Google Stadia is promising to create a streaming video game service that allows high-end performance on a multitude of devices that normally would not be able to handle the load. One of the major complaints concerning a streaming gaming platform like Google Stadia is that the player isn't guaranteed ownership of their games, but Google has attempted to address these concerns in an update to the FAQ on the Google Stadia page.
There are a lot of people who prefer to purchase digital games instead of physical ones, due to how it's easier to have an entire library of titles saved to a hard drive than it is to store numerous games in boxes. The problem with this notion is that the games have the potential to be lost if the service provider shuts down or a legal issue forces it to be removed, as was recently the case when Alpha Protocol was taken off Steam due to music rights issues.
Google Stadia requires the player to purchase games at full price, which has led to concerns over future access. If Google Stadia fails to take off and the service becomes too expensive to maintain, then Google will likely shut it down. There is also the issue of publishers removing support for their games if they are unhappy with Google Stadia in the future and, whether or not consumers will still have access to them if this happens.
The updated FAQ for Google Stadia stresses that this is not the case.
What happens to a game I bought if the publisher stops supporting Stadia in the future? Can I still play the game?Yes. Once you purchase the game, you own the right to play it. In the future, it is possible that some games may no longer be available for new purchases, but existing players will still be able to play the game. Outside of unforeseen circumstances, Stadia will aim to keep any previously purchased title available for gameplay.
Google is claiming that all games purchased on Stadia will still be playable, regardless of the publisher's relationship with the platform, though it might not be possible for people to purchase the game after a certain point. The mention of "unforeseen circumstances" is troubling, as that could relate to a number of issues that could result in a game being taken off the service. The recent music rights issue with Alpha Protocol is just one example of a potential problem that could crop up in the future.
The Founders Edition of Google Stadia will be available in November.