What mode of payment should be expected from Google Stadia? How can it affect the future of this platform?

Mar 25, 2019 1:05 PM ET

When Google introduced its cloud gaming platform Google Stadia at GDC 2019, then lots of question were left unanswered. The most likely unanswered question was regarding the pricing of Google Stadia and how it would sell the service. The price could serve as the deciding factor of Stadia because this was the exact thing that separated Netflix from the traditional entertainment mediums. Netflix offered services at a fraction of price compared to the market. There are many possibilities when it comes to the pricing of Google Stadia. It could be a game based service in which you should buy a game like a regular digital game store. It could be an hour based service in which you buy the number of hours a day based on your package. It could also be subscription based or a combination of both subscription and hours. The possibilities of Stadia’s pricing are many.

Game-based Stadia

Game-based Stadia will be the most profitable and favorable for the developers. It would work as a traditional gaming store. However even while working as a conventional digital game store, it will not require high-end hardware for playing video games. If Stadia manages to follow the lines and go ahead with this strategy, then the only difference will be the lack of proper hardware. The only people focused on buying games in such a scenario will be the one that could pay the expenses for both high-speed internet and games. The split of money in this scenario will be spent on two factors which could lead to costly service, or they can tackle it by reducing the prices of games.

Hourly based Stadia

Hourly based Stadia is also a likely option of the system. In this type of Stadia, the user will purchase the number of hours for which a person is allowed to play a game or games per day. If purchasing hours for each game is cheaper and is different for each game, then there might be a system of trial hours put in place. So before buying any game a person would have the option of getting a trial of one to two hours. If the entire subscription is hourly based, then there would be different packages with different amount of hours per day or per month. The hourly system could be a successful system because it will offer games at a cheaper rate. Hourly based Stadia would be different than traditional platforms.

Subscription-based Stadia

Subscription-based Stadia will be the most favorable Stadia because it will offer the freedom that no other platform is offering right now. Subscription-based Stadia will genuinely be the embodiment of the word Netflix of games. Such Stadia would work in the same way as Netflix in which you will have to pay on monthly, quarterly or yearly bases. Once a person pays the subscription fee, then that person would have access to all the games available on the service. If Stadia is based on the subscription, then it might be the end of traditional video gaming because it will be offering a wide verity of video games at a fraction of a price.


The possibility of this service are many, and even one-time payment can be considered. Separate pay for every new generation of video games can also be considered. The service is a unique service and Google can mold it anyway it wants. However, pricing will be one of the deciding factors for the success of Google Stadia.

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Warren March

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