When Google first announced its Stadia cloud gaming platform, it took a huge risk that would change the way people play games. It originally planned to release original games developed by Stadia’s in-house studio called SG&E (Stadia Games and Entertainment). The latest blog post from Google announces the company’s shutting down of this very same studio.
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.
Google’s deciding its focus with Stadia is not to make the games, but rather the platform that allows people to play them. Google says that most of the teams from SG&E will be moving to new roles within the company and Jade Raymond, a gaming industry veteran brought on to lead the studios at Google, has parted ways with the company.
Perhaps Google didn’t expect that it would resort to dropping lucrative promotions around the same time that Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles became available. Or perhaps Google didn’t realize how much time, effort, resources, and capital it takes to develop a video game at the AAA level.
Google Stadia isn’t going anywhere, players can still play all games on both tiers of Stadia and it will continue to bring third party games to the cloud platform. Those games that were planned for release in the “near-term” will still be coming, but Google won’t invest beyond this.
We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward. Our goal remains focused on creating the best possible platform for gamers and technology for our partners, bringing these experiences to life for people everywhere.
Stadia first launched with no competition, but now more than a year later the platform faces rivals from Microsoft with Game Pass and xCloud, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, and Amazon’s Luna. Stadia had much success with the launch of Cyberpunk 20177 and even gave free controllers to those who pre-ordered the game. Though still with bugs, it ran great on PC and Stadia, while it faced more severe issues on consoles.