Google is closing down its first-party Stadia game studio
Is anyone really surprised?By Cohen Coberly 16 comments
Google graveyard: Google is known for its tendency to shut down sites and services when it gets tired of maintaining them, and for better or worse, we're seeing that trend rear its ugly head again today. Google has officially shut down its first-party game development studio for Stadia and will shift its focus toward the technology behind the platform moving forward.
First, let's be entirely clear: Stadia itself is not going anywhere -- not for the time being, anyway -- so all of your games are still safe. Frankly, this news probably won't mean anything to the platform's end users. However, it's a sad day for Stadia's first-party developers, who will now be forced to find new jobs.
Google says "most" of the SG&E team (Stadia's first-party studio) will be moving on to new roles within Google, but that doesn't do any good for the developers who want to work on games, rather than software or cloud streaming technology.
Google's decision was partially prompted, it seems, by gaming industry veteran Jade Raymond's departure from the Stadia team. However, the rising cost of game development, as well as the many years it can take to create best-in-class titles, also played a role in today's move.
SG&E was a short-lived experiment on Google's part, but its demise might be for the best. Whether you love or hate Stadia, there's a slightly better chance that the platform will thrive now that Google isn't splitting up its resources unnecessarily.
One more clarifying point before we come to a close: Google will still have Stadia-exclusive titles moving forward, they'll just be coming from third-party studios rather than the company itself. In other words, Google is taking on more of a publishing role, which makes much more sense given its limited experience in actual game production.
Google hints that any "near-term" planned games will still be releasing as planned (probably to avoid wasting resources), but we'll have to wait and see whether or not that will remain the case.