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Google announced its first dedicated internal game studio for Stadia in Montreal that is to be launched in the nearest future.
Google announced its first Stadia Games and Entertainment studio in Montréal on Thursday. Games chief Jade Raymond revealed that the new studio will focus on producing “exclusive, original content.”
The Google VP explained ways in which the tiered party structure for Stadia games will develop. These “spectrum of bets” are recognized by how much they are using features that are only possible with Stadia’s cloud-based platform.
“We have a plan that includes building out a few different first-party studios,” she tells the publication, adding later that Google plans to release Stadia-exclusive titles every year, including games that do things which aren’t possible with today’s game consoles, like full physics simulations or integrating the Google Assistant to be the voice of NPCs in the game.”
Raymond explained that this won’t be the type of gaming lineup we’ll see at launch, which is mostly a mixture of already existing games from third-party publishers.
Regarding the third-party, even though the first games that will begin debuting in November are, as we mentioned, mostly existing ones, some, like Ghost Recon Breakpoint, is “already taking advantage of exclusive functionality.”
As for the second party, there are few titles from independent developers. As per Raymond, these partners will be able to take almost full advantage of Stadia. However, Google will be the provider of support on par with its internal studios.
“Initially we’re going to have some interesting indie-style titles we sign and they might look a little different, or take advantage of a YouTube integration, or have a different role for a streamer. But they won’t right away solve every problem or uncover every possibility of what cloud-native gaming is going to open up.”
Google promised to build a “few different first-party studios” beyond Montréal, and “quite a few exclusive games in the works.” It is expected that the games be released on a yearly basis with increasing frequency over time.
Part of Google’s promise, Raymond claims, is the possibility to use Google’s distributed data center hardware in order to enable real-time calculations that until now, couldn’t be done on some of the most powerful home hardware.
Raymond referred also to the overly ambitious failure of 1998’s Jurassic Park: Trespasser.
“A fully physics-simulated game is one of the Holy Grails of game creation since Trespasser was being imagined 20-something years ago, and now we finally have a platform where we’ll be able to deliver some of those experiences,” she said.
She directly name-checked Google Duplex as a way to make non-player characters more realistic. That technology, she says, allows Assistant to “put natural-sounding calls on behalf of the user for restaurant reservations, and could replace scripted lines for believable human interactions embedded in any game that has a narrative.”
Some experts in the industry say those promises are similar to the ones that Google’s Phil Harrison gave in April when he said that the potential that Stadia has its “to handle complex multiplayer going from hundreds to tens of thousands in a very sophisticated world… every change that I make to my world can be instant, in microseconds or less, be distributed to every other client… You can’t do that with a discrete box.”