Google Stadia will no longer be a game developer — the service's studios in Montreal and Los Angeles are shutting down for good. In addition, former Assassin's Creed Producer Jade Raymond is leaving the company.
Less than two years ago, Jade Raymond announced that she was joining Google. The reason why became clear when she was announced as the head of the Stadia Games Studios. Now, she's departing the company she left Ubisoft to join as Google closes up shop for its internal development studios. Raymond has not yet publicly commented on her departure.
Kotaku reports that 150 developers will be affected at its Montreal and Los Angeles studios. As one might expect, Google is reportedly working to find these employees new jobs elsewhere in the company.
What is the Future of Google Stadia?
The closer of the internal game developers for Google Stadia is certainly disappointing news for the platform's fans. Google may be out of the game development business — at least on the Stadia front — but the party is far from over.
Going forward, Google will continue to bring more and more games to its streaming platform. We don't yet know what exclusives, if any, will be making their way to the platform in the future. However, the company did detail the future of the platform in a new blog post.
"We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward." – Phil Harrison, Google Stadia Vice President and General Manager
Google is looking to build on its success with Stadia's technology by offering it up to game publishers. This would allow, say, an MMORPG to easily stream content to players in a similar fashion. Critically, partnerships such as these would mean that Google can leverage the Stadia tech for games that might not work as well with a controller.
"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," said Stadia's VP and GM Phil Harrison in today's blog post. "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."
It's not entirely clear why Google shut down its internal developers. One anonymous source familiar with the company indicated that it was an under-resourced project — that is to say, it did not have enough funding and/or staff to do the job right. Stadia isn't quite dead, but Google's endeavors in game development have now joined the company's growing list of canceled projects.
Are you disappointed that internal Google Stadia game development is coming to an end? Do you think the platform will be able to survive in the current console generation? Let us know in the comments below!