What happens to your games if a publisher or developer pulls Stadia support? Google explains

(Image credit: Google)

What will happen to the games that you purchase through Google Stadia if a developer or publisher decides to pull support from the platform? That just one of the many questions that we sought to get answered today, when we sat down with Google's vice president and head of Stadia, Phil Harrison. 

During a roundtable session, we took the question to Harrison: If we were to purchase a game through Google Stadia – as an example, a single-player focused experience such as Watch Dogs Legion – what would happen should a publisher – in this hypothetical instance, Ubisoft – decide to pull support from the platform a couple of years down the line? As there are no downloads involved in Stadia as a platform, would I still be able to access and play the game that I have purchased from the Stadia servers? 

"Yes, you will still be able to access the game," Harrison tells me, reaffirming this point as I ask about playing said hypothetical game without restriction and still being able to access my save data: “yes.”

It wouldn't then, I continued, be another P.T. situation – wherein the game could just disappear off of the face of the planet? "Now, there may be – as we've seen in the past – there may be times where a developer or publisher no longer has the rights to sell to new players. That would mean that the game will not be available to new players, but it will continue to be available for existing players.”

Questions surrounding game ownership and preservation are only going to become more prevalent in the coming years, as both the industry and consumers alike continue to grapple with an increasing shift towards a digital-first ecosystem. Still, we will explore all of that – along with a host of other unanswered Google Stadia questions – in greater depth later this week when our interview with Harrison goes live on site. For now, however, it's good to know that purchasing a license to play a game through Google Stadia is withstanding even if a publisher or developer decides it wants to pick up its ball and run home. 

We're tracking all the best Amazon Prime Day game deals right here. 

Josh West
Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar+. He has over 15 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.