Google Now Offering White-Label Stadia Tech, Starting With AT&T’s Free Arkham Knight Demo – IGN
Google has begun offering its Stadia streaming technology as a white label product – effectively letting other companies use the tech without becoming a part of the Stadia ecosystem. The first notable example of this comes from AT&T, which is offering customers the chance to play Batman: Arkham Knight as a streamed game, for free.
As reported by 9to5Google, AT&T is allowing customers to stream Arkham Knight for free. AT&T’s website makes no mention of Stadia tech being used to stream the game, but both AT&T and Google subsequently confirmed to IGN that the technology being used is the Stadia architecture, but outside of the Stadia platform itself. It’s worth noting that Arkham Knight isn’t even available as part of the Stadia service.
The game is seemingly only available to stream for a limited time (AT&T hasn’t made clear what the end date for the service is), but can be streamed at 1080p from Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge desktop browsers.
In a statement to IGN, an AT&T spokesperson said, “This is being powered by the Stadia technology. For this demo AT&T created a front end experience to enable gamers to play Batman: Arkham Knight directly from their own website and the game is playable on virtually any computer or laptop.”
When Google shut down its internal Stadia developers, it hinted that it may use its technology in this new way, effectively allowing partners to sidestep being part of Stadia as a whole, but still use its game streaming capabilities.
“We see an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia’s advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools,” wrote Stadia GM Phil Harrison in a February blog post. “We believe this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry.”
It’s unclear what the wider take-up has been, or will be, but it’s an interesting first step in a new direction for Google. That step has been necessitated by the rocky road Stadia has had since launch. Reports have said that Google spent tens of millions of dollars on securing AAA third-party games for its streaming service, not to mention the costs of setting up internal studios.
However, the launch was lacklustre and Stadia reportedly missed multiple targets, leading to a far more scaled-down vision of the service. Stadia is still adding third-party games, but its future may well be looking more like a tech solution than a platform in and of itself.