Just 14 months after Stadia’s high-profile launch, Google is starting to rethink its streaming service strategy, which will see it begin to shut down all internal game development and roll out its technology to third-party publishers.
Stadia managing director Phil Harrison has confirmed in a new blog post that the company’s two internal game studios based in Montreal and Los Angeles are shutting down, pointing to an end to console-like goals to drive adoption of Stadia-specific flagship games. It takes many years to create best-in-class games with about the decision, requires significant investments, and the cost is growing exponentially, Harrison explained.
Google says most developers affected by the studio’s closure will be given new roles at the company.
Despite these changes, Stadia’s game streaming service will continue to work even if there are no big-ticket titles to attract crowds. Also, Google plans to purchase Stadia technology to be used by other video game companies that want to offer their streaming platforms. We believe this is the best way to make Stadia a long-term, sustainable business that helps the industry grow, Harrison writes.
Of course, Stadia had a tough start when it launched in November 2019, with its subscription-based business model being skeptical of its missing features and early promises not being fulfilled. And while the arrival of the basic free tier last April seemed to improve the wealth of the streaming service, it soon faced stiff competition with Microsoft and Amazon.
It is not yet clear whether Google’s strategic repositioning will be sufficient to ensure Stadia’s long-term viability.