Google's Netflix of gaming, Stadia, to release in 14 countries this year, no Singapore launch for now

Attendees try out Google's Stadia at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California.
Attendees try out Google's Stadia at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Google on Thursday (June 6) released new details about its video game streaming service Stadia, which will be available in 14 countries starting in November.

For the launch, Google will sell its "founders edition bundle" hardware pack for US$129 (S$175), with a monthly subscription price of US$9.99 in the United States.

In Europe, the price will be €129 (S$198) and €9.99 a month.

Besides the US, the founders edition bundle will launch in Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

The new gaming platform aims for a Netflix-style subscription that enables players to access games on any device, powered by the Internet cloud.

This could disrupt the huge gaming industry by allowing users to avoid consoles and game software on disc or download.

Subscribers will have access to free games and will be able to purchase some blockbuster titles as well.

The first free title will be the shooter game Destiny 2 from game developer Bungie.


Users may also purchase hit titles such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Ghost Recon Breakpoint from game giant Ubisoft. 

“Ubisoft is bringing several fantastic gaming worlds to Stadia at launch and we cannot wait to see players experience them on this game-changing cloud technology,” said Yves Guillemot, co-founder and chief executive of Ubisoft.

Stadia will launch in the United States, Britain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

Announcing the game platform earlier this year, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said the initiative is "to build a game platform for everyone."

Google's hope is that Stadia could become for games what Netflix or Spotify are to television or music, by making console-quality play widely available.

Yet, it remains unclear how much Google can grab of the nascent, but potentially massive, industry.

As it produces its own games, Google will also be courting other studios to move to its cloud-based model.