Google announced it will be quitting the internal development of Stadia games and will be partnering with third-party developers and publishers for the future boom of the gaming business. Vice president and general manager of Google Stadia, Phil Harrison, stated on Monday that it requires a lot of investments to maintain the cloud-based game-streaming service. The team members who have been working on Stadia games will be deployed to other roles within the company.
“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,” Harrison wrote. “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 [Stadia Games and Entertainment], beyond any near-term planned games.”
Stadia was launched in 2019 and the cloud game experienced a massive increase in users throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown situation, and when Google gave away two months of free access to premium gamers across the United States. The company’s first gaming studio was opened in Montreal when Stadia went live and a second studio was opened in Los Angeles in March 2020.
Although Jack Buser, director of games for Stadia, revealed in November 2020 that the gaming team will be developing in excess of 400 games for the platform, SG&E had only been able to develop and publish Orcs Must Die! 3, Outcasters, and Submerged: Hidden Depths before the management decided to stop internal development of games and partner with external developers.
Meanwhile, SG&E head, Jade Raymond, is said to be leaving Google in pursuit of other opportunities. Raymond became the head of the game development unit when SG&E was created in 2019. Google is wishing him well in other endeavors.