As part of the Microsoft-Activation merger documents, a number of opinions were gathered across the industry and there was a leak of a document by Dov Zimring (now available on Reddit), who was leading the Project Stadia project since its beginnings. Through this document we get to see in a lot more details the reasons why Stadia has failed before it finally shut down, from a Google’s perspective.
Google Stadia as a project started in 2014 (9 years before this letter). As for the detailed of the service, you should all be aware of them by now. As highly suspected, the whole go-to-market approach was not coming out someone’s arse, but was elaborated through careful market research principles:
Stadia established pricing, positioning, and content acquisition goals based on extensive market research. We conducted consumer surveys, qualitative and quantitative segmentation, and conjoint analysis to determine offerings we believed would be optimal for users, publishers, and Google. The strategy of offering a free and paid tier, as well as the price for the paid tier (Stadia Pro), was determined through quantitative analysis primarily from our conjoint analysis. Among other things, this research established that the optimal catalog would need both a large number of games (breadth) and the latest and most popular games (depth) to attract users to the platform.
Market researches do not guarantee market success, but the more you do it, the more you increase you chances to, at least, not completely fail right at launch of your service. There is very good evidence, across multiple companies, that market research is a sound way to assess and approach a market you are trying to create or approach.