This weekend, Image & Form's beloved SteamWorld franchise arrived on Google Stadia in the form of SteamWorld Dig 2 and SteamWorld Quest. The two indie games are a welcome addition to Stadia's roster, and Pro members can actually get them for free for the month of March. Unfortunately, Stadia users don't seem to have a lot of other indie games headed to the service anytime soon. In fact, it seems developers are actively avoiding the platform, claiming that it's simply not worth it, and they aren't sure of Google's overall commitment to gaming. The news was originally reported by Business Insider, and should come as another blow to the beleaguered service.
According to Business Insider, sources say Google just isn't offering developers much in the way of incentives for bringing games to the service. Other platforms have bigger audiences, and indie developers are reluctant to commit their already limited resources to making games for a platform that Google doesn't seem all that committed to. With Microsoft and Nintendo truly embracing indie developers, hyping their games, and even allowing those studios to create new games using existing properties, it's hard to blame those developers for looking elsewhere.
The rise in prominence of indie games over the last two console generations has had a major impact on the video game industry as a whole. Indie developers have given gamers some truly amazing experiences, at a fraction of the price of AAA titles. Critical darlings like Cuphead, Undertale, and Untitled Goose Game have changed the way indie games are perceived, becoming mega hits for the industry. As the cost of making AAA games increases, console manufacturers are leaning on indie games to bolster the number of games available to their audiences.
While the Stadia concept has a lot of potential, Google's game streaming service has been problematic since it launched in November. The system boasts some truly beloved titles, but many of the offerings are older, and, in some cases, they're also inferior to options available through other platforms. Stadia has yet to offer users anything that isn't available elsewhere. While Google has discussed upcoming timed exclusives, nothing has been announced yet, and public perception of Stadia seems to be pretty dismal. No one knows what the future will hold for Stadia, but it's telling that a service offered by a company as large as Google is having difficulty attracting partners.
Have you signed up for Stadia? What do you think of the console's library thus far? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!