Stadia’s pivot to a Google Cloud product is official

By | March 16, 2022

Enlarge (credit: Google)

Stadia’s rumored pivot to a Google Cloud service is real! At the “Google for Games Developer Summit” Tuesday, Google announced that the technology underpinning Stadia will be available for sale as a Google Cloud service called “Immersive Stream for Games.” That’s nowhere near as catchy as the “Google Stream” name that was rumored, but Google Cloud services aren’t consumer-facing anyway.

The company confirmed AT&T was one of the first to trial Immersive Stream for Games last year, when it launched Batman: Arkham Knight as a free streaming game for AT&T mobile subscribers (AT&T owns Batman via DC Comics). Despite giving the game out to mobile subscribers, you aren’t actually supposed to play Batman over your cellular connection just yet—it only works on PCs, not smartphones.

During the keynote, AT&T said it would soon enable playback on a smartphone for the Stadia-powered game. “This technology, paired with the AT&T network, gives us the ability to deliver games directly to customers,” AT&T Vice President of 5G Product & Innovation Jay Cary said during the keynote. “We’re preparing for the launch of our next title on the immersive streaming platform soon.” ISPs like AT&T have an incentive to push cloud gaming since it uses a ton of data and makes users reliant on ISPs for quality access. AT&T does not zero-rate its own services anymore, so this Stadia game will be an easy way to make your cellular bill skyrocket or quickly exhaust your unthrottled data allocation. Cary mentioned that “thousands” of AT&T customers have tried the Stadia-powered game so far.

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