Google is closing down its first-party Stadia game studio

Polycount

Posts: 2,844   +575
Staff member
Google graveyard: Google is known for its tendency to shut down sites and services when it gets tired of maintaining them, and for better or worse, we're seeing that trend rear its ugly head again today. Google has officially shut down its first-party game development studio for Stadia and will shift its focus toward the technology behind the platform moving forward.

First, let's be entirely clear: Stadia itself is not going anywhere -- not for the time being, anyway -- so all of your games are still safe. Frankly, this news probably won't mean anything to the platform's end users. However, it's a sad day for Stadia's first-party developers, who will now be forced to find new jobs.

Google says "most" of the SG&E team (Stadia's first-party studio) will be moving on to new roles within Google, but that doesn't do any good for the developers who want to work on games, rather than software or cloud streaming technology.

Google's decision was partially prompted, it seems, by gaming industry veteran Jade Raymond's departure from the Stadia team. However, the rising cost of game development, as well as the many years it can take to create best-in-class titles, also played a role in today's move.

SG&E was a short-lived experiment on Google's part, but its demise might be for the best. Whether you love or hate Stadia, there's a slightly better chance that the platform will thrive now that Google isn't splitting up its resources unnecessarily.

One more clarifying point before we come to a close: Google will still have Stadia-exclusive titles moving forward, they'll just be coming from third-party studios rather than the company itself. In other words, Google is taking on more of a publishing role, which makes much more sense given its limited experience in actual game production.

Google hints that any "near-term" planned games will still be releasing as planned (probably to avoid wasting resources), but we'll have to wait and see whether or not that will remain the case.

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,727   +5,138
We all knew this would happen due to the data caps.

I'm surprised Google hasn't developed some form of easy Youtube integration for streaming games with Stadia direct to Youtube as sort of a "content creator starter kit".

Most people lack the money necessary to build a computer competent enough to run modern games. It seems to me that a pay for play streaming service by Google that could simultaneously be used with Youtube would be brilliant.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 293   +242
Who knew Google/Alphabet were just like us - that raspberry PC sitting there awaiting some project , that Nvidia shield - you were going to make into retro gaming m/c - That forlorn pc case and motherboard you were going to make a NAS from- those old brand new computer parts you were going to build someone a PC with - instead you got a great deal on an ex-lease govt pc with windows pro - for the same price as windows pro - so threw in a GPU and SSD card and gave them that instead as only 1 hour work - no need to remember if a small black triangle was negative or positive
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 416   +802
As much as I hate microcrap, they understand that a platform takes time, perseverance and money to make it.

Google needs to stop thinking that it's a small startup and take serious risks and put time behind their products.

In the way they are going, all they will have is Android, Gmail and the other services that only survive by sucking people's info.

And that would stop if Samsung and Microsoft are successful in stealing Android from them.

On another note, one thing they could have done is to use those programmers to port games to their platform, for example, grabbing the Arkham Series, update properly and release on Stadia.
 

BSim500

Posts: 789   +1,729
But but but muh cloud gaming is inevitable
In a world of data caps, sh*tty connections and sky-high mobile costs, I laughed long and hard at anyone who thought eating through up to 10GB per hour (to stream a game that was often much smaller as a local install) was ever a 'stroke of genius'. Let's say the service did massively take off and had become wildly popular. All that would have happened is after the early "honeymoon" period of showcasing the tech, over time Google would have significantly lowered the bitrates for cost reasons, and just like Youtube you'd end up needing to stream at 4K just to get a 1080p picture that isn't over-compressed mush vs noticeably better looking 1080p Blu-Ray / uncompressed local rendering. Upping the resolution for marketing whilst lowering the bitrates for cost was and still is one of the most ridiculous "rat-races" for digital video distribution, and Stadia was never going to be immune to it either.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 416   +802
But but but muh cloud gaming is inevitable
I have to say, if you dont have a cap, good connection, stadia is perfect for the customer.

example, how much is a whole gaming pc today? Or a console?

plus games?

Stadia works great for 10 bucks a month and my understanding is that latency is not an issue, but I dont know, since I never tried.

then its the fact that developers are targeting one platform, which might get another upgrade and stay there for a bit.

the problem is google and their lack of commitment.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 787   +1,118
example, how much is a whole gaming pc today? Or a console?
Exactly. I didn't invest in this hardware to use it as a dumb terminal, and I don't play games just to mindlessly consoom content.

Cloud gaming is cancer, an impediment to game preservation and game modding. I will celebrate every L that it takes.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 416   +802
Exactly. I didn't invest in this hardware to use it as a dumb terminal, and I don't play games just to mindlessly consoom content.

Cloud gaming is cancer, an impediment to game preservation and game modding. I will celebrate every L that it takes.
Even though I agree woth the preservation, that boat is already in movement and not in a good way.

the biggest issue for that is exclusive games to one platform + digital, like playstation and Switch games.

personally, I simply try to enjoy my free time entertained and relaxed, instead of fighting wars that I dont have the means to win.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 787   +1,118
Even though I agree woth the preservation, that boat is already in movement and not in a good way.

the biggest issue for that is exclusive games to one platform + digital, like playstation and Switch games.

personally, I simply try to enjoy my free time entertained and relaxed, instead of fighting wars that I dont have the means to win.
I wouldn't enjoy my free time knowing that my capitulation to corporate malfeasance is making the world a worse place.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 416   +802
I wouldn't enjoy my free time knowing that my capitulation to corporate malfeasance is making the world a worse place.
I understand that perfectly, since it consumed a lot of my time and energy, but for that reason, I moved on from some of those fights.

happens with old age, so keep up the good fight!