The head of Google’s upcoming Stadia game streaming service, Phil Harrison, has said publishers will be allowed to offer their own game subscriptions through the streaming service. In an interview with Geoff Keighley during YouTube’s E3 Live show, RockPaperShotgun reports that Harrison said he expects publishers to start thinking about their own subscriptions “in relatively short order” and that Google will “support that on [its] platform, and we’ll see some announcements in due course around that.”
Harrison stopped short of saying which publishers would be offering a subscription through Stadia, simply indicating that it’ll probably be “publishers who have bigger catalogs and more significant line-ups.” However, Electronic Arts would be a prime candidate. The publisher already offers EA Access, a subscription service that lets users download a selection of its games on Xbox One and, soon, PS4 for a single monthly fee. EA has confirmed that it will offer games through Stadia, although it has yet to announce specific titles.
The addition of publisher-specific game subscriptions offers people more options for how to pay for Stadia, but it risks making pricing for the game streaming service even more complicated than it already is. While many predicted that the service would be a “Netflix of games,” offering unlimited games for a single monthly fee, Google has instead said that it initially expects users to pay for most games individually on top of a paid monthly subscription, with a free subscription tier scheduled to launch next year.