The Internet is still reeling in the wake of the major news from Google and Apple. The close timing between the unveiling of Stadia, Google’s cloud-based video game platform, and the announcement of Arcade, Apple’s game subscription service, seems to have intensified the individual hype surrounding each reveal.
What seems like a race has led many to believe that there is an actual competition between the two giants. Twitter, for one, is teeming with posts that pit Stadia and Arcade against each other.
— MasMaz (@marketemia) 26 марта 2019 г.
— Hound Picked Mobile (@HoundPickedMob) 26 марта 2019 г.
— c0deNoodle (pv. BNG) (@c0deNoodle) 26 марта 2019 г.
Of course, it’s only a race or a fight if they are reaching for the same goal, right? And that’s the case, according to the tweets like this one:
— Fahed Qteishat (@Fqteishat) 27 марта 2019 г.
Furthermore, LinkedIn users seem to agree that the companies are going head to head in the same direction:
Similarly, Ben Munson of fiercevideo.com claims that Google and Apple are in a hurry to grab a greater share of the emerging cloud-gaming market. While applicable to Stadia with its emphasis on streaming, it is hardly true about Arcade, which will rely on downloads and encourage off-line experience.
On a related note, medium.com sports a review titled “Apple Arcade vs Google Stadia, Which do gamers want?” The author, Kane Hocking, also makes the newcomers compete for better accessibility. Stadia, according to the article, is likely to lose due to uneven Internet speeds. Ideally, the author would like to see the combination of the two approaches.
However, as the dust begins to settle, it becomes clear that Google and Apple are not rivals per se. For example, pocketgamer.com was quick to suggest that Stadia and Arcade had to “fight” for greater adoption. In contrast to that, a piece posted yesterday at pocketgamer.biz offers a different perspective: it’s not about two platforms taking on each other, it’s about how they take on gaming.
Stadia is mostly flirting with hardcore and core gamers as supposedly uncompromised gaming experience will become available on a larger variety of devices. Arcade with its exclusive titles is obviously geared towards 1.4 billion of Apple users. And the games glimpsed in the introduction video by Apple and designed to onboard the whole families will appeal to the audience in the core-casual spectrum.
With the hype gradually subsiding, valid concerns begin to be raised. Back to Twitter:
I am *sincerely* excited for my friends in Apple Arcade and Stadia.
However, I am somewhat concerned about subscription payment structures and their effects on genres & game types that are big for indies.
that is: getting paid per minute played is bad for indies.
— Jason Nuyens (@generaltao) 26 марта 2019 г.
This post gets to the heart of the matter. The success of both services will ultimately depend on what kind of games the two stores will offer and how the developers will feel in the proposed payment conditions. And as of yet, it is subject to speculation. For all we care, both companies might just be doing market research. After all, their reveals do surprisingly little in the way of revealing.
The good news is we don’t have to wait much longer to find out. Google Stadia and Apple Arcade will launch later this year.