Google to Shutter In-house Stadia Game Development Studio
Google is closing its in-house game development studio for Stadia, the company’s cloud-based gaming platform.
In a message posted on Monday, February 1st, the web giant cited high costs as one of the reasons behind its decision, adding that the move will allow it to focus on improving Stadia for third-party developers and building its business partnerships focus.
The closure comes 14 months after Google launched Stadia for game fans, especially for casual gamers who do not yet have a console.
In preparation for the launch in November 2019, the company founded the Stadia Games and Entertainment (SG&E) unit eight months earlier to develop its own software for the service. The two offices in Montreal and Los Angeles will now be closed.
“It takes many years and significant investments to develop great games from the ground up, and the cost is growing exponentially,” Google Stadia’s Phil Harrison wrote in a post announcing the decision. “Given our focus on building on Stadia’s proven technology and deepening our business partnerships, we have decided not to invest further in providing exclusive content from our SG&E in-house development team beyond scheduled games. ”
Jade Raymond, head of SG&E, will be leaving Google to seek other opportunities, Harrison said, adding that most of the SG&E team will be given new roles within the company in the coming months.
Stadia will continue to act as the platform for confirmation, but all new games added to the service will now come from third-party developers and publishers.
The move to close SG&E is a notable setback for Google’s once lofty gaming ambition as the company now takes a backseat in game development.
Google – together with parent company Alphabet – has always quickly cut projects that it believes are not working. For example, just last month the company shut down its loon balloon internet project after it became known that it was difficult to convert the service into a viable business.
Still trying Stadia? Digital Trends offers some top tips for the best games currently available on the service. Stadia Pro is free to try for one month and then $ 10 per month thereafter. A free tier is also available.