Phil Harrison continues to build up the hype behind the value of Google’s upcoming cloud gaming service, and this trend continued during a roundtable with GamesRadar. When asked about how Stadia plans to handle ownership of titles purchased through the service, Harrison confirmed that both games and save data will remain available to the consumer, even if the publishers and developers pull support from the platform.
While a Stadia Pro subscription will offer users Netflix-style access to a library of games, newer titles will be available for purchase. This begs the question, what happens to the games you’ve purchased on Google Stadia when a publisher or developers decide to remove support from the platform down the line? The GamesRadar reporter proposed this exact hypothetical using Ubisoft and Watch Dogs Legion as an example.
“Yes, you will still be able to access the game,” Harrison confirmed. The reported pushed forward for clarification, offering up Konami’s P.T. as another example. When the relationship between game developer Hideo Kojima and Konami completely soured, and Kojima left the company, Konami removed the P.T. demo — an early look at a new Silent Hill — from the PlayStation Store. Following the controversy, both the idea and the game walked away with Kojima.
“Now, there may be – as we’ve seen in the past – there may be times where a developer or publisher no longer has the rights to sell to new players,” Harrison responded. “That would mean that the game will not be available to new players, but it will continue to be available for existing players.”
While this offers security for game purchases while the service is available, it doesn’t alleviate concerns about what happens to those purchases if Google decides to scrub Stadia completely in the future. The developers behind the platform aren’t likely to answer concerns like this considering the service hasn’t even launched yet, but even with the information we do know, there’s no doubt that Stadia has a lot of obstacles to overcome before it carves out a significant spot in the market. Google has more than enough firepower to support the platform for a long time but many unanswered questions still remain.
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