Larian Studios founder weighs in on Stadia possibilities

baldur's gate 3 launch

Belgian developer Larian Studios thrilled old school RPG fans earlier in the year when it announced that Baldur’s Gate 3 was finally on the horizon, and further intrigue built when it was confirmed to be a title for Google’s forthcoming cloud gaming service, Stadia, so when Wccftech had chance to sit down for a chat with Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke about the game and its evolution, the subject of the Xbox Scarlett and PlayStation 5’s SDD inclusion came up, with Wccftech asking how that will improve RPG games in the future. That led to Vincke pondering a little further about Stadia instead:

“To be fair, people have SSDs in their PCs already, so it’s not that much of a revolution. Streaming is a very important technology for modern games, so the faster you can stream your data, you can put more of it, and you’re going to have higher quality assets, which is pretty much what everybody expects there to be. The big questions are going to be how much memory do you get to actually do that? Is there sufficient memory to fool around with? How much CPU power are we getting? Because that’s also important, but it’s the classic things that we see with every generation. I mean, how much GPU power do we get? But at the end of the day, it’s always going to be more, it’s going to be more detailed, it’s going to allow us to do more accurate simulations.

“I think that the more interesting question is how stuff like Google Stadia will change things. It gives developers something different. In the data center, these machines are connected to each other, and so you could start thinking of doing things like elastic rendering, like make a couple of servers together, to do physics simulations that may not be possible on current local hardware. I think you’ll see a lot of evolution in this direction.”

But Vincke also had some ominous words of warning for people investing in game subscription services. We …don’t think he’s a fan, overall.

“When talking about subscription services, somebody reminded me of the scene in Star Wars where the Palpatine is about to rise to become the Emperor and then he says that this is how democracy ends,” Vincke said. “So I’m not really sure that subscription services are a good thing for the developers. They are good for players, as they initially give a wide range of games. But the problem is the same one many have with Netflix: for example, I started watching like a million series, but I don’t see any to the end anymore. And if this is going to be the case for games as well, I don’t think that it will be a good thing. The only ones that benefit from subscription services are really the big blockbuster. So I’m not really sure if the small ones are going to be able to break through on the subscription services, because we will be super dependent on the provider of the subscription service and what he puts on the front page, so I don’t think it’s a good idea at all that power is given to only a few key players.”

He raises some interesting points, there, and it’s something we’ve touched on before a few times. What do you think?

Wireframe #17 is out now.

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