Right now, most of us are looking at Stadia and Google’s plans for the game streaming service waiting to see if it gets anything resembling long term support before we consider buying in. A lot of developers are hesitant to work with Google on the service because it just doesn’t seem like Google is giving them the support they need to get games on the platform, and in general, streaming games is ill-advised if you don’t have a superpowered wifi connection that can handle it.
But despite everything Google is doing wrong, it’s still creating another studio dedicated to creating exclusive games for the platform, this time in the form of a studio in Playa Vista, California.
The new Stadia Games and Entertainment studio will be headed by Shannon Studstill, who has previously worked as the Head of Sony Santa Monica, leading development on games like God of War.
In a statement on the Google Blog, Jade Raymond, Vice President and Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, spoke highly of Studstill, calling here “a visionary who, as the Studio Director, will lead and inspire the Playa Vista teams.”
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This is the latest in Google’s expansion of its own internal studios meant to create games specifically for Stadia. According to Raymond, Google’s hope is that by creating more companies dedicated to making games meant to be streamed, those developers can rally around ideas that are only possible on a streaming platform, rather than being limited by hardware in the same way dedicated consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will be. It’s a nice idea, and it would be a way for the Stadia to differentiate itself from its competitors, but as these studios have only been founded in the past year or so, it’s still unlikely we’ll see anything from them any time soon. And right now, the Stadia’s struggling to find an audience. As of this writing, the Stadia has only 42 games available and confirmed for the platform, 28 of which are actually playable right now. Almost all of these can be played elsewhere without the need for an incredibly high speed internet connection to reduce lag.
In general, there have been several stories from developers who have either worked or attempted to work with Google to put games on Stadia, but have said the company hasn’t been offering a great deal of money to help with porting costs and that the expected return wasn’t high enough for many of them to bother. But that doesn’t mean the next few months for Stadia are a wasteland with nothing to play. Big games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Doom Eternal are still coming to Google’s platform eventually, but it’s just a matter of seeing if Google can get its act together in the meantime that will determine whether Stadia has longevity, and whether this new studio will get to put its talent to use.