If you thought Stadia’s subscription model was a tad confusing, it could be about to get much worse.
Google’s upcoming game streaming service, which is set to launch in November and will come in two tiers, a free ‘Base’ tier where you must purchase the games you want to play and a subscription ‘Pro’ tier. The Pro tier grants subscribers access to the Stadia game library. The Base tier won’t be available until 2020.
However, according to the head of Stadia, Phil Harrison, publishers will be able to offer their own game subscriptions through Stadia.
Rock Paper Shotgun reports that Harrison let the information slip during an interview with Geoff Keighley during YouTube’s E3 Live show. However, Harrison didn’t say which publishers would offer a subscription through Stadia but did indicate those with more significant catalogues would likely be on board.
One publisher I expect to take advantage of this is EA, which already offers a subscription service on Xbox One and plans to bring it to PS4 soon. The company has also confirmed plans to bring titles to Stadia but hasn’t announced any specifics yet.
While publisher-specific game subscriptions could provide gamers with more access to titles, it also stands to make Stadia’s subscription model even more complicated. Gamers may find themselves having to layer on several publisher subscription packages to gain access to the games they want, similar to how cable companies make users get extra packages for channels like HBO.
Considering many hoped Stadia would be like a “Netflix for games,” some may find this development sorely disappointing.