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Google’s announces the closure of Stadia Games & Entertainment studios, and a focus on third-party developers for future growth.

In a post on the Google blog, Phil Harrison has confirmed that Google is closing its Stadia Games & Entertainment studios in Montreal and Los Angeles. The closures will affect up to 150 positions across both locations. Jade Raymond – one of the industry luminaries used to lend credibility at Stadia’s unveiling – has also left Google to pursue other opportunities.

Harrison says that Google will continue to operate Stadia, but will now focus on building relationships with third-party developers.

“In 2021, we’re expanding our efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players. We see an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia’s advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools. We believe this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry.”

The move is one that many commenters predicted when Stadia limped out of the gate in 2019. Sadly, it’s another reminder of just how hard it is to create AAA games from a standing start, something Amazon – another game development newcomer – has also struggled with.

The news is a shame, both for the developers affected by the closures, and the platform itself. Stadia has slowly been recovering from its rocky launch with the introduction of cool new features and a growing library of games.

Speaking about the future of the platform from a player perspective, Harrison adds:

“What does this mean if you’re a current or future Stadia gamer? 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. We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward.”

And speaking personally as a recent Stadia convert, the decision does little to inspire my already fragile confidence in its future.

Via: Google Blog

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