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Google is winding down in-house Stadia game development division

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Google has announced that it is shutting down its internal Stadia game development division—Stadia Games and Entertainment (SG&E) to refocus on building Stadia as a technology platform.

In a blog post, Phil Harrison, VP and GM of Google Stadia said, “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.”

It is unclear what near-term planned games will see the light, if at all. What’s clear is that Stadia will no longer be a games developer/publisher. That part of the business is dead.

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Credit: Google

Stadia will continue to be built as a cloud gaming technology platform for industry partners and the gaming community, to enable gameplay on all types of devices, including iOS. This season’s hit AAA title, Cyberpunk 2077 was successfully launched on Stadia at the tail end of last year.

Google has confirmed that superstar producer Jade Raymond, VP and head of SG&E, will be leaving Google to pursue other opportunities. Jade, known for her work on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed and Electronic Arts’ Star Wars franchises, was hired just a year ago to spearhead Stadia’s first-party game development.

The shutting of Stadia’s Montreal and Los Angeles will impact around 150 jobs, with Google saying “most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles.”

So, what happens to Stadia gaming service and Stadia Pro? Well, in a nutshell, Stadia and the USD9.99 Stadia Pro subscription service will continue to run, as is. Just don’t expect exclusive first-party titles on the platform any time soon. Or ever. Google, however, may still try to secure exclusive (or perhaps timed-exclusive) third-party titles.

For fans of Stadia, the closure of SG&E may come as a huge blow since this means Stadia not being the “console competitor” to the PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo rivals as initially positioned by Google.

Are you a Stadia subscriber? What are your thoughts?

Header image credit: Google


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By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of Vernonchan.com. A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.