Google Stadia is going to be seeing a seismic shift in productions and the service’s focus.
Taking to a recent Google blog post, VP and GM of Google Stadia, Phil Harrison said the following;
“In 2021, we’re expanding our efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players. We see an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia’s advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools. We believe this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry”.
Whilst many (myself included) have been quick to dismiss Stadia, 2020 was a great year for the platform. Despite woes on other platforms, Cyberpunk 2077 (arguably) performs best on Google Stadia. This helped bolster the services subscribers and reputation to a few non-believers.
Around 150 People are to be Affected
Considering the previous focus put forward from the Stadia team, its next move is probably a smart one. Harrison added;
“Creating 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”.
Stadia Games & Entertainment [SG&E] has, currently, not released any games despite Google’s previous intentions to produce its own first-party IPs. Instead, the teams (some of which work in Montreal and some in Los Angeles) will be “moving on to new roles”. Harrison added that the Stadia team is “committed to working with [them] to find new roles and support them”.
Of course, this conjures up a few more questions; “how does this affect active Stadia users?” “What about the games SG&E did have planned to release?” “What will happen to Stadia?”
Well, to at least one of those questions, Harrison had an answer;
“What does this mean if you’re a current or future Stadia gamer? 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”.
Any and all SG&E games currently in production will more than likely meet the cutting room floor, unfortunately. Kotaku added to this story, claiming that a games industry insider had told the site that Google is cancelling “multiple projects”. Basically, anything that does not have a specified 2021 release window will not see the light of day. Take this with a pinch of salt as Google has not commented on it.
As for what will happen to Stadia? Well, at best it will be just another platform to play various other games, like your PC or consoles. At worse, well, this is Google we’re talking about…