Google quietly transitions its Stadia cloud gaming platform into a ‘white label’ service that is licensed to third-parties like AT&T

Google Stadia White Label Remotely Cloud Hosted Gaming Service
Stadia to live on as a backend white-label service? Pic credit: Marco Verch/Flickr

Amidst the intense tussle of multiple cloud gaming initiatives from tech giants, Google Stadia seems to have quietly transitioned or blossomed into a backend service. Businesses such as AT&T are now experimenting with licensing the promising cloud-hosted remote game streaming platform.

Within just two years from its initial beta launch, Stadia is now a back-end cloud service for remotely hosted gaming. Instead of competing with the likes of GeForce Now, Microsoft xCloud, Amazon Luna, etc. Google seems to think offering Stadia as a licensable service could be a safer alternative.

Google’s platform couldn’t compete with other cloud gaming services?

Stadia was initially a consumer-facing, branded service. Google had been actively developing a promising platform.

The search giant truly had some high hopes for remotely hosted game streaming platforms. Needless to mention, there are many companies currently competing in this very space.

Google poured a lot into developing Stadia. Positioned as a AAA cloud gaming service, Stadia arrived as a beta platform in 2019. Strangely, the platform faced several hurdles despite having Google as its founder.

The Stadia Games & Entertainment (SG&E), the platform’s first-party studio, shuttered without developing a single game. Several key personnel abandoned the ship.

Google eventually decided to kill the game division at the beginning of 2021. However, in a blog post, the company hinted about “big changes”:

“In 2021, we’re expanding our efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players.”

It is not immediately clear why Google, of all companies, couldn’t push Stadia. After all, Amazon is aggressively pushing Luna, GeForce Now is doing well, and even Walmart contemplated a similar offering.

Stadia is now a backend service that Google is licensing to willing partners:

Recent developments make it amply clear that Google Stadia is no longer just a branded service that Google is offering directly to consumers. Instead, the service is now “Google Cloud Gaming Platform.”

Moving ahead, Stadia could be a back-end, white-label service that could power other companies’ products. Simply put, instead of Google, some big businesses would leverage Stadia’s infrastructure.

Google is quite proficient at offering Cloud products. In fact, dozens of businesses heavily rely on Google Cloud products, like database hosting and push messaging to sustain and drive their own platforms.

It is not clear why but Google seems to feel a back-end service “is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business.”

It is concerning to see Stadia’s future as an invisible backend service. However, instead of shuttering a promising platform, and perhaps repurposing its infrastructure, Google has ensured Stadia lives on. It’s just that the platform may function as a “white-label service that could power other companies’ products”.

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