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Opinion Game Dev Platform Google Stadia is like the early days of Steam, says Tequila Works CEO.

IbizaPocholo

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While speaking with GamesIndustry.biz at the Fun and Serious Game Festival in Bilbao, Spain, Rubio discusses working with Google in the run up to Stadia's launch, and what the future holds for game streaming.

Google approached Tequila Works around two years ago, and Rubio says he was immediately impressed by the Stadia tech. Riding high off the success of 2017's Rime, it's not hard to see why Tequila Works got the call. But Rubio sounds almost surprised when he says Google wanted a narrative-focused, indie exclusive without online or multiplayer.

Rubio says this began a "very open and honest dialogue" with Google, as the tech giant financed and produced the project. In fact, under Google he adds, Gylt had the "smoothest production for a Tequila Works game ever."

"They have been a very good partner, and I only have very good words for the Stadia team," he says. "Most of them are coming from PlayStation, so maybe because they were familiar with the process, but they have been very hands off. They haven't imposed anything... The whole thing about Google is that they have all this influx of data, all this analysis of user tests; most of the time it was facts, like where people were getting stuck in the game, rather than [artistic oversight]. So it has been very hands off."

For a studio like Tequila Works though, which has developed a small but dedicated following, the exclusivity deal is a double-edged sword: it denies all but the most diehard and committed fans access to the latest game, but does place it in front of a new audience looking for diverse experiences on Stadia.

"I guess this is more like a bet, in a sense that we believe in the technology, but at the same time, you must see it as the early days, in the sense that this is a platform or technology that is just starting," says Rubio.

"It's true that we believe that Tequila Works is a brand itself, and we have followers who are expecting the Tequila Works game, even if they can expect the unexpected... The thing that blew our minds [with Stadia], is that when you are playing this game on a crappy laptop or a phone or a tablet, it works. That is basically the magic for us."

The decision to go exclusive with Stadia was, Rubio explains, all about potential; using a mobile phone to play testbuilds of Gylt on the commute to work was a game changer.

"This is my personal opinion, but this is like the early days of Steam in a sense that this is when people were complaining that it took too long to download, and then the download would stop and people were [complaining] the price was exactly the same as a boxed game," says Rubio.

"It's going to get better. In fact, one day when we look back, people will wonder why people were questioning streaming at all. I'm not talking about Stadia specifically. I'm talking about streaming in general."

For Tequila Works, joining Stadia at the ground level was a low risk endeavour, as Google financed the project, but creators still want people to play and enjoy their games. To this end, did Google Stadia meet Rubio's expectations?

"My view is subjective of course, it cannot be objective because I have been inside, and I know there are many features that are super cool that are not active yet," says Rubio. "So let's have this conversation in one year I guess.

"People are totally right to be wary. It's a new technology; historically streaming solutions didn't work. I think it's the time, in a sense, in that the technology is there and the audience is there, and to be honest the content wars are here... [Stadia] has a lot of potential, it hasn't reached its full potential yet. I think that was never the idea with this small soft launch. I know that they are working to make it better every day. I know it's going to get better, because there are a few features that are going to blow people's minds."
 
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Alexios

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That's the go-to-excuse for shitty service providers, but-but that other service that is awesome now wasn't awesome 16 years ago, and since we weren't around then, things haven't progressed for us, we're stuck in the past! The available tech, know how, expertise, the tools and even the user expectations are the same as back then for us! They have to be! Guess what, we're in 2020 fanboys, digital distribution is no longer a pioneering newfound and necessary for PC innovation (as other companies Epic included were abandoning the platform in favor of consoles because of so called piracy, lol, now they complain about a monopoly yet boast about their crazy high -Fortnite- numbers showing it's anything but) as it was back then. Love how nobody even likes Stadia but they're using Epic defense for it because if not their trashing will have to apply to their precious shitty EGS, ha.
 
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ShirAhava

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To be fair early steam was pretty shitty....I hated it at the time

 

Bkdk

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Honestly I have high hopes for google in gaming from their deep mind AI really pushing gaming AI up a gen. For now though not interested for stadia.
 

Grinchy

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Steam really did suck at first and no one could understand why they suddenly had to use it. But you could just as easily point to anything in history that sucked and got good and say, "See! Stadia has a chance and everyone just can't see it right now!"
 
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Spukc

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Steam really did suck at first and no one could understand why they suddenly had to use it. But you could just as easily point to anything in history that sucked and got good and say, "See! Stadia has a chance and everyone just can't see it right now!"
this..

like epic basically giving away 50 games in a year,and still people shit on it
 
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stranno

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First year of Steam was perfectly fine (for the time) since most games were GoldSrcs and most users played over the WON servers instead of Steam.

The first real breakdown of Steam servers was the release of the first Steam mandatory game ever: Half Life 2.
 
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oagboghi2

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epic game store had the same hate at the start look at it now.
all good things take time.

waylo waylo Lone Wolf Lone Wolf .

stadia is not even a thing i many countries. let's treat it like a beta
like early steam
people still shit on it because it sucks

hopefully Stadia actually improves their features and services over time...unlike EGS
 

demigod

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Steam was dog shit back then, its better now due to new OS, hardware, UI changes.

There will always be some form of latency due to streaming and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
 
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Away with the fairies
Steam was shit 16 years ago because the technology was still new.

Stadia is shit because it's shit. Don't forget that Google spouted shit like "it will be better than local hardware" "4k/120fps" all the time etc.
 
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I hate to say it but I agree.

No matter the hate streaming is the future and Google can be a potential winner in that space (simply due to their huge power and ability to execute).

Progress is a part of life. Otherwise people would still believe Jesus could walk on the water, play another version of the same Mario game or think global warming is a scam. Oh, wait...
 
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DynamiteCop!

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It's not though because Steam didn't have any competition for 8 years of operation. This service is launching right off the bat against two other services by well established game publishers and platform holders with literally thousands of games and dozens of studios at their disposal.

It's nothing like Steam.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I hate how this excuse is used so frequently, so flippantly, without any apparent nuance.

New anything comes out and fails? Bu bu but Steam had a rough start, too!

Nah, Steam was acceptable for the time when it came out. Yeah it had/has flaws but it was one of the first centralized PC stores. It set the trend.

Stadia isn't even the first streaming device, let alone the first gaming venture from Google.
 
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They have something as strong as Half Life and Counter Strike... and streaming games is starting with them? Rewriting history is not going to help.
 
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M0G

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The thing is when you download a game and have issues installing it's one thing. When that game is installed, by rights it just works the same as a game acquired by other means. When your issues lie with the actual playing of the game and are consistantly problematic across the whole experience it's something far worse. You cannot charge what Google's charging and expect to be taken seriously.
 

TheCockatrice

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Uhm okay except that was in 2005 and now we're in 2019. No excuses anymore but thanks for your input developer of Stadia exclusive.
 

MiguelItUp

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Steam was most certainly rough when it first launched, I didn't hate it like others did, but yeah, it was pretty disgusting to look at and severely limited. It just got better with time. I just remember having that nasty green color and gray, and that was it, lmao. I was like, well, gray it is.

But Stadia is a bit different. Steam was rough in the beginning, sure, but it wasn't a complete failure. Maybe there's a world where Stadia can bounce back in some way, but honestly, I don't think so. They have a lot to clean up.
 

Futaleufu

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Honestly I have high hopes for google in gaming from their deep mind AI really pushing gaming AI up a gen. For now though not interested for stadia.

Deep Mind AI? They cant even offer visual quality parity with the Xbox One X
 

Dane

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Forgetting the part where Steam had a killer app and reason to use it. Stadia quite literally offers nothing.

Well, actually the Killer App was the store deals, I don't recall a single person who liked to use Steam in the CS CZ and Half Life 2 days. And I hated it too, many issues with loading games thanks to the API. Not to mention, it was basically the first Online DRM as it required the online activation of games, back when the third world markets they were being sold didn't have widespread access.
 
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Spukc

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Well, actually the Killer App was the store deals, I don't recall a single person who liked to use Steam in the CS CZ and Half Life 2 days. And I hated it too, many issues with loading games thanks to the API. Not to mention, it was basically the first Online DRM as it required the online activation of games, back when the third world markets they were being sold didn't have widespread access.
yet people still act like steam is the second coming of christ it's just as shit as the rest of the drm stores.
i hated steam so fucking bad when hl2 launched,

i bought the game in a store. and i had to wait 2 days on dial up internet to play a physical game.
retarded as fuck
 
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Dane

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yet people still act like steam is the second coming of christ it's just as shit as the rest of the drm stores.
i hated steam so fucking bad when hl2 launched,

i bought the game in a store. and i had to wait 2 days on dial up internet to play a physical game.
retarded as fuck

I always had broadband, but god, i hated the damn thing, there was a point I couldn't even load the games, or if there was a message during the loading, it would freeze.

When I was newbie I wondered why the hell CS Source and their bundled games (Day of Defeat Source and HL2 Deathmatch) were on my account, I had installed Orange Box and didn't know that Steam associated the games to the account and thus you could download them without the disc.
 

rofif

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It has always been fine for me. I never had any issues with it and I got it with half life 2 near release. I don't know what people do with Steam to have problems with it.
Exactly. People just had slow internet back then and there was nothing like this before. It wasn't even a store but more like a drm
 
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Woo-Fu

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You can't compare it to Steam because Valve had every intention of improving and expanding Steam. Epic isn't going that route, have stated so in interviews.
 

Cravis

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Nah comparison to Steam isn’t right.

The most apt comparison would be to the early days of the Ouya, and even then it had a better launch