Google Stadia Vice President and GM Phil Harrison outlined the move in a post on the Google Keyword blog, revealing that the company is instead shifting its resources to working with third-party developers.
“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,” wrote Harrison. “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.”
It’s unclear which “near-term planned games” Harrison is referring to. Google set off on its internal game development journey in 2019 but has yet to release any first-party games. Crayta debuted in July 2020, one of only a handful of Stadia-exclusive games you can buy through the service.
Stadia Games and Entertainment head Jade Raymond is also exiting the company . It’s unclear where Raymond is going next, as she has yet to offer a statement. However, this will not the end of Stadia as we know it. The service will continue with a focus on expanding as a cloud gaming platform. All games will remain online and in player libraries and no changes are being made to Stadia subscriptions.
“Having games streamed to any screen is the future of this industry, and we’ll continue to invest in Stadia and its underlying platform to provide the best cloud gaming experience for our partners and the gaming community,” said Harrison. “This has been the vision of Stadia since the beginning.”
Stadia has become something of a go-to service for recent triple-A releases. Both console and PC gamers had issues with CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077, but found Google Stadia a perfectly serviceable platform.
In Nov. 2020, Stadia director of games Jack Buser told MobileSyrup the service had 400 games in the works. He didn’t elaborate which studios were working on them. At the time, he indicated his team was “almost done with 2021.” It’s possible several Stadia first-party games were a part of that number.