Google is shutting down its internal game development studios tasked with making video games for Stadia, the company’s game-streaming platform. Stadia GM and vice president Phil Harrison announced the closure of Stadia Games and Entertainment on Monday on the Stadia blog.
As first reported by Kotaku, Google will close its two Stadia Games & Entertainment studios located in Los Angeles and Montreal. The closure will impact approximately 150 employees, one source told Kotaku. Google says it will try to find new roles at the company for those impacted.
“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.” Harrison said, and later on, he also mentioned that “Over the coming months, most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles. We’re committed to working with this talented team to find new roles and support them.”
Jade Raymond, who was among Google Stadia’s biggest-name hires for its new game studios, is leaving Google as part of the shakeup. “We greatly appreciate Jade’s contribution to Stadia and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors,” Google said.
Alex Hutchinson, the head of the Stadia team in Montreal that was acquired in 2019, reacted to the news with a tongue-in-cheek tweet. “What a time to be alive,” he said.
What does this mean for Stadia subscribers? Google states that players can still access their games on Stadia (or the $10-a-month Stadia Pro) and that third-party games will continue to release on the service. It’s unclear how many third-party games Google plans on hosting on Stadia.
A key pillar of Google’s new strategy is offering up Stadia’s game streaming technology to other interested companies. Google’s head of Stadia operations, Phil Harrison, will lead that initiative.
“We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward,” Harrison said. “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.”