Stadia controller in front of an Android TV

Stadia is in the midst of its second full year on the market, and a big bump in the road has been the closure of Google’s SG&E in-house studios. However, the bright side of things has been the arrival of major games, including three titles from one of the biggest gaming studios, EA. In a recent interview, EA CEO Andrew Wilson spoke up about Stadia, including how he views cloud gaming as a whole and the biggest problem with Google’s platform.

Speaking to Fortune, Wilson was asked about the future of game distribution, and he was quick to bring up cloud gaming as a big part of that future. He says that cloud streaming will “disrupt” the gaming industry as consumers move from ownership over games to access to those games. He also said that cloud technology will still need “a few more turns” of innovation to get to the point where it’s ready to replace traditional experiences, but it’s a “foregone conclusion” that the industry will get to that point.

Related to that discussion, Wilson was asked about Google’s efforts with Stadia, specifically if the company’s “stumbles” had changed the EA CEO’s opinion of cloud gaming as a whole.

In response, Wilson said that he has personally tried Stadia and called the experience “pretty good.” However, he pointed to a major issue for the platform as multiplayer support, something that most players will agree has been a hurdle for many games, especially the platform’s handful of mass-multiplayer exclusives.

It’s early, right? That’s okay. That’s what happens when you’re on the cutting edge. I’ve actually played some games on Stadia and I will tell you, the game experience is actually pretty good. It’s not bad.

The issue with Stadia was that for multiplayer games, it was really hard to find other people to play with early on in the cycle. These games are now social networks. These are not solo experiences that we play in the back of our bedroom or our basement; we do this with other people, we connect around the world. It’s just going to take a little bit of time, but what I saw was actually reassuring, because there was a lot of goodness in gameplay and that’s only going to get better.

Notably, these comments come even though some of EA’s biggest titles, FIFA and Madden, both lack cross-play, which only exacerbates Stadia’s multiplayer issues.

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Ben Schoon

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