Google has closed its Stadia game development teams
Streaming platform switching focus to offering tech to third-parties
Google is set to close all its internal Stadia game development teams in a course change which will see the streaming platform focus on partnering with third-party game companies.
In a statement published on Monday, the company said that this year it would be refocusing on offering its technology and platform tools to external partners.
“We believe this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry,” Stadia GM Phil Harrison said.
According to a Kotaku report, which was corroborated by sources who spoke to VGC anonymously, Google has told its Montreal and Los Angeles Stadia development studios that they will be closed and their projects cancelled.
The closures will impact around 150 developers, according to Kotaku, although we understand that Google has said it will try to find many of them new roles within the company.
Stadia’s development boss Jade Raymond, the veteran producer behind Assassin’s Creed EA’s Motive studio, will leave the company as part of the closures. So too will the team formerly known as Typhoon Studios, the developer behind last year’s Journey to the Savage Planet.
Google will continue to operate the Stadia service and its $10 monthly Stadia Pro service, it’s understood, and according to Kotaku’s sources the company will continue to sign some new games.
However, it looks like the platform’s future as a creator of its own game content is over. One Source told Kotaku: “Google was a terrible place to make games. Imagine Amazon, but under-resourced.”
Harrison said in Stadia’s statement: “Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially.
“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.”
He added: “You can continue playing all your games on Stadia and Stadia Pro, and we’ll continue to bring new titles from third parties to the platform. We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward.”
Stadia launched in November 2019 with a model focused on purchasing full-priced games for cloud play across multiple devices, as well as a monthly Pro subscription service which offered regular free games.
Google had announced ambitions plans for original content, including the purchase of Typhoon and a new studio led by Shannon Studstill, the former head of God of War studio Sony Santa Monica.
However, the platform has struggled to bring its original content to fruition and at launch, Stadia was criticised for feeling like it was rushed to market. Last summer Google introduced a significant Stadia price cut, just seven months after the platform’s launch.