Less than two years into its existence, Google Stadia announced that it is not going to develop its own games and will be shutting down its own development studios in Montreal and Los Angles. In conjunction, Jade Raymond, an industry veteran whom Google reached out to lead the initiative, will also be leaving.
In light of the decision, Google says that Stadia will redirect and shift its focus as a game streaming hub for currently existing game developers. That said, Stadia Games and Entertainment (SG&E), the division’s in-house studio will be “moving on to other roles” and Google will, at the very least, take responsibility in helping them to find new positions.
It’s undeniable that Google’s decision to shutter its own development studio is clearly a dent in the search engine’s gaming ambition; it was heavily invested in the idea of producing its own games and making them available via its own cloud streaming service. Now, that’s all but gone out the window.
That said, SG&E had managed to both develop and publish a few games before Google shuttered the doors, with titles including Orcs Must Die! 3, Outcasters, and Submerged: Hidden Depths. Also, given the high and enormous expenses typically generated in the production of a AAA title, it is understandable why Google would want to take a step back from the development stage. But, as The Verge put it, this simply means that Stadia will now be just another platform option for games that are already available on other platforms.