Google Stadia to close in-house game development studio

Google is closing down its in-house game development studio to focus on adding games to its Stadia streaming service from existing developers.

Stadia general manager Phil Harrison said the decision was influenced by the amount of time and money needed to develop high-end video games.

The online gaming service launched in 2019 as a way of playing major titles on a TV, laptop or smartphone without downloading them – instead streaming the content from the cloud.

Google said it is “committed to the future of cloud gaming” and will continue to add new titles to the service from third-party developers, but will no longer be looking to make its own games.

“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,” Mr Harrison said in a blog post announcing the decision.

“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 (Stadia Games and Entertainment), beyond any near-term planned games.”

As part of the shake-up, industry veteran Jade Raymond will leave Google, the company confirmed, having joined the firm to lead the Stadia studio team.

Other developers who were a part of Stadia studios will be “moving on to new roles”, Google said.

“You can continue playing all your games on Stadia and Stadia Pro, and we’ll continue to bring new titles from third parties to the platform,” Mr Harrison said.

“We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward.

“Our goal remains focused on creating the best possible platform for gamers and technology for our partners, bringing these experiences to life for people everywhere.”