The launch of the Google Stadia is a mere four months away, and potential consumers are learning more and more about the new system, including what will happen to purchases made of the product fails. In a recent Reddit AMA, employees associated with the Stadia’s upcoming launch answered all sorts of questions about streaming, ownership, and what the subscription plan will look like over time.
In his introduction begin, Andrey Doronichev gave a little bit of background on his time at Google, and then got right to the questions. When asked “If the Stadia service is discontinued, do we know what (if anything) will happen with game purchases? (Alternately, are they any minimum EoL guarantees, etc. You get the gist of it)”. The reply was a reassuring “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.”
This should calm many fears that have been circulating online regarding the proposed system of playing games, which were well-founded to begin with. Today, when a developer goes bankrupt, players often have no way to re-download their games.
Recently we saw a similar issue in regard to DRM when Microsoft shut down its servers for its ebooks, leaving those who paid to purchase the books suddenly out of luck. The lesson learned from that, among other instances, is that, when one pays for something, it is expected that they will own it. This is something that consumers are increasingly demanding.
In a similar line of questioning regarding the Stadia, Phil Harrison, the VP and head of Google Stadia discussed what would happen if a developer or a publisher decided to pull support for games currently on the system. This, in theory, seems like it would be a massive blow considering one would not have the game on the Stadia, since they would only stream it from elsewhere.
Harrison affirmed that any consumer who makes the purchase on the Stadia would not be affected by such a move. Of course, a developer or publisher may lose the rights to sell to new players, but those existing players with purchases already made will have nothing to worry about, according to Harrison.
The news should help consumers in their decision to invest early in the Stadia, or to hold off on purchasing it. It is yet to be seen how well the concept will do in the real world where everyone doesn't necessarily have unlimited data or a sufficient bandwidth to stream at the levels purported by Google. This is a factor that, in itself, may render the project essentially ineligible for any long-term growth.
The Google Stadia will be launching in November of 2019.