Google have announced today that they are shutting down both of their Google Stadia game studios. They will focus on Stadia as a tech platform and making partnerships with third party studios to expand the service’s library of available games.
In their official announcement, Google explain that they’ll be changing strategies for the Stadia platform.
“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.”
According to Kotaku, the closure of Google’s two game studios in Montreal and Los Angeles will impact around 150 employees who Google will attempt to find new roles for elsewhere in the company. According to Kotaku’s sources, this also means the cancellation of multiple projects that these studios had in development.
A year ago, Katharine reviewed cloud gaming services that were currently available, saying “Stadia still needs a lot of work and a bigger game library to be a success, but the 1080p ‘Base’ experience could be the start of something great.” Google Stadia streams games to your compatible devices by way of a Chromecast Ultra. You can either buy games individually from the platform or pay the £8.99/$9.99 monthly fee for access to additional features like streaming in 4K and access to their game library which currently includes the likes of Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Destiny 2.
Presciently, Katharine also said that “assuming Stadia doesn’t just blink out of existence in five years time (let’s try and be a little bit optimistic here), it’s definitely got potential as long as it can continue to build its game library with the type of big, mainstream games that people want to play.”
Stadia isn’t blinking out of existence, of course, but apparently its plans to develop games internally are. There’s still a potential for the game platform to be successful, but it sounds like they’ll really need to step up their tech to make playing the biggest games as smooth as possible on their streaming platform.