Take-Two CEO thinks Stadia overpromised

Borderlands 3 Zane build
(Image credit: Gearbox Software)

While Stadia continues trucking away and we'll be seeing more game streaming in the future from Microsoft and possibly Amazon, gaming up in the clouds hasn't really shaken things up yet. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick is among those who haven't been wowed by the technology so far, believing that Google may have overpromised. 

"The launch of the Stadia has been slow," he told viewers of the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference (cheers, Gamespot). "I think there was some overpromising on what the technology could deliver and some consumer disappointment as a result."

Back in November, Joanna was impressed by how well Stadia worked with games specifically designed for it, like Gylt, but was less convinced by the performance of games like Destiny 2, where pixelation and stuttering were serious issues. 

"Stadia is just like all the other cloud gaming platforms I've tried," she said. "Often great for singleplayer games, terrible for multiplayer if your internet isn't up to snuff."

Six months later, this is still the case. In some cases, the barrier for entry may be even higher than the alternative. A new console isn't cheap, but it's easier to buy one than it is to wait for your area to get the infrastructure needed to enjoy problem-free cloud gaming. 

Zelnick also questioned the size of the audience. Take-Two released a trio of games for Stadia at launch, expecting to increase the pool of players, but now Zelnick isn't certain that there are enough people who want to play console games but don't already own a console. 

"The belief that streaming was going to be transformative was based on a view that there were loads of people who really had an interest in interactive entertainment, really wanted to pay for it, but just didn't want to have a console. I'm not sure that turned out to be the case."

This doesn't mean that the publisher is done with the platform. Zelnick says that it will continue to "support high-quality streaming services", but only if the business model makes sense. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.