When Google originally announced Stadia, its cloud gaming service, the company also announced a first-party game studio. Stadia Games and Entertainment was supposed to release exclusive titles for the new platform. And yet, Google has changed its mind and is now shutting down its internal game studios.
“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,” Google Stadia VP and GM Phil Harrison wrote in a blog post.
That’s right, the company has yet to release a single game under the Stadia brand but it’s already over. This is an odd move as Google has made some significant investments in the space. It originally created a studio in Montreal Canada and acquired Typhoon Studios. It then opened another studio in Los Angeles.
Jade Raymond was leading Google’s first-party studios. She has been working in the video game industry for more than 15 years. In particular, she was a producer for Ubisoft in Montreal working on the first Assassin’s Creed games. She also worked for Electronic Arts on an unreleased single-player Star Wars video game.
Today’s news also means that Raymond is leaving Google. Other Google employees working for Stadia Games and Entertainment will move on to new roles.
Going forward, Stadia will focus on third-party games. The company says that Cyberpunk 2077 has been quite popular on the cloud gaming platform for instance. It lets you launch the game on a server in a data center near you and stream the video feed to your device.
Many readers will likely think that Google might shut down Stadia soon as the company has shut down many, many services in the past. The company tries to be reassuring.
“We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward. Our goal remains focused on creating the best possible platform for gamers and technology for our partners, bringing these experiences to life for people everywhere,” Harrison writes.
But do you believe him?