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Sundar Pichai: Game Publishers See Google’s Stadia as a ‘Point of Inflection’

Video game publishers see the coming of Google’s play-anywhere Stadia platform as a turning point for the game industry, but also note the technical challenges it faces, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told analysts during the Alphabet earnings call this week.

“I think there is genuine excitement because I think they see the opportunity for a shift, a point of inflection, but they realized the technical challenge of pulling something like this off,” Pichai said. “But once they get their hands on the technology and then they see the experience, I think that really wins people over.”

Pichai was responding to a question from an analyst about the pushback Google might be getting from game publishers over the service.

Stadia, which would allow people to play high-end games on a cloud-based computer using a variety of devices with screens, was announced during the Game Developer Conference earlier this year. The announcement came without a lot of detail. Particularly, Google didn’t talk about how players would pay for the service or what publishers and developers would be paid. They also didn’t discuss some of the finer points of the technology and how it works.

The result was a mixed reaction, with some publishers and developers saying they needed to know more before they could decide if they would support it.

In speaking during Monday’s earnings call, Pichai said that called Stadia Google’s newest platform and said it would revolutionize the way gamers access and play their favorite games while bringing together the best of Google’s infrastructure and open ecosystem approach.

“With Stadia, you will be able to play advanced AAA games on any type of screen instantly without ever needing to download the game or install updates,” he said. “The reception from gamers in the industry has been incredible and we look forward to sharing more when it launches later this year.”

Speaking to Variety following the unveiling of Stadia, Google VP Phil Harrison said there would be two more events before the launch of the service that would deliver the details gamers and game-makers are waiting for.

In responding to the analyst question later in the earnings call on Tuesday, Pichai said that the company is having “conversations across the board and I think people are definitely engaging in a very committed way and they are investing in it.”

“It’s up to us to bring it all together and have a compelling service later this year and that’s what the team is working on,” he said. “They want to see our commitment, which is what we are demonstrating and they are working hard to make the investments on their side.

“So it’s a big joint effort and it’s working well.”

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