when music was transitioning from files to streaming. I still have all my old CDs in the garage… although it’s hard to find a CD player these days :)
The same happened to Movies and Photos and my Docs and other files… And it’s great! Games are no different. Eventually all of our games will be safely in the cloud too and we’ll feel great about it. We’ve been investing a ton in tech, infrastructure and partnerships over the past few years. Nothing in life is certain, but we’re committed to making Stadia a success.
The games you buy on Stadia are yours to play. From day one we’ll support Takeout, so that you can download your game metadata, including saves if you want to.
Of course, it’s ok to doubt my words. Theres nothing I can say now to make you believe if you don’t. But what we can do is to launch the service and continue investing in it for years to come. Exactly how we’ve been doing with gMail, Docs, Music, Movies and Photos. That’s exactly what we’re committed to.”
Is there anything being done to combat Data caps? Or is that purely on us to converse with our ISPs? 50 dollars extra a month for me to just NOT have a data cap.
Doronichev: “I can’t predict the future, but I’ve seen that ISPs adapted in the past – I saw it when I was at YouTube – and we’d expect that to continue. For players concerned about data usage we’ll definitely have some tools in the Stadia app to manage your data usage to adapt to your unique data situation, but I’m not sure if that will be on day one or a bit later. There’s a lot of great ISPs offering plans with 100s of mbps or even gigabits and no caps. We’re seeing different progress in different countries and are certainly expecting ISPs to continually improve the services.”
Will Stadia have its own Global Chat and Friends System, or will it depend on the game developer to implement this features?
Doronichev: “First and foremost, I personally think of Games as the main social platform of the future. So we’re investing a lot in Social, Communications and Safety on Stadia. At launch you’ll be able to manage your friends list, create parties and use platform-level voice chat. And that’s just the beginning. We also have a healthy pipeline of social features going forward.”
Is cross platform a realistic possibility or is it just something Stadia is hoping to achieve?
Doronichev: “We love cross-platform play and are working to get it with every game we can. Both cross-play and cross-progression are big priorities for us. Enabling both cross-play and cross-progression is up to each developer and publisher, but we’re doing everything we can to make it happen.”