Google Makes Stadia More Attractive to Developers

As part of its virtual Google for Games Developer Summit, Google today announced dramatically better financial terms for game developers. The announcements came during the Stadia keynote on day two of the show.

“Today we’re focusing solely on Stadia partners, both developers and publishers, so [there are] no cool game announcements or trailers,” Google’s Careen Yapp said. “To date, our partners have shipped more than 180 games on Stadia, and now they’re playable on more devices than ever before.”

But Stadia hasn’t been without controversy. Last year, Google halted work on internal exclusives for the service, leading to an exodus of talent, including several key hires like Jade Raymond and Kim Swift, who landed at Xbox. But Google has long maintained that it intends to grow Stadia and, in my experience, it’s still superior to rival game streaming services like Microsoft Xbox Cloud Gaming and Amazon Luna.

Ms. Yapp did not address these negative events. But she did admit that Google needed to make Stadia more attractive to, and more lucrative for, its partners. And she announced the following changes:

Subscription revenue share. Starting this month, Google will share 70 percent of Stadia Pro subscription revenues with its partners on an engagement basis.

Affiliate marketing. Google is creating a new affiliate marketing program that will pay partners when players converted to paid Stadia Pro subscribers. Developers can add a “click to play” link that will get gamers into their Stadia-based games and the free Stadia Pro trial, and if they convert to the paid subscription, partners will get $10 per subscriber.

Revenue share. This is perhaps the biggest news given how app store fees have become a controversial topic in recent months: Google is expanding the share of revenues to partners from games purchased in the Stadia Store from 70 percent to 85 percent. (So it’s reducing its cut from 30 percent to 15 percent.) This new structure applies to the first $3 million in revenues generated by any Stadia title that launches between October 1 and the end 2023.

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Conversation 7 comments

  • skyczy08

    13 July, 2021 - 5:52 pm

    <p>Great to see. More pressure on apple :-)</p>

  • sydney2k

    13 July, 2021 - 6:53 pm

    <p>Jade Raymond formed her own studio, Haven, and is now working on a game for Playstation.</p>

  • bettyblue

    13 July, 2021 - 7:51 pm

    <p>Xcloud had been a bust for me, it is just super laggy. In all of the game streaming services I have tested Stadia was the best but that is not saying much. I want a local device, preferably a next gen console or PC.</p><p><br></p><p>Google is offering the better deals to attract developers to a service that barely has a heart beat. Its like Microsofts change on the Windows store recently.</p>

  • yoshi

    Premium Member
    14 July, 2021 - 8:55 am

    <p>I haven’t tried Luna, but in my experience, Stadia has been better than Xbox Cloud Gaming so far. I’m a local console gamer overall, so I don’t pay too much attention to the cloud stuff just yet. But I’ve tried Stadia a handful of times and it’s been surprisingly good. With Xbox Cloud Gaming, I’ve had a lot of lag. I haven’t tried it since they moved to Series X servers though.</p>

  • bats

    15 July, 2021 - 9:08 am

    <p>Wait……I thought Paul declared Stadia dead in a year, back in 2019. ?</p>

  • mefree

    15 July, 2021 - 9:27 am

    <p>It won’t matter, without the player base (which they won’t get) it won’t matter. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and Stadia had a horrible first impression, as well as a horrible subscription model where you can buy games and lose the ability to play games you own if you don’t keep paying them monthly. Who in their right mind is going to be ok with that? XCloud has the better business model as being an ‘add-on’, not the primary.</p>

    • christianwilson

      Premium Member
      17 July, 2021 - 8:17 pm

      <p>That is something Google needs to overcome through better messaging. Stadia doesn’t require a subscription to play the games you bought. </p>

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