This started a week ago when I wrote ‘8 missed opportunities’, I had been pondering a few issues and I was wondering whether it was a fair call what I wrote (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/11/28/8-missed-opportunities/), and whilst I was pondering that, my mind being slightly preoccupied with “The Aeneid of Virgil”, I suddenly had this brain twist for an idea that might work on the Apple Arcade, the Google Stadia and the Amazon Luna. I named the game ‘Kick the Arcade’, a game optionally 2 players online (in co-op), a side scrolling game, not unlike Streets of Rage (SEGA Megadrive), but there is a difference, this game grows over time. An idea that the game has 20 levels, every 5 levels a boss and in each set of 5 levels an arcade, where one machine can be kicked (hence the title) and you can free the hero in that machine. At that point, you unlock the hero and after defeating that boss of these levels you can switch to one of the unlocked hero’s and continue the fight on those levels with different enemies. I was thinking of one little complication. When someone joins you that person can only select one of the unlocked hero’s and at that point, it might be your levels, but the enemies are the ones of the second player hero, it would be a whole new level of challenges. Consider all these great side scrolling levels, Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, Green beret, Ghosts n Goblins, Golden Axe and the list goes on, there is still the issue whether the IP is locked, yet this idea basically washed over me in minutes, so what is keeping them making new games? Yes, Google Stadia at present has an interesting list of games, but lets face it Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (2014), Hitman (2016), Destiny 2 (2017), they have originals, but they need more originals, a console is defined by what others do not have, not what others ALSO have. And this is happening whilst 7 announced titles are apparently no longer coming, so if Google is all about being googly, be Googly!
Set yourself apart, because no matter how the presentation looks, there is every chance that most people will not be able to tell the difference between Apple Arcade, Amazon Luna and Google Stadia, when that happens, there is every indication that Apple would win by default, is that truly what we want?
I am not stating that Apple is bad, but I expected more from the out of the box thinkers (aka people at Google). No wonder I have the 5G IP that Google does not have, ah well, such is life.
Even as we see ‘opinions’ like “Google’s Stadia was always going to fail, but a new report claims that the issue isn’t missing features or a tiny game library. It’s Google. … “Google didn’t offer them enough money, and they don’t trust the mercurial company to stick with gaming in the long term” and here we see two parts the important part ‘they don’t trust the mercurial company to stick with gaming in the long term’, it is the long term part, yes it is a fair call, but it comes with the dependancy on others to fill your chest with treasures, the selfish corporate settings we see all over the place gives a clear signal, they bring something that is exclusive and unique, or you are forever in a stage where you are not the first focal point. We have seen this a few times over (Bethesda anyone?), and as such the fickle state that Google tends to be on at present is partially forced upon them (corona viral distribution and change) and part from within, they are spread too thin and they are in too many places, as such Tracker smurf (Sundar Pichai) is optionally losing oversight, or he is too many places too often, take your pick. But the critique offered is not all empty. I do not care too much for ‘Google didn’t offer them enough money’, either there was no real commitment on the $$$ price or someone didn’t negotiate too well, no matter what the reason is, I find it lacks focus. As I see it, the old games would be an optional saviour, 1-2 dozen games rewired in better graphics, optional additional sides to the game and the stage is soon a different one, but does Google have the drive? The idea that ‘the long term’ would optionally translate into Google ending third in a three man race (with Apple and Amazon), it is the one outcome I would never have seen coming and perhaps that is also what Jeff Bezos is expecting with the Amazon Luna, the idea that he ends ahead of Google must be absolutely intoxicating to him.
So in the end, I didn’t merely added one more idea, I have added a setting where Google is not leading the waves and that is a little weird, but if that what the googly people have decided on, that is how it will be, and if they do not want that one part, they will see other parts see a reduced setting soon enough as well. Consider the people expecting top notch from Google, when they take their market to Amazon the game changes and I would never have expected that to happen, yet that is what we face, a setting that is no longer imaginative, something that comes with anticipating expectations, options that are offered away from one and towards a player that started as an online bookshop. I will be honest, I never saw that coming a year ago, but that stage is now getting a little bit too real. For if the Googly people turn down the innovations, what else will they abandon?