Google closing Stadia game studios, opening up tech to publishers

Jade Raymond is exiting the company while Phil Harrison stays on to pursue publisher partnerships

Google is shutting down its internal game development efforts and shifting focus towards third-party games with its cloud streaming service Stadia.

According to a Kotaku report ahead of the announcement, Google will close its two game studios in Montreal and Los Angeles with roughly 150 roles will be affected, though the company says it will try to find new roles for those developers.

Google Stadia VP Phil Harrison confirmed in a post today that Google will “not be investing further” in exclusive content from its internal development teams, beyond “any near-term planned games.” This is due to the significant investment involved in creating games of the quality required.

The company states that more third-party games will be coming to the platform.

Google also announced that VP Jade Raymond, a veteran from EA Motive and Ubisoft Toronto who was brought on to lead Google’s internal development efforts, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

While the games development division is shuttering, the cloud streaming service Google Stadia will continue to operate, as will the monthly Stadia Pro subscription service. Google says it plans to start offering the Stadia tech to publishers, with Harrison now focusing on pursuing these partnerships.

“Having games streamed to any screen is the future of this industry, and we’ll continue to invest in Stadia and its underlying platform to provide the best cloud gaming experience for our partners and the gaming community,” Harrison said. “This has been the vision of Stadia since the beginning.”

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