Mobile games have gotten better and better over the years and are currently a very big business, but game streaming services like Stadia have the potential to bring in some major changes to the mobile gaming landscape, due in large part because of what it is that they're offering to the consumer.
Though there are plenty of arguments that mobile games aren't and never will be as good of an experience as what one would have with a dedicated gaming PC or a console, Stadia, Shadow, and other similar services which may come out in the future could change the way people think about this fact.
It's also worth remembering that what's considered as good of an experience on mobile when compared to PCs and consoles is relative to the person playing, at least to some degree.
Some mobile games deliver a stellar experience for the player and are nearly as good as their PC/console counterparts. Take both PUBG MOBILE and Fortnite for example, which are essentially scaled down versions of the original game, simply made to fit in the palm of your hand and be played on the go.
Fortnite even offers cross-platform play so users on mobile can play with friends (or rivals) that are playing on platforms like PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4, and it's still widely popular on mobile. With that said, there are very few games like this, and terms such as "console-quality" are thrown all too often.
Sure, there are a handful of games that you can find on mobile which offer a very close experience to consoles, Fortnite and PUBG MOBILE are good examples of those, and Call of Duty Mobile may very well be deserving of being lumped into that bunch too, but a majority of games on mobile despite how good they might be just aren't as good as PC or console offerings.
This is a big area where services like Stadia are looking to change the game. While Stadia is not yet available and there aren't any additional details about it other than what's already confirmed, its goals of connecting people to the games they want to play no matter the screen they're using could have huge potential.
Given the choice, if someone was able to grab their device and play the latest mobile game from a big-name publisher, with the game being designed from the ground up for mobile devices specifically, or play the latest AAA title from Activision, like this year's upcoming Call of Duty Modern Warfare, chances are that the option would be Stadia and the new Call of Duty.
This is only an example of course, and there's no mention of Activision being a Stadia partner or that the new Call of Duty will be playable via the service, but it illustrates how the possibility of having games of that caliber could displace the desire to play proper mobile games if they were both options for gaming on your phone.
Mobile phones are the most-used device for many people these days and if you had the option to play the latest releases on your mobile phone instead of a game you downloaded from your device's respective app store, why wouldn't you choose the former?
In many cases, you probably wouldn't, but as nice as Stadia might sound, there are still enough unknowns about the service that might keep people from being interested and part of that comes down to how many partnerships Google is able to secure with publishers and game developers.
Platforms like PC and consoles have long-standing relationships with big-name game publishers which guarantee availability of blockbuster games as soon as they launch, and Google's Stadia service may not have very many. It has confirmed that Assassin's Creed Odyssey will be one AAA title available, and the upcoming DOOM Eternal will be available as well.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is already out though and has been for the better part of a year, so it's not really a new AAA game, which if you really think about it brings Stadia's big partnership list down to one single title that has yet to launch for any platform, and that's DOOM Eternal. No doubt this will be a big game, but Stadia will need more than DOOM Eternal if wants to compete for the time spent that gamers would dedicate to playing.
Google is all set to share some big news in regards to Stadia on June 6 just ahead of E3, and it will do so during an event it has created for big announcements revolving around the service, called Stadia Connect.
At this first-ever event Google did confirm it will share news of game announcements, so presumably there will be information about which games will be available at Stadia's launch, which will paint a much better picture of how competitive Stadia may be.
Hypothetically, if Google was able to secure some big titles for Stadia's launch and will continue to do so, then gamers will be met with what could be a very desirable service that is accessible from the palm of their hands.
It's possible that Stadia will only work with a select number of devices though, at least in the beginning, whereas most mobile games are available on just about any device regardless of brand or hardware tier.
Looking at things from a bigger picture standpoint, whether or not Stadia will more quickly disrupt the mobile games industry, so long as it's able to eventually build up a nice library of available titles to play anywhere its success could help shape the future of mobile games that will push mobile game developers to adapt to how much time and effort they put into games they release.
While Stadia may not offer hundreds of AAA titles from the start or may not have a very large list of titles lined up for it in the beginning, Google no doubt plans to continue working on securing big games for the platform as those games launch, and once that happens people who play mobile games that also play on console and PC may start to shift their game time from mobile to Stadia, provided the service is made available at a reasonable price.
It's also worth keeping in mind that there will likely always be a market for free-to-play games that are only available on mobile. Titles like Clash of Clans, AFK Arena, Clash Royale, and many others can take significantly less time to play than AAA games found on consoles, not to mention they can require significantly less attention which makes them immediately desirable and easy to pick up and play.
At the very least, if Stadia is extremely successful mobile game developers will eventually have to up their game and put out better quality offerings, because if Stadia is priced at a relatively low cost to offer an affordable entry point and if it works well, it would seem unlikely that more and more gamers wouldn't want to opt for this method of gaming over what's available in the mobile game space currently.