Not even two full years after launching, Google announced today that it would begin "winding down" its internal first-party studio group known as Stadia Games & Entertainment. Instead, Stadia itself will begin to evolve more into a platform for other developers to release their games upon.
The news was announced in a new blog from Google where it divulged the company's plans for the future of Stadia. Google says that 2021 will be a year in which the service looks to expand "our efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players." In tandem, it was also said that Stadia Games & Entertainment will no longer be receiving support from Google, bringing about the end of any first-party projects as a result. Essentially, Stadia itself won't have exclusives any longer unless third-party teams decide to make their games exclusive to the streaming platform.
Focusing on Stadia’s future as a platform, and winding down SG&E : https://t.co/HsZUcGXbtZ— Stadia (@GoogleStadia) February 1, 2021
Jade Raymond, the head of SG&E, was also mentioned in the blog to be leaving Google at this point to begin searching for new opportunities. As for the other developers that worked at Google's two internal game studios, the company has said that they will be "moving on to new roles" over the coming months. Based on this wording, it sounds as though some team members will have the opportunity to stay at Google if they so choose.
As a whole, this isn't really a shocking development to see come about. Stadia has failed to catch on in a major way since first releasing back in 2019. Much of this was likely due in part to the platform's failure to have any noteworthy exclusive titles available from its Stadia Games & Entertainment division that garnered mainstream attention. While Raymond promised that these tentpole titles would be coming in the future, the shuttering of this group essentially nixes those plans.
At this point, it remains to be seen where Stadia goes from here. While Google has reiterated that it will continue to support the platform itself well into the future, the company has also been one that quickly pulls the plug whenever projects aren't working out. To see SG&E go down like this in under two years likely doesn't spell positive things for the future of Stadia as a whole.
So what do you think about this news with Stadia? Did you see this coming from miles away? Be sure to let me know your thoughts either down in the comments or over on Twitter at @MooreMan12.