BT signs distribution deal for Google Stadia

BT and Google have announced a distribution deal for the latter’s Stadia cloud gaming platform.

This is the first deal that Google has signed in Europe for the gaming platform, with a statement saying that the partnership will “see the two companies work together on initiatives designed to build awareness, access and availability of it in the UK.”

BT will initially offer a “unique Google Stadia” to its Superfast Fibre 2, Ultrafast Fibre 100 and Ultrafast Fibre 250 customers, with users able to choose to receive a free Google Stadia Premiere Edition. This offer includes a Stadia controller, Chromecast Ultra and three months access to Stadia Pro, which offers the ability to play in up to 4K/60FPS with HDR and 5.1 surround sound, as well as claim games, and discounts on a la carte purchases. That offer is available until January 30.

From February 7, the operator will offer a range of Superfast Stadia gaming plans for  Superfast fibre 2, Ultrafast Fibre 100 or Ultrafast Fibre 250 customers.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer Division, said: “We continually look to provide our customers with the most exciting products and experiences, and by partnering with Google on Stadia, we’re able to help them push the limits of gaming. We’re also investing in the UK’s fastest 4G, 5G and fibre networks, so our superfast home broadband service is the perfect accompaniment for those wanting to make the most from this innovative streaming gaming platform”.

Michiel van Eldik, general manager and VP of devices and services, EMEA, said: “We’re excited to continue our cross-product partnership with BT in the UK to further drive the cloud gaming industry forward. BT has an established track record of leading the industry in delivering next-generation services and products to their customers. Through today’s announcement, we are able to make the best gaming content even more accessible, and to continue to change the way people access, play and enjoy their favourite games”.

Google Stadia has received a mixed reception since its launch in November. Many early adopters were left frustrated, as some were left waiting for up to 48 hours after launch to receive access codes, while others have complained about a small game library and limited feature set.

Some pundits, most notably gaming personality Jim Sterling, have cited Google’s track record of dropping support for once-exciting products as reason to err on the side of caution when considering purchasing games through Stadia.

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