Harrison hinted at the upcoming feature in an interview during YouTube’s E3 Live show. He remarked, “You’ll also see in due course, in relatively short order from now, you’ll see publishers starting to think about their own subscriptions. We support that on our platform, and we’ll see some announcements in due course around that.” Harrison noted that larger publishers in particular are very interested in some sort of subscription feature.
Publisher subscriptions would complement Google Stadia’s overall plan. Google Stadia will not resemble Netflix or Hulu, but instead will bear similarity to Steam or Amazon Prime. Google Stadia will essentially allow you to purchase games and play them on a TV, in a Chrome browser, or on the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a smartphone for $10 USD a month. Services like Amazon Prime allow you to subscribe to services like HBO GO for an additional fee. It seems quite likely that Stadia gamers will be able to subscribe to publishers like Ubisoft.
It is currently unclear how this subscription service would work and how much it would cost. Presumably, customers would subscribe to a particular publisher and be able to access all of their games. They may also be able to obtain season passes and DLCs at no additional cost. This kind of service could be very attractive to many kinds of players. It also helps that these games can be accessed in a variety of ways. Other gaming services like Xbox Live can be rather limited.
This kind of service could also be rather complicated and potentially underwhelming. Harrison did not describe the number or kinds of games that would be available in publisher subscriptions. Users may find themselves juggling multiple pricey subscriptions with very little content. The publisher subscriptions would need to be priced well and feature enough games to justify the price.
Google Stadia will be available this coming November. Many other rumors and confirmed features are sure to pop up before then. You can check out our announcement article here for more information.