There are more problems for Google as the tech giant is being sued over claims Google Stadia overpromised on what it could deliver.
Much like Elon Musk's now-legendary (and disastrous) launch of the Cybertruck, Google has been left with egg on its face thanks to Google Stadia. Once tipped to rival the likes of Sony's PlayStation Now and Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming, Stadia was supposed to cash in on the ever-growing market of cloud gaming services. Unfortunately, Google Stadia has struggled under the weight of its own hype. Now, the company is being sued for "greatly exaggerated claims" on what it could deliver.
While Stadia is free to start, it offers a subscription service that upgrades to 4K quality and offers 5.1 surround sound. Although there should be plenty of tempting perks, they've been overshadowed by internal and external dramas, as well as Google shuttering the Stadia Games and Entertainment division. Alongside the loss of industry bigwig Jade Redmond at its lead, the studio's closure means Google has pulled out of its own development of in-house games - something that the likes of Epic Games have flourished at.
Why is Google Stadia being sued?
According to TechRadar, Google Stadia is being sued. A breach-of-contract lawsuit was filed in October 2020 and maintains that Google "made false and misleading claims concerning the streaming quality of Stadia’s service in order to generate increased revenue for the Google Stadia division". It also claims Google violated consumer protection laws. It isn't just Stadia in the crosshairs though, with both Bungie and id Software being accused of "unfair and deceptive trade practices concerning the advertised display quality and resolution of video games distributed by Google Stadia" thanks to Destiny 2 and DOOM Eternal.
If this wasn't enough, the lawsuit also accuses Google of deleting a tweet saying Red Dead Redemption 2 could be played with 4K and 60fps, even if players didn't have a high-speed internet connection. The lawsuit added that "Google understood that it was intentionally misleading consumers and wanted to assure there were no direct false statements coming from Google regarding the Stadia service". Basically, it's not looking good for Stadia, at a time it could really do with some positive press.
What's next for Google Stadia being sued?
Instead of having the Midas touch of its search engine, Google has a checkered past when it comes to branching out. We all love Chromecast, but who could forget the doomed Google Glass struggling to find its feet in the tech market? Oh, that's right, everyone forgot about Google Glass. It's no secret that the writing was already on the wall with Stadia's ties to Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red's troubled sci-fi shooter was supposed to be a tentpole release for Stadia, but with its own troubles, it's only added to Stadia's woes.
At the core, the plaintiff accuses Google of misleading players with claims all games would be playable at 4K/60 fps. DOOM Eternal is highlighted amidst reports Stadia continued to sell the title without adjusting the description about what resolution it could be played in. Despite the recent flurry of bad PR, Google is determined to fly the Stadia flag high and has promised there are over 100 games coming in 2021 - including the all-star FIFA 21.
The latest lawsuit also comes off the back of Google being drawn into Epic Games' row with Apple about in-game purchases, meaning this is the second batch of legal troubles in less than a year. Are a few titles enough to save this drowning cloud service or is this a win for the people? Watch this space!
Images via Google | Bungie Software | id Software