Poor Google Stadia. After enduring a tough launch in 2019, the game streaming service is still struggling to keep afloat nearly a year later. But the last thing it needs right now is a damning quote from one of its figureheads.
Recently, Alex Hutchinson, the Creative Director of Stadia Games and Entertainment, sparked controversy on the Internet with a curious series of Tweets (via 9to5Google) that seemed to paint game streamers on Twitch and YouTube Gaming as free riders. He felt that streamers “should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream” in order to balance out the profit this demographic makes out of their living.
But instead of inviting proper discussion like he had hoped, Hutchinson instead incensed a large amount of the gaming and streaming community on Twitter, many of which launched their own rebuttals at him (a lot of which directly undermine his arguments, interestingly).
Even former Kotaku reporter Jason Schreier couldn’t help but stoke the flames, albeit at a matter-of-fact level:
In case you’re catching no ball on why Hutchinson’s argument is getting so much heat, there are a couple of factors. Firstly, even though all his opinions are his own (a phrase which is literally etched on his Twitter bio), he is still under the Google banner as he says this. And even though Stadia isn’t doing well commercially, it’s still Google — a multi-billion dollar company that still rakes in heaps of cash every year. If he were an independent dev, and his game wasn’t doing so well in the market, maybe more would be sympathetic to his plight.
And of course, the fact that game devs and streamers are enjoying a “symbiotic” relationship where the former gets exposure for their creations while the latter makes a living off experiencing said creations – as quoted by Ryan Wyatt from YouTube Gaming (thanks, Kotaku) — always meant that this was a hornet’s nest one would be careful to prod even if they wanted to rock the proverbial boat a little. Unfortunately for Mr Hutchinson, he probably should be the last person to try and do so, in this case, simply due to his position.
How exactly this might affect Google Stadia’s performance in the market in the near and distant futures remains to be seen.
But hey, you do you, right?
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.