Google kills Stadia’s internal studios, but the cloud gaming service lives on
Cloud gaming may be having its moment in the spotlight, with everyone stuck at home and unable to snag next-gen gaming hardware, but Google is nonetheless pulling back on its ambitious Stadia cloud gaming endeavor. The service itself remains intact, but on Monday, Google announced that the company will disband its internal game studios to focus on Stadia’s underlying tech platform.
“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,” Stadia boss Phil Harrison said in a blog post. “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… 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 [Stadia Games & Entertainment], beyond any near-term planned games.”
High-profile developer Jade Raymond (who helped build Assassin’s Creed) will leave the company, though Harrison says “most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles”.
The shift doesn’t alter the core Stadia value proposition. You can still pick up and stream games like Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Destiny 2 on your Chromecast, browser, or phone.
Google is notorious for killing off all but its biggest successes, and any games you buy on Stadia work only through the company’s streaming platform. If Stadia folds, your games will go alongside it. Industry vets expressed scepticism about its long-term potential, and even a developer that released a launch-day Stadia game said, “The biggest concern with Stadia is that it might not exist.”
IDG News Service