Google is shifting away from making its own games for Stadia. It’s shutting down studios in Montreal and Los Angeles, and industry veteran Jade Raymond, who Google tapped to lead the game development division, is leaving the company. Stadia vice president and general manager Phil Harrison wrote in a blog post that Google will keep investing in the service.
“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,” Harrison wrote. “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 Games and Entertainment], beyond any near-term planned games.”
The company opened its first Stadia studio in Montreal in 2019 and it acquired Journey to the Savage Planet developer Typhoon Studios later that year to bolster the team. Google announced the Los Angeles studio last March. Harrison noted that most of the team members will be moving on to other roles and that Google will help them find new positions. SG&E has published a few Stadia exclusives, including Orcs Must Die! 3, Outcasters and Submerged: Hidden Depths.
According to Harrison, Google believes working with developers and publishers to bring third-party games to the platform is the “best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business.” In November, Stadia’s director of games Jack Buser said that there were 400 games in the works for the service. Exclusive Stadia titles are in development from studios like Harmonix and Supermassive.