Google Stadia “won’t allow” adult games

Phil Harrison says that the company's streaming service will adopt "standard industry practices" when it comes to content curation

Google’s vice president says the company won’t allow adult-only content on its new streaming platform, Stadia. In an interview with PCGamesN during GDC 2019, Phil Harrison said that service will use “‘standard industry practice’” when it comes to curation.

Harrison says that Google will use “what I would loosely describe as ‘standard industry practice’” when deciding which games will be provided through the streaming service. The company will make use of PEGI and ESRB ratings systems, and Harrison says that “we won’t allow adult only content on our platform.” He goes on to say that Stadia “will have content guidelines that we will apply to games,” and that Google “will work with developers and publishers to bring appropriate games to the platform.”

Stadia was announced earlier this week during Google’s keynote address at the Games Developers Conference, which takes place in San Francisco. As long as your connection is up to scratch, it’ll provide a means to play both first and third-party games without waiting for downloads or updates.

‘Standard industry practice’ sounds like an unintentionally vague term. PEGI and ESRB do indeed offer an easy starting point for consumers, but Epic, Discord, and GOG, for example, are all likely to vary in their approach to curation. By contrast, Valve has made clear that its own approach to determining which games find their way to its platform is decidedly more hands-off.

Related: Google Stadia can run Doom Eternal in 4K

Harrison’s comments echo those of Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, who revealed that the Epic Games store isn’t “going to distribute porn.” Sweeney said that the open-source nature of the PC meant that even if content isn’t provided via major storefronts, it’s still possible to give your community direct access to it.