Google has announced that it will be winding down its in-house Stadia Games & Entertainment (SG&E) development teams as part of a refocusing of the service to offer up the web giant's gaming streaming tech to third parties.
In a blog post by Vice President & GM Phil Harrison, the company confirmed it would be closing its studios in Montreal and Los Angeles, saying "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 noted that the Stadia service would continue to operate for end users, but in terms of Google's own input there will be a shift in focus: "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."
As a part of these changes, Harrison also revealed that the head of the SG&E studio and former Assassin's Creed producer Jade Raymond will be departing Google "to persue other opportunities" after just under two years in the role. It's also understood that the studio formerly known as Typhoon Games, developer of 2020's Journey to the Savage Planet will also be departing. According to a Kotaku report, around 150 developers effected will be reassigned new roles within Google.
Harrison says the service will continue to run both its free and Stadia Pro services going forward and says Google Stadia will continue to bring new titles from third parties to the platform. "We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward. 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."