Google intends to pay developers money depending on the number of gaming sessions in the paid cloud service Stadia Pro. However, not everyone in the industry has positively received this model. Some fear that it will force studios to create stretched games and artificially increase user engagement.The discussion arose against the background of the new Google Stadia strategy.

Recall that the company plans to distribute 70% of the monthly revenue of its paid service between partner studios. The share in this case will depend on the number of sessions that Stadia Pro users spend in games.

It is important to clarify that Google considers only one game launch per day to be a unique gaming session. It is also unknown whether the company will pay developers additional advances for including their projects in the Stadia Pro library.

The well-known scouting specialist Johan Toresson from the indie publishing house Raw Fury criticized Google’s plans. In a comment to Axios, he stated that engagement-based payments stimulate the creation of a certain type of games. We are talking about projects that will force players to log into them daily and spend almost all of their free time on them.

“Such services usually have an advance payment, and this is good. However, the people overseeing these platforms make it clear that they are most interested in projects with high retention. This can lead to the fact that games will be inflated with unnecessary additional content to keep you in them,” says Toresson.

At the same time, he notes that there are many games that are really interesting to play every day. Subscription services also provide an opportunity to try out projects that would otherwise be ignored.

However, the main problem, according to Thoresson, lies precisely in the model of payments to developers. Such a system can also harm indie studios that want to make more independent and original games.

Thoresson notes that no one determines the value of books or films based on the time spent reading or watching them. “So what’s the point of introducing such a model for games?” he asks.

At the same time, a similar system operates, for example, in the music industry. Streaming services pay musicians for each audition and sometimes conclude exclusive contracts with individual artists. Revenues can be distributed depending on the number of listeners, listening sessions, the share of streams of one artist among the total number of auditions per month on the site and other factors.

In the gaming industry, cloud gaming services are still developing and experimenting with various models. However, engagement-dependent payouts can really motivate developers to artificially stretch their games.