When Google first announced its Stadia cloud gaming platform, it took a huge risk that would change the way people play games. But today's news means it's shutting down two studios-one in Los Angeles and one in Montreal-under the Stadia Games and Entertainment (SG&E) banner. Reportedly, around 150 developers will be impacted, although Google is looking to provide new roles to them within the company.
It's been a little more than a year since Google launched its Stadia cloud gaming service, and the sky has just become a bit darker for the company's ambitious gaming initiative.
In a blog post by Phil Harrison, VP and GM of Google Stadia the announcement has come that Google that their focus will be moving towards platform delivery and away from software development, closing their in-house studio. However, Jade Raymond, a Ubisoft and EA industry veteran tapped to lead the Stadia game studios, is set to leave the company.
One source familiar with Stadia's first-party work told Kotaku: "Google was a awful place to make games".
This move isn't exactly a sign that Stadia is a failure, but instead, Google is positioning it as a refocusing for Stadia to strictly be a streaming service for games from other publishers and not a platform for its own titles.
We tend to associate Stadia with third-party games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Cyberpunk 2077 rather than home-grown games created from within Google, and that'll remain the case. Games from major studios were also released over the last few months. But Harrison says that it is committed to cloud gaming and that it will continue to bring new titles from third parties to Stadia. Stadia also saw stiff competition from Microsoft's XCloud service, which similarly streamed a wide variety of games to nearly any device provided the internet connection was strong enough.
"Stadia will be a driving force defining the future of games and entertainment", Raymond said in March 2019.
Google also undercut its own Stadia Pro subscription plan by eventually offering a free version of the service in April 2020.
Stadia Pro is now priced at $9.99 (roughly Rs 740) per month.