As things continue to heat up in the legal battle between Apple and Epic Games with developer Valve Software being dragged into the fray, gaming platform Google Stadia is apparently facing legal troubles of its own.
The video game streaming service has been hit by a class-action lawsuit, as it’s accused of “unfair and deceptive trade practices” due to the promise that it would be fully capable of running games at 4K and that it would outperform the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X.
— Wccftech (@wccftech) February 22, 2021
Google Stadia isn’t the only one being sued
The lawsuit spans 42 pages and implicates developers Bungie and id Software in the mix. Bungie is best known for its work on Halo and Destiny, while id Software is behind the critically acclaimed Doom franchise.
According to the suit, all three companies played a part in leading people to believe that the Stadia would allow gamers to play all of its featured video games in 4K and at 60 fps. Legal action was taken in October of last year, yet the case was only recently transferred to federal court.
Both studios helped mislead people about Stadia’s capabilities
The suit argues that Bungie should have been well aware that Google’s boasts about the Stadia Pro subscription plan were misleading since Destiny 2 could not be played at the 4k/60fps performance the plan was promising.
Id Software was included in the lawsuit for similar reasons, as the studio itself initially claimed that their hit title Doom Eternal could be experienced on the Stadia in true 4K. Eventually, the studio ended up backtracking on the promise, lowering the game’s resolution to 1080p/60fps or if you’re using a 4K screen it’s upsampled to 2160p. The suit accuses id Software of “wrongfully generated millions of dollars of revenue” on account of its initial claims.
DOOM Eternal is coming to #Stadia.
— DOOM (@DOOM) March 19, 2019
The lawsuit also refers to a tweet sent out by Stadia vice president Phil Harrison where he outright states that all of the games at launch would play in 4K, which wasn’t the case.
Yes, all games at launch support 4K. We designed Stadia to enable 4K/60 (with appropriate TV and bandwidth). We want all games to play 4K/60 but sometimes for artistic reasons a game is 4K/30 so Stadia always streams at 4K/60 via 2x encode.
— Phil Harrison (@MrPhilHarrison) October 9, 2019
Aside from the financial compensation being demanded by the lawsuit, it also requests that Google be more transparent about Stadia’s capabilities by revealing both the frame rate and resolution of every single game that’s playable on the platform.
This legal battle could not have come at a worse time for the cloud gaming service, as it had just announced the closure of its internal development studios and is facing severe backlash from its former developers who were allegedly blindsided by the surprising turn of events.