Google Kills Stadia Games & Experiences Team

Ruben Fields
February 2, 2021

One source familiar with Stadia's first-party work told Kotaku: "Google was a awful place to make games".

When Google first announced its Stadia cloud gaming platform, it took a huge risk that would change the way people play games. As announced today, the company is moving away from developing games internally.

Google revealed today that it will halt all work on internal exclusives for Stadia and will focus the gaming service exclusively on third-party games.

Google formed its own game studio previous year, Stadia Games and Entertainment, meant to produce exclusive titles that take full advantage of the platform's portability and unique features. Players can purchase games through the service and also subscribe to Stadia Pro for $9.99, which nets discounts and free games every month.

Going forward, Google's plans for Stadia are seemingly to treat it exclusively as a publishing platform.

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Stadia as a service looks set to stick around a while longer, and the technology can surely continue to grow and evolve, but it's effectively dead in the water as a true challenger to Sony and Microsoft. But he also seems to be hedging his bets a bit by noting that Google would also "expanding [its] efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players" in 2021. We see an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia's advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools. Exclusive Stadia titles are in development from studios like Harmonix and Supermassive.

SG&E's two studios were located in Los Angeles and Montreal.

The company statement said Jade Raymond, a game industry veteran who led the studio, "has made a decision to leave Google to pursue other opportunities".

Stadia originally launched at the end of 2019, allowing gamers to stream titles right from a browser, Chromecast Ultra, or mobile device. For current Stadia and Stadia Pro consumers, it's business as usual. "We're committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward", the exec said.

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