Why Is Google Streaming Video Games?

Some reasons the tech giant is eager to get into gaming

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As if Google doesn’t have enough going on already. They’ve jumped into the mobile game with the Pixel, are about to build a small community in Toronto through Sidewalk Labs, and now they’re tackling streaming video games. I need to catch my breath.

On October 1st, Google announced its partnership with Ubisoft. You may not have heard of Ubisoft, but you’ve definitely heard of Assassin’s Creed, one of the many video games that the gaming giant has produced.

With the new installation of Assassin’s Creed launching this week, Google is offering Project Stream, the name of its video game streaming service, to select US users . These users will have the opportunity to stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey over Chrome browsers on their laptop or desktop.

The Question Is: Why Video Game Streaming?

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This news may sound like a surprise to some, but Google’s actually been trying to get into the video game industry for quite some time. They tried to buy Twitch in 2014. That deal fell through but Google probably wasn’t too upset seeing that it had Niantic. If you remember, Niantic is the AR company that launched Pokemon Go. Obviously that campaign was a huge success. Unfortunately for Google, Niantic broke off to become an independent company in 2015, right before Pokemon Go became a viral phenomenon.

That left Google with no skin in the game. And with gaming being a multi-billion dollar industry, being left out is not where Google wants to be. That leads me to my next point.

Advertising

I’m sure Google will profess that there are many reasons for their seeking entry into the gaming industry. But unless you’re wearing blinders, the main driver behind Google’s persistence is advertising. Gaming is a $36 billion industry in the U.S. alone. That’s means there are lots of eyes in front of lots of screens that Google can capitalize on if they shift those eyes over to desktops and laptops.

Google Just Wants to Win

Obviously money is the main motivator, but there’s also the very real possibility that Google just wants to win. Streaming video games over a browser is no small feat. Creating the type of software that will enable online streaming without lagging is difficult and that kind of challenge must be alluring to a company that must continually push itself to innovate at the highest levels in order to remain alluring.

We’ll have to wait and see what kind of reactions users have to the experience. What we can be sure of is now that Google is in the game, they’re here to stay.