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Google debuts first Stadia Makers recipients in pitch for indie support

Google debuts first Stadia Makers recipients in pitch for indie support

September 21, 2020 | By Bryant Francis

Google Stadia's big pitch to developers thus far has been angled around eliminating expensive tech requirements that stand between prospective players and their games.

In a perfect, Google-driven world, players wouldn't need high-tech rigs or fancy next-gen consoles. A Stadia account and a high-speed internet connection would let players play whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

It's a pitch that sounds ripe for high-tech, tech-heavy games, so it's notable that today, Google is taking a different tack with the announcement of the first entries of the Stadia Makers program. Google has announced that The Irregular Corp, Bedtime Digital, Furyion Games, Soedesco, Akupara Games, Big Sugar Games, and Fishing Cactus are all in the first wave of Stadia-supported developers. 

As mentioned in March, the Stadia Makers program isn't just a Google-focused initiative. Unity also chipped in to be the engine of choice for program recipients. 

If you're wondering if the next round of the Stadia Makers' program might be right for your studio, perhaps you'd consider some insight from the folks who took Google's money. For Herbert Yung, Furyion Games director, one of the unexpected advantages was in the testing opportunities. "That's one great part about Stadia for sure, beinga ble to have people test our game" he explained. "So far, a high percentage of people who have tried [Death Carnival] love it, so it works out well for us.

Fishing Cactus CEO Bruno Urbain gave a more interesting pitch, that Stadia is helping his team connect with a particular audience. "Our audience is mostly looking for a story rich game where direct violence is not the core of the experience and this is quite distant from mainstream games." 

"The bet for us with Stadia is the opportunity to bring the game in front of a larger player base with different tastes."

It seems that "you can capture a broader audience" is part of Stadia's pitch to developers as well. When quizzed about why Stadia was targeting smaller developers who rely on platforms with lower system requirements, Stadia developer marketing lead Nate Ahearn made a pitch for "accessibility." He said most developers the company is working with want to capitalize on players being able to play games across "their favorite devices."

"For developers in the Stadia Makers program, that’s especially important, in terms of enabling access to an even wider group of potential players who can play where they want and when they want," he said.

Developers interested in pursuing the Stadia Makers program might also want to know that the developers we spoke with do plan on launching their games on other platforms--some the same date as their Stadia launch, some on other dates. 

Yung also made a pitch for smaller developers looking for reasons to sign up with Google. "There are many built-in gameplay features in Stadia, [which] means game devs like us don't have to build them ourselves," he said. "Giant game developers may not care either way, but for smaller dev studios, it means a lot of cost savings."

If you're interested, you can apply for the Stadia Maker program here.

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