After only fourteen months on the market, Google has announced that game development for Stadia will cease, in favour of offering its technology to publishers.
Stadia VP and GM Phil Harrison announced the news today, claiming “We will not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E, beyond any near-term planned games.” The Stadia team will shift “increased focus on using our technology platform for industry partners” instead of developing new software in-house.
Google’s game studios in Montreal and Los Angeles will be shuttered, with neither branch having released any games and affecting about 150 staff members. Stadia Games and Entertainment VP Jade Redmond, a veteran of Ubisoft and EA, is also leaving the company.
“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,” Harrison wrote. Its research may be of use to the growing trend of “cloud versions,” seen in the recent Nintendo Switch port of Control.
Following the platform’s launch in November 2019, Stadia Pro quickly reached 1 million subscribers. The platform proved its power and potential in December when it ran Cyberpunk 2077 more smoothly than PlayStation 4 or Xbox One could, but the promised exclusives have been slow to arrive. Google will not discontinue the Pro program, which offers subscribers access to a library of games for $12 CDN/month—like PS+, subscribers have access to games they add to their libraries so long as they pay the monthly fee.
“We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward,” said Harrison. “Our goal remains focused on creating the best possible platform for gamers and technology for our partners.”