On Feb. 1, 2021, Google’s foyer into gaming, Google Stadia, stated their intentions to stop production of all first party titles.
Google Stadia’s game streaming platform is once again in the news for all the wrong reasons with its newest statement made on the Google blog, “The Keyword.” In the statement made by Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager of Google Stadia, he states that Stadia games and Entertainment, the team behind the publishment of titles such as the games ”GYLT,” which had a moderate success, and “Orcs Must Die 3,” which has received a generally mixed reception on Stadia.
So why is this particular endeavor being shut down? Surely the exclusives on the system would be worth it considering the current console market’s complete dependence on exclusives.
Harrison made it clear why in his statement: “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 (Stadia Gaming and Entertainment), beyond any near-term planned games.”
While the post is not particularly clear about what will happen to the staff of the team, they make the claim that, “Over the coming months, most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles.” It also makes clear that Jade Raymond, the leader of Stadia Gaming and Entertainment, will not be one of the employees that is moving around instead opting to leave Google in search of other job opportunities.
This message from Harrison in regards to the struggles of Stadia is, while incredibly grim, expected by gaming news outlets. While the concept of streaming one’s games on any device they have is an incredibly fantastic idea, many cite the payment model as one of the biggest deterrents of the system. Considering consumers wouldn’t technically own any of the games that they purchase through the system, gamers could encounter a huge risk if or when Google is no longer interested in supporting Stadia, as the custom of Google to completely neglect struggling projects.
Regardless of the potentially impending scythe of doom that this message tells us about the success of Stadia, Harrison has made it clear that Google is still interested in Stadia’s concept: “We’ll continue to bring new titles from third parties to the platform. We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward.”
Despite this claim that Google will continue to support Stadia, people are skeptical considering the company’s reputation regarding struggling or even moderately successful ideas, with some cracking jokes at the expense of Google. One need only take a glance at the mass grave of Google’s previous works to have a creeping suspicion that the idea may have to become successful overnight to escape the death of yet another Google project.
Edward Park is a third year student with a BsED writings track. EP909767@wcupa.edu