This shouldn’t come as shock, since Google is known for scrapping projects as reports state that its Stadia Studio is soon closing down all internal game development and will begin providing its tech to third-party publishers.
In the last few years, we have seen services like Google Plus and Google Play Music get sliced by the tech company, and we’re not surprised that Google Stadia, which started off with a high-profile launch is about to meet the same fate too just after 14 months.
Google Stadia general manager Phil Harrison confirmed the closure of the company’s two internal game studios, based in Montreal and Los Angeles, in a new blog post, signalling an end to its console-like ambitions of creating flagship Stadia-exclusive titles to drive adoption of the platform.
“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,” explained Harrison of the decision.
“Given our focus on building on the proven technology of Stadia as well as deepening our business partnerships, we’ve decided that we will not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E, beyond any near-term planned games.”
Many aren’t surprised by this sudden change in shift, and expected it to happen later but not just after 14 months into launch. According to Google, most of its developers affected by the Stadia Studio closure will given new roles in the company Kotaku reported.
Around 150 jobs will be likely impacted by the closure of the studio, says Jade Raymond – who joined as head of Stadia Games & Entertainment following her departure from EA’s Montreal-based Motive studio in 2018 – “has decided to leave Google to pursue other opportunities”.
What next for Google’s Stadia Studio?
Though the changes are going to affect many developers and jobs, the Stadia game streaming service will continue to operate, although without its own big game titles to draw in the crowds as hopefully intended when it launched.
Google is now looking at leveraging its technology to other video game companies, as it hopes to offer its streaming platforms to those who wish to use it. “We believe this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry,” writes Harrison.
It should be noted that when Stadia launched in November 2019, it was faced with a rocky start with many complaining about the pricing of its services and subscription-based business model. It also missed certain needed features, with others saying it broke some of its promises to deliver.
When a basic free tier service was launched last April in 2020, it seemed like the platform would see some bit of action, but all that was in vain as it faced competition from the likes of Microsoft‘s game pass and Amazon.
Whether Google’s decision to close off the studio and refocus on other avenues strategically may seem as the right thing is yet to be seen, and we are not sure how it will guarantee the survival of the platform in the long term.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.