Google Closes Internal Stadia Gaming Studios

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Another closure. Internal Stadia gaming studios is being shuttered, but Google insists Stadia cloud platform will continue

Google is shuttering another project, with the news it is closing down its own internal attempt to develop games for its Stadia cloud gaming platform.

The decision by Google comes just 14 months after it conducted the high profile launch of its Stadia gaming streaming service. But Google is now opting to close down all internal game development, and said it will instead offer its tech to third-party publishers.

Google has a ruthless reputation of closing down internal projects. Last month Google unexpectedly shut down its high altitude balloon-based Project Loon. It has also closed down its Google Plus and Shoelace social platforms, and in 2019 Google also axed the popular Google Trips app.

A Loon internet access balloon is shown preparing for launch. Credit: Alphabet

Game over

But now Google has confirmed in a blog post that it is shutting down its own gaming development studio, but it insisted its Stadia gaming streaming service will remain.

“We launched Stadia with the goal of making your favourite games instantly available wherever you want to play them,” explained Phil Harrison, VP and GM of Google Stadia. “Having games streamed to any screen is the future of this industry, and we’ll continue to invest in Stadia and its underlying platform to provide the best cloud gaming experience for our partners and the gaming community.”

But he admitted that developing “best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially.”

“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, beyond any near-term planned games,” he said. “Over the coming months, most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles.”

But Harrison was keen to stress that current or future Stadia gamers have nothing to fear.

“You can continue playing all your games on Stadia and Stadia Pro, and we’ll continue to bring new titles from third parties to the platform,” he said.

Studio closures

Google is understood to have had two game development studios (one in Los Angeles and Montreal) and close of these are to close.

Google is also parting ways with Jade Raymond (founder of Ubisoft Toronto and Motive Studios) as well.

Google is hoping that the appeal of the Stadia gaming streaming platform will remain despite this closure.

Stadia allows users to play the latest games on most laptops and PCs (and even some smart TVs), without the need to purchase the latest games console or high-end gaming PC rig – equipped with expensive graphic cards.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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