Google's Stadia game streaming platform is still hanging in there, but it still hasn't lived up to some of its original goals. The available library is limited (compared to other platforms), there won't be any first-party games developed by Google, and Stadia's ambitions for 4K gameplay didn't really pan out. Now the company faces a possible class action lawsuit over 4K gaming claims.
A 42-page breach-of-contract lawsuit has been filed in the Eastern Court District of New York, against Google, Bungie (developers of Destiny 2), and Id Software (Doom, Quake, etc.). The filing alleges "unfair and deceptive trade practices concerning the advertised display quality and resolution of video games distributed by Google Stadia," and states that various executives at all three companies made false claims about most or all games running at 4K.
Google Stadia is technically capable of streaming games at 4K, but the feature was limited to one device (the Chromecast Ultra) until March 2020, when Stadia's web client added 4K support. However, many graphically-demanding games are actually rendered at a lower resolution. Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2 maxes out at 1440p/30FPS, according to research by Digital Foundry. Google and Id Software initially promised that Doom Eternal would run at "true 4K," but just before the game was released, Bethesda (Id's parent company) said the game would be upscaled from 1800p. That is a higher graphical quality than Doom Eternal on the PS4 Pro, but it's still not true 4K.
Id Software's Marty Stratton promising "true 4K"
The lawsuit seeks "compensatory damages," "restitution and disgorgement of Defendant’s revenues," "disgorgement of all monies acquired by Defendants," "punitive damages," "attorneys’ fees, expenses, and recoverable costs," "disgorging of all profits, benefits, and other compensation," and an injunction prohibiting the future sale of games purchased through Stadia. It's incredibly unlikely most of that will happen, but there might be a settlement with a small payout at the end.