When Google announced Stadia, its much-hyped online gaming platform, the company had also told that an internal game studio would be developing Stadia-exclusive titles. As a part of this attempt, Google set up a few studios across the US and acquired companies like Typhoon Studios. Now, putting an end to all those expansion plans, Google has decided to shut down the internal game studio at Stadia. It means Google will no longer be developing exclusive video game titles for the Stadia platform. Instead, the Stadia platform will rely on third-party titles from hundreds of developers across the globe.
Phil Harrison, the Vice President and General Manager of the Google Stadia project, announced this update through an official blog post. He started the blog post saying that the Stadia platform will make things easier for developers and users in 2021 and that the company is now leveraging its options to work with partners. However, after Harrison talked about the sheer difficulty of creating best-in-class games from scratch, he said, “[they] have decided that [they] will not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E, beyond any near-term planned games.” He also added that Jade Raymond would be leaving Google soon.
The VP also added that the SG&E team would be dissolved, and its members would find places in other projects at Google. Answering the potential questions gamers might have, Phil Harrison assured that Google would bring new titles from third-parties to the platform. Considering that Google can now invest in third-party titles, the money it would otherwise invest in the internal development of games, users can expect a higher number of titles coming to the Stadia platform. Of course, we cannot be sure about the numbers until the widespread availability of the online gaming service.
According to Jack Buser, who is the Director of Games at Stadia, the platform is ready to welcome more than 400 titles in the future. The list of the titles would include titles that are popular on another platform as well as the ones specifically made for Stadia. It was said that Harmonix and Supermassive were developing a few Stadia-exclusive titles, which we can expect in the future. The difference is that these titles will be from the original developers and won’t have the ‘By Google’ tab on them. In other words, the decision to close the SG&E team at Stadia wouldn’t affect users much.
From another point of view, this decision will increase the quantity and quality of the games people get to play on the Stadia platform. Now that the internal studio is shut down, several thousands of dollars can be reallocated to partner with third-party game developers. The titles from these developers will help Stadia compete with the other online gaming platforms in the market, including direct competitors.