So Stadia, the new Streaming-based Video Game Platform brought to you by Google launched last year to a collective... "Meh". But if you look at the current library for the system, there's one thing suspiciously missing from the lineup. First party games. With the announcement of Stadia, Google also announced the formation of a new Division, Stadia Games and Entertainment, the Stadia Platform's first party game publisher. Jade Raymond is captain of the ship, and Google Promises that Stadia G&E will provide Stadia with compelling and unique exclusives...
So... Where are they? For a brand new platform launch from a company brand new to the industry outside the big three, you'd think investing in First Party Game Development more would be their top priority. Instead, Stadia's Launch leans heavily on Indie games, and Ports of Third party games you probably own on other, better systems. Now, getting third parties on board day one is vital for any new console, especially for newcomers. But I feel establishing a strong and interesting First party lineup is equally as important.
Sony Computer Entertainment knew this when they were established to launch the PlayStation. Even Microsoft, Google's closest rival at this point, was smart enough to realize this when they launched the Xbox in 2001. Recently, Stadia G&E has been looking to set up shop for studios in places like Japan and Europe, and has recently acquired Typhoon Studios. Cool, but... why wasn't this done BEFORE Stadia launched? A big reason why nobody cares about Stadia right now is the lineup. There's a lot to play, yes. But nothing you haven't played on other platforms before. If you already own a PS4, Xbox One, or Swtich, there's pretty much nothing to see here at the moment. It lacks a big killer app, a game or handful of exclusive games that make people take notice and go "Take my Money".
Stadia as a whole was launched incomplete. Rushed, half-baked, and half-finished. It'll probably get better down the line, but the inability to have a tangible first party lineup ready for launch is IMO, the most boneheaded mistake Google made with the service so far. I think people can forgive the other problems with Stadia, if it at least had a library of compelling First Party Software exclusive to it, but it doesn't, so its flaws become even more apparent. Third Party Games give a platform market relevance, but First Party Games give a platform its personality. They help define the console's style, its features, its unique position in the market. Right now, aside from the novelty of Streaming, Stadia has no first party games, so as far as I'm concerned, it has no personality, no style, no uniqueness.