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Google's Stadia streaming platform sure is a thing, isn't it. We all know it's there, and what it does, and how it works, and even some of the games we could play on it. But not many of us really want to use it, right now, over the alternatives of switching on a home computer or console. The Verge called Stadia "a lonely place" in May 2020, as it was only achieving 10,000 players per day, six months after its November 2019 launch.
More recently, we heard that Google has plans for over 100 new games to come to Stadia in 2021, including SEGA's Judgment and EA's FIFA 21, despite also announcing that it was closing dedicated studios committed to producing first-party Stadia titles. So, perhaps it's not all doom and gloom for the service, just yet. Unless, that is, this news throws a considerable spanner in the works.
Outlets including Game Rant and TechRadar have reported that Google is facing legal action over misleading claims about the quality Stadia delivers. It transpires that a lawsuit was filed in New York back in October 2020, which states that Google "made false and misleading claims concerning the streaming quality of Stadia's service in order to generate increased revenue for the Google Stadia division".
The same lawsuit also aims its sights at both Bungie and id Software, saying that the latter studio was complicit in misleading consumers about the Stadia performance of its 2020 shooter, DOOM Eternal. Both studios (Bungie being behind Destiny 2) are said to have conducted "unfair and deceptive trade practices concerning the advertised display quality and resolution of video games distributed by Google Stadia".
To cut to the chase, the lawsuit states that Stadia cannot deliver on its promise of running all of its titles in 60fps 4K, with a suitable internet connection. Also contained in the lawsuit is mention of a deleted statement by Google, dating from late 2019, where the company claimed Stadia would be able to run Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2 on a PC that otherwise couldn't handle the open-world Western. But players who did stream the game felt pretty differently.
The lawsuit adds: "Google has done nothing to correct the false information concerning the power and resolution of the games available on Stadia and does not disclose to consumers in the Google Stadia store the resolution of each of the games available for purchase." We'll be following this case as it unfolds further - but realistically, anyone going up against Google must know their chances of a significant win are slim.
When we covered Stadia at its launch in late 2019, we found it to be severely lacking. It's just always felt like a product, a platform, that isn't really needed, right? Right.
Featured Image Credit: Google