Google’s new move into video gaming is not only opening the entertainment to a whole new audience, but creating a huge opportunity for the licensing industry, Bits and Pixels’ co-director, Su-Yina Farmer has told Licensing.biz.
The joint founder of the video game licensing specialist has suggested that by heightening the move towards digital transactions of video gaming titles, the “ever expanding gaming audience will want more tangible, physical, merchandise to covet.”
At the start of this week, at the Games Developer Conference in San Francisco, Google unveiled the ‘next generation of video gaming,’ with a console-less system that will allow gamers to play ‘from any device with an internet connection.’
Powered by the cloud, fans will be able to tap into Stadia without the need for a physical console, but any smart device with an internet connection. The aim will be for Google to build up a library of streamable gaming content.
“Stadia’s device-less model lowers the barrier to entry in terms of initial outlay of cost, thus potentially introducing a whole new audience to gaming, in the same way that smartphones and tablets did,” said Farmer.
Stadia’s potential to offer “instantaneous gaming”, as well as seamless integration to viewing and streaming of video game content, means that – according to Farmer – “gaming is going to be more immediate and omnipresent than it has ever been.”
“Of course, there are limitations and unknowns,” continued Farmer. “While Stadia proposes a gaming experience across multiple devices agnostic to the device capability, it relies on a stable internet connection to deliver this content. This reliance means that Stadia may not yet be able to offer the absolute gaming experience for all the different types of gamers and their requirements. For now, it looks to open up new avenues for exploration, rather than replace the existing ones outright.”
A testing ground for now, perhaps, but Google’s Stadia is certainly representative of the shift towards digital downloads over physical game sales. Which is where licensing’s big opportunity comes in.
“Stadia will increase the digital transactions of video game titles; pressing retailers who rely on physical media to evolve,” said Farmer.
“That said, as gaming media becomes more digital, the ever expanding gaming audience will want more tangible, physical, merchandise to covet – and that’s a huge opportunity for the licensing industry.
“Google’s bold move and huge investment shows that their message is clear: gaming is the future and in the future that Google sees; everyone will be a gamer.”