Google Stadia Head Of Product John Justice Quits Google

The head of product for the somewhat ill-fated Google Stadia has jumped ship. What might this mean for Stadia?

Published: May 4, 2021 9:10 AM /


Several of the devices with which Google Stadia is compatible

Google VP and Stadia product head John Justice has quit the company. Justice was in charge of Google Stadia consumer experience, which makes him the closest analogue Stadia has to Xbox's Phil Spencer or Sony's Jim Ryan.

Why has Stadia product head John Justice left Google?

This news comes to us via Engadget and has been confirmed by Google. Justice's role on the Stadia project was to negotiate content coming to the ill-fated streaming service, as well as introduce new features and generally present Stadia to the gaming public. Google hasn't yet announced who will be taking over Justice's role, but Stadia still retains its games director Jack Buser and general manager Phil Harrison, so this isn't a complete managerial shake-up.

Gylt, one of the only Google Stadia exclusive games
Survival horror adventure Gylt is one of very few Stadia exclusives.

In retrospect, we perhaps should have seen something like this coming. Back in February, Google announced it would be shutting down its development studios, with former Ubisoft producer Jade Raymond quitting the company at the same time. Later that month, a report by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier revealed some of Stadia's launch woes. The company reportedly didn't give its development staff enough time or resources to create new content for Stadia. In addition, Google reportedly paid "tens of millions of dollars...PER Stadia port" to get games onto the platform. It seems Google doesn't really know what to do with Stadia, nor how best to manage it.

What's next for Google Stadia?

Stadia isn't quite dead yet. Last month, indie craft-'em-up Terraria made its long-awaited debut on Google's streaming platform. In addition, three new indie games - Battle BilliardsBushido Bots, and Fragments - recently received additional funding for production on Stadia via the Playcrafting Play Anywhere Game Jam. Google has said it's bringing more than 100 games to Stadia this year, so it's unlikely the Mountain View tech giant is going to give up on its streaming service just yet.

Hellpoint, a Soulslike coming to Google Stadia in 2021
Sci-fi Soulslike Hellpoint is one of the many games coming to Google Stadia this year.

Despite that dedication, things aren't looking great for Stadia. It's still got a fairly robust staff on board to take care of it, but Google does have a history of shutting down services and projects that aren't performing. Remember Google Plus? Now it's part of the Google Graveyard. Here's hoping Harrison and Buser, as well as the rest of the staff, can turn this one around and build something more lasting in Justice's wake.

Are you a Stadia subscriber? What do you think of the current state of the platform? Let us know in the comments below!

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| Senior Writer

Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for several years, and in those years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph