Stadia Makers Program Announced for Unity Devs to Self Publish Indies

Stadia Makers Program Announced for Unity Devs to Self Publish Indies

Stadia Makers is a self-publishing program for indie developers to get more indie games on Google Stadia.

Google’s streaming platform, Stadia, hasn’t had the best of starts, launching last year with a lack of games and finding some issues with some of its features. The small library and trust in the company and lack of money being offered have seen developers and publishers be wary of the streaming platform, and the lack of indie games has been noticeable as the platform mostly has big blockbuster titles. However, not only does Stadia have a bunch of titles to announce through the year, but it also seem to be trying to get more indie games on the platform through a new Stadia Makers program.

Announced yesterday, Stadia Makers is the company’s “first step into an expansion of self-publishing for experienced independent game developers.” It also shares some details that since the platform launched, there have been over 30 games and 60 game updates as well as boasting that there are 120 games still to arrive this year.

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According to the blog post, “far more studios applied to be a part of our launch than we could work with at the time” and now that Stadia has improved its tools and built new partnerships, it can now work with more independent studios.

One of those partnerships is Unity. As Google pilots the Stadia Makers program, those using Unity 2019.3 or later with plans to ship a game in 2020 and 2021 are eligible. Stadia SKU is also listed on the eligibility section, explaining that a studio can increase the reach of its game by adding Stadia to the list of launch-day platforms.

Those accepted into the program will find themselves getting technical assistance from experts at Unity, helping projects meet targeted alpha, beta, certification, and launch dates. Participants are also eligible to receive up to five physical development kits depending on the team size and structure. As for funding, “There’s a very real financial consideration when it comes to developing across platforms, and Stadia will offset some of those costs.”

It’s stated that the program will start small with plans to expand to bring on more development teams of all sizes. Those interested can apply to become one of the first approved developers to self-publish their title on Stadia through the Stadia Makers program by signing up here.

It certainly sounds like Stadia is making the effort to get more indie titles to the platform, which is a fantastic idea. However, the details on what “some of those costs” that the compnay plans to offset seem rather scarce and further makes developers and publishers wary of what exactly they’ll be getting offered.

GameDaily did reach out to Stadia reps looking for more details but were told that Google isn’t revealing details on the funding details nor the user count on Stadia at the moment. Being so tight-lipped about key information that developers and publishers want to know before thinking about pushing their game on the platform seems like an odd move.

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“Independent developers are obviously a key part of Stadia, and you can see that we have some great indie games already launched with more coming very soon.” a Stadia representative told GameDaily.

Games research director at Ampere Analysis, Piers Harding-Rolls, also spoke with GameDaily about the indie scene on Stadia, saying that it is “a positive sign and will help flesh out Stadia’s supported content in 2020 before we get a launch of its free tier.” He adds, “But I believe that content-based subscription services will continue to be the most commercially successful cloud gaming offerings. Google Stadia is not yet there in terms of a bundled content subscription offer – I can see that coming down the road, but not until at least 2021.”

He goes on, “As such, Google needs more exclusive content to compete with cloud gaming services from Sony and Microsoft that are either already in the market or poised to launch commercially in 2020. Google understands this and is the key reason the company is acquiring new talent to build out its first-party studio capability.”

Google Stadia has a lot of competitors to go against in the future. Not only is the Xbox Series X and PS5 on the way, but there are other cloud services such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now for PC users, PlayStation Now and Amazon are possibly making pushes into the cloud streaming scene, and Microsoft has the Project xCloud on the way. Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer has already said that Microsoft sees Amazon and Google as their main competitors.