Not a good sign when you fire up new internal development studios with hundreds of employees not that long ago only to close them before any games hit the market. This is what has happened with Google Stadia
, the tech giant's streaming platform that has yet to reach our shores. Stadia, which is all about cloud gaming, is widely seen as Google's big videogame play.
In terms of reception, with subscription fees and then having to purchase games on top of that (with the only option being to stream over the cloud), Stadia was something of a tough sell. With Xbox Game Streaming (i.e. Project xCloud) being an additional tier in the already platform-friendly Xbox Game Pass no doubt the competition factored into Google's decision.
The closure of Stadia-specific development studios doesn't mark the end of the platform or technology, with Stadia-head Phil Harrison writing:
"In 2021, we’re expanding our efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players. We see an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia’s advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools. We believe this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry.
He also adds that developers in the shuttered studios will be moving to other roles within Google, though the head of its first-party efforts -- industry veteran Jade Redmond -- is leaving the company.