After a report from Kotaku, Google has confirmed it’s shutting down the internal studios it built up to develop games for Stadia, its video game streaming service.
The company announced this on its official blog, confirming that not only are the studios ending development of original games, but Jade Raymond, the head of Google’s Stadia Games and Entertainment division, is leaving the company entirely. However, Google plans to find roles for “most” of the employees in Stadia Games and Entertainment. But “most” is not “all,” so some people will likely be affected by layoffs. Stadia Games and Entertainment had two studios: one established in 2019 in Montreal, and a second founded just under a year ago in Playa Vista, Los Angeles.
Despite this, Google says Stadia will remain active, and third-party developers are free to use it as they see fit. As such, any subscribers using the service to stream games will still be able to play games on it, and should expect to see new games added to Stadia’s catalog in the future.
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. With the increased focus on using our technology platform for industry partners, Jade Raymond has decided to leave Google to pursue other opportunities. We greatly appreciate Jade’s contribution to Stadia and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. Over the coming months, most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles. We’re committed to working with this talented team to find new roles and support them.
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The news that Stadia might be slowly but surely headed out isn’t exactly surprising, as Google has a long, bloody history of devoting time, money, and resources into new projects and ideas, only to gut them within the first few years. The phenomenon has become so frequent there’s even a website called Killed By Google that tracks these developments.