Google's Stadia platform is set to release in just a couple of months. At that time, you'll need a Founder's Edition bundle to access it.
This means you can't simply subscribe to Stadia Pro and buy the controller, then start buying games. Eventually, that probably won't be the case.
When that time comes, Stadia will definitely need to have subscription bundles. And by subscription bundles we're talking about the monthly cost for Stadia Pro. Here's why it's a good thing for this to be on offer.
It's kind of an industry standard
Subscription bundles for access to a monthly service like Stadia Pro are kind of an industry standard. Both Xbox Games with Gold and Sony PlayStation Plus offer recurring payment plans of every month, every three months, or annually.
With PlayStation Plus for example, if you pay once a month it's $9.99. The Same as Stadia Pro. If you pay every three months though, you save a little bit. You do pay more up front as the cost works out to be $25 every three months.
This works out to around $8.33 each month, which rounds out to a total savings of $5 over that three-month period. With the annual membership, you spend $60 a year, which works out to $5 a month instead of $10. This is an overall savings of $60 over 12 months, half the normal cost.
This is also keeping in mind that sometimes you can find these three or twelve-month memberships on sale. But, for the time being, imagine they always stay normal retail cost. The savings is still there and it makes sense if you're going to keep the membership for that long anyway.
Stadia could be doing the same thing with its Pro membership. Offering people who want to subscribe for longer periods of time the chance to save a little bit on the month to month cost if they buy more months up front.
This could also be another way for Google to stay competitive. As other platforms offer similar services with these options, it's something Google should be considering.
Stadia Pro three-month & annual options may entice more buyers
Some consumers are having a little bit of trouble grasping just who Stadia is a good fit for.
Adding additional options for the cost of the Stadia Pro subscription isn't necessarily going to change that. But, it might get more people interested as it would allow for saving a little money.
At the very least, it'll give the consumer more options on how they want to subscribe, and that's not a bad thing. People might even decide to stick with a month by month subscription for a while at first until they feel more comfortable Stadia will be around longer. At least the option to choose otherwise would be there, though.
It's more hassle-free
Paying for monthly subscriptions is pretty easy these days. You simply tag a credit or debit card to an account and the payment comes out every month automatically.
Having options for three-month or twelve-month plans would still be more convenient though. For people on more of a fixed budget with a little bit of wiggle room to fit in Stadia, an annual option might be more feasible.
These consumers might have an extra $100 laying around that could be used for an annual Stadia Pro membership. Once that's paid, they're locked in and have access for the year.
It offers less granular control, but if you're wanting access year-round, it's easier to pay for the service once and not have to worry about it coming out of your account for another twelve months.
This won't be the case for everyone of course, but there will surely be users who would find it a simpler option.
Users will probably stick around longer
Buying something like an annual Stadia Pro membership wouldn't just make Google more money off the service. It would likely cause users to stick around for the platform longer and potentially spend more money on individual games.
If Stadia only offers month by month subscription options, users could simply subscribe one or two months, buy one game, then move to Stadia Base. They'll still keep access to the games they paid for but no longer have the monthly fee. They can also continue buying games they want.
With three-month and twelve-month options though, members would have access to a larger list of Stadia Pro-exclusive discounts on select games because they would have the monthly subscription longer.
Since the subscription is there and the discounts will be there, some users might decide to buy those games, where they may simply skip them if they only had Stadia Base and had the option to pay for things month by month.
Google may not offer these options until later on, if it ever does
Google may not offer any options for Stadia Pro subscriptions in monthly bundles until later on. While the service launches in November, it's only available to Founders, which makes it look more like a beta testing bed for early adopters than a product that's fully ready.
Google may also be limiting access to Stadia in this way so it has a better grasp on managing everything. It's put a lot of time and effort into investing in Stadia as the future of gaming.
The last thing it needs is for the service to be plagued with issues or server crashes because too many people are trying to log on and play at the same time the moment things go live. Until more users are onboard, which would be sometime next year when Stadia Base launches, Google may not see the reason to offer bundled months of Stadia Pro.
That's also considering if it ever offers the option to buy multiple months at a time for a discount. Whether Google would offer subscription bundles right away or not though, it does need to offer them.