In November 2019, Google made a bold decision to join the gaming platform wars with the release of Google Stadia, touted as a way to play anywhere. Many gamers looked forward to the power of a high-end PC at a fraction of the cost with no downloads or updates.
Right out of the gate, the platform had issues. Early users reported lagging and syncing issues with the service, lack of first-party exclusives, and the fact that the subscription-based service also required consumers to purchase the games they wished to play, but being a solely online service meaning players will lose any purchases if Stadia shuts down, and lack of promised features, many of which are still absent, unlike Xbox Game Pass that released a few months later.
Service to say that Stadia has had trouble gaining any traction at all, with a current player base in the thousands the platform has become a very niche platform to play on.
Back in October of 2019, a month before Stadia was due to release, Jade Raymond announced on Stadia’s official website, the creation of Google’s very first original games studio in Montreal.
“Stadia games and Entertainment studio will produce exclusive, original content across a diverse portfolio of games in all your favorite genres. Stadia is designed to be one destination for all people to play games- and Montreal is where we’re going to start building them.”
First-party games would be the only route onto the platform holder world stage as very little else would be a significant draw for consumers who already had a platform of choice.
Just a few months later on July 4, Raymond stated they’d be adding a new SG&E studio in Cali.
“Today, we’re adding a new Stadia Games And Entertainment studio in Playa Vista, California, which will be led by an industry veteran, Shannon Studstill.”
Google giving consumers the impression that they were committed to bringing unique compelling new content only available on Stadia and separate the platform from its competition.
Fast forward to today and sadly Phil Harrison and Google announced they would be winding down SG&E to focus on securing Stadia’s future as a platform. Traditionally, platform holders can’t survive the gaming industry without a healthy lineup of fresh first-party IP.
The statement on the official Stadia website also confirmed that Jade Raymond has departed Google in pursuit of other projects.
Without first-party content or a seasoned veteran to lead them, Stadia’s future would seem short, with other cloud gaming services bringing better value with added exclusive content. It won’t be long before Stadia joins a long list of Googles abandoned projects
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