Amazon is trying to do what Google tried: cloud gaming. On the other hand, the famous American multinational technology company for retail, streaming, cloud, and web services had plenty of opportunities to learn from the mistakes Google made with its Stadia service and not repeat them with its Luna. However, Amazon Luna, which was launched on March 1, 2022, in the US and on March 23 this year in Canada, UK, and Germany, is starting to appear like déjà vu with how it’s handled and the direction it’s headed.
In the rest of the text, we’ll write why we think the same fate awaits it as Stadia.
Why Did Google Stadia Fail?
Google has a reputation for starting a project, letting it live for a short time, and then abruptly ending it. Stadia happens to be one of the unfortunate victims of the aforementioned Google habit. While Google’s attempt to enter the gaming market attracted a lot of attention, it failed to get gamers to buy into the project.
Google Stadia’s Internet speed requirements were quite high, making it impractical for “on-the-go” use. At home, gamers already have their gaming platform of choice, eliminating the need for cloud gaming.
The biggest mistake Google made with Stadia wasn’t really the platform, it was a lack of understanding of the gaming market. You don’t buy a console just for the sake of buying a console, but for the games and experience that the respective platform/console offers. Stadia didn’t have good deals beyond existing games that players already bought on the platform they already own; be it PC, PS, Xbox, or something else.
Google was targeting people who didn’t actually need Stadia. On top of that, Stadia only had a handful of exclusive games that weren’t even enticing enough to grab the market’s attention. If Stadia had something that enough people would actually want to play, that “adventure” would probably last a little longer.
How Amazon Luna Is Following in the Footsteps of Google Stadia
Amazon is an “industrial giant” that has money and can try its hand at cloud gaming and hope for different results than Google had. Unfortunately, Amazon Luna doesn’t hold up well and makes the same mistakes as Google Stadia.
Let’s first state some benefits of Luna before we move on to its bad side because it isn’t all gloomy about this service…
Luna’s Unique Features
Amazon Luna often releases new features and material that improves gameplay. Its many special features make playing and interacting with friends, family, and communities simple:
- Luna Phone Controller
Customers can use the Luna Phone Controller to play Luna on Fire TV by downloading the Luna Controller app for free from the iOS and Android app stores. This allows users to use an iPhone or Android phone as the controller. If you don’t have a controller and want to play side-scrolling games, turn-based role-playing games, quiz games, and other games, you can use the on-screen controller.
- Luna Couch
It allows you to enjoy spending time with pals on Luna playing local cooperative games even if you’re geographically apart. For instance, among American gamers, Overcooked!, Pile Up, Death Squared, Contra Anniversary Collection, and The Jackbox Party Pack are the most played games on Luna Couch.
- Live Broadcasting to Twitch
Luna on PC, Mac, and Fire TV allows anyone to be a Twitch broadcaster with just a few clicks. Use the broadcast button to easily broadcast gameplay to the Twitch community while keeping a camera feed superimposed on the screen. If you own a Fire TV device, you can utilize your phone as a webcam and microphone by simply scanning a QR code. Sharing gameplay experiences on Twitch resulted in a huge rise in eSports competitive gaming players and helped video game aficionados employ the knowledge they got from such streams for earning on betting on either eSports betting platforms or the best Ganapati casino sites in 2024 and others.
Problems with the Game Collection
Amazon isn’t known for its generosity, and it shows in how Luna works. The biggest problem is the structure of the subscription plan; you can’t have all the games in a single plan.
Amazon “insulted” the market when it announced too many subscription categories: Family, Retro, Jackbox, Ubisoft+, Luna+, and Prime Gaming. Family and Retro were eventually merged into Luna+, but even then, it would still cost almost $40 a month if you wanted to have all the games available to you.
Cloud hosting is not cheap, understandably, but even if you’re only playing games with your Prime subscription, you don’t have enough games at your disposal. There are almost no new (and good) games on Luna at all, and no exclusives to encourage you to try this service. Xbox Cloud Gaming costs just $14.99 and offers an impressive collection of games with even more available for download on Game Pass; overall it gives incredible value for your money.
Given how hard cloud gaming is to sell, Amazon and Google needed to see if this way of playing games was ready to go mainstream. Even Xbox puts cloud gaming as a secondary additional service and as an addition to Xbox Game Pass.
Amazon Luna Is Slowly Losing Support
Amazon Luna has a very small collection of games, even if we compare it to the cloud games on the Xbox Cloud Gaming service. And it became even smaller when they removed 50 titles in December last year, and another 50 titles in February this year.
The reason why certain titles are removed is unknown, but now subscribers have even fewer games and practically pay even more for the subscription, that is, what you get for your money is getting less and less. A subscription to Luna just doesn’t make sense.
An even bigger blow to Amazon Luna is the massive layoffs in March 2023. Microsoft has shown the world that if you want to succeed in the gaming market, you’ll need to consistently fund and support the platform. If Amazon wants Luna to succeed, it will need to give it as much care, attention, and funding as Microsoft gives to Xbox Game Pass and Cloud Gaming.
Amazon Luna Needs to Know Its Market
All successful gaming platforms have one thing in common, deep market knowledge. All have invested heavily in their markets and platforms to ensure that players get what they want for the price they are willing to pay.
Amazon does not seem ready to invest that much in its gaming platform. If Amazon isn’t committed to its platform by putting out games that a lot of people actually care about, then it’s headed straight for Stadia. We wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of this year or the first quarter of 2024, Amazon officially “gives up” from this service.