Google announced today that it is shutting down its in-house Stadia game development studios, with offices in both Montreal and Los Angeles to be closed. On top of that, ex-Ubisoft and EA veteran Jade Raymond, who was the head of the studios, is set to exit Google entirely.
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.
Here’s a snippet from Google’s long announcement piece, but we feel it’s the most important part for anyone with an interest in Stadia to read.
In 2021, we’re expanding our efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players. We see an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia’s advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools. We believe this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry.
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.
As for everyday Stadia gamers, nothing is changing. All of your games remain intact and the company reiterates that it is continuing to bring more titles to the service from 3rd-party publishers.
Honestly, when I first glanced at the announcement from Google, I thought my premonition was finally happening and Stadia was beginning its shutdown. A refocus is just the first step, folks.