Google announced plans to shut down its Stadia Development team, Stadia Games & Entertainment (SG&E). Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager of Google Stadia, explained that the reasons for the closure amount to the soaring costs of development in a blog post.
“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially.” Harrison believes shutting down SG&E is the best way to ensure longevity for a sustainable business.
Stadia and the Stadia Pro subscription will live on as streaming options but will rely on third-party developers rather than bringing exclusive in-house content to the platform. Harrison noted that he believes “streaming games to any screen is the future of this industry.” He plans to lead the charge with this platform.
Harrison also shared that Jade Raymond, vice president and head of SG&E, will be parting ways with Stadia as the service transitions to focus on infrastructure. In the meantime, SG&E developers will finish work on any imminent titles before the team shuts its doors.
Harrison noted that this transition would allow Stadia to continue to build and streamline the platform in order to advance the service as a viable option for gamers. Further, he hopes to strengthen relationships with external developers and continue to bring titles to the cloud-based service. “This has been the vision of Stadia since the beginning.”
SG&E’s closure does stand out as something of a bad omen for the tech giant’s future in the gaming industry. While the service will stick around, the titles it has access to will hardly distinguish it from others, such as Microsoft’s GamePass or Sony’s PS Now services. To see how Google’s platform stacks up, we broke down some of the factors in choosing a streaming service.