Google has announced that it is moving away from game development and shutting down its internal game development department, Stadia Games and Entertainment. Rumors had abounded regarding a big change at Google, but the official news was still unexpected by many.
Google's in-house studios had previously focused on the development of games for the Stadia streaming platform, which first debuted in late 2019. Stadia's stated purpose was to make games more accessible to players who did not possess the necessary console or high-end PC.
The closure of Stadia Games & Entertainment has resulted in 150 layoffs according to a source at Kotaku, including SG&E president Jade Raymond, who has officially left Google. Some other members of the team may move to new roles within Google or continue to work on Stadia development in a different capacity.
Now, instead of working to develop its own games, Google will continue developing the technology of Stadia itself. In addition, they will offer Stadia's services to existing game developers and publishers. Some games planned for release in the near future will continue development, although the games included in this statement have not been officially stated at this time. Both the Stadia and Stadia Pro services will also continue to be available to gamers around the world.
Regarding the decision, Stadia vice president and GM Phil Harrison authored a post on the official Stadia blog. He attributed the decision to the rising cost of producing games in-house. Harrison also described his team's new focus as "building on the proven technology of Stadia as well as deepening our business partnerships." He finished by re-affirming Stadia's core tenet, its "commitment to the future of cloud-based gaming."
What are your thoughts on the closure of Stadia Games and Entertainment? Are you a regular Stadia user? Let us know!