How Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Indicates Google Stadia’s Third-Party Game Plans
Google Stadia’s announcement keynote at GDC included a few recognizable developers — Id Software with Doom Eternal and RIme developer Tequilia Works among them. But it’s Google’s partnership for Project Steam with Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey that is the real indicator of what games Google plans to bring to its new streaming game platform.
Speaking with IGN at GDC 2019, Vice President and GM at Google Phil Harrison explained that viewers shouldn’t “read too much into who we had on our stage.”
“Don’t read too much into who we had on our stage yesterday and who we didn’t have on our stage,” Harrison said. “[The keynote] was really about picking up some of our key platform features and illustrating them with certain games or certain experiences.”
Harrison instead pointed to last year’s Project Stream, which saw Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launch on PC in a limited test via Chrome browsers. That test, which was the bellwether for Google’s Stadia plans, and the partnership with a AAA game developer and publisher, is what Harrison sees as the potential for Stadia’s game library.
“Definitely read into the fact that we had a very strong triple-A publisher with the capability of Ubisoft as the people we partnered with for Project Stream,” he said. “That is probably the single biggest indicator of our direction of travel that you should extrapolate from. That we had day and date with all other platforms that they launched Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, we brought that game to Project Stream.
“That was a very powerful decision that Ubisoft made and it was an important measure for me and our team that we could deliver on that trust.”
And Ubisoft appears committed to continuing to build games to play on Stadia. At the same time as the announcement of Google’s new platform, Ubisoft’s co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot said of the Odyssey test that “This is only the beginning, and we can’t wait to continue collaborating closely with Google on what’s next for Stadia.”
When I asked Harrison about the potential for Stadia to appear on other gaming platforms, he declined to speculate on what other console manufacturers may want to do in regard to streaming going forward. he did, however, say that Google is open to “any and all” games eventually making their way to Stadia.
“We would welcome any and all games to our platform, and whether that’s now or in a few years from now, is great,” he said.
While Harrison and Google will not, at this time, comment on other launch lineup or potential Stadia library questions, he did point to the already announced event this “summer” (in North America) where more consumer-focused details like Stadia’s game lineup could be revealed in more detail.
For more on Stadia, be sure to check out IGN’s comprehensive breakdown of Google Stadia’s reveal and our opinion piece on why Google is so well situated to bring game streaming to players with Stadia.
Additionally, be sure to check out what Google’s claims about Stadia’s teraflop power exactly mean, and learn a little bit more about the Google Stadia controller.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s News Editor and Beyond! host. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.
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