Google has lowered the curtain on its Stadia Games & Entertainment internal development team, citing the “significant investment” involved in making first-party games.
In a blog post, Google wrote, “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, beyond any near-term planned games."
For 2021, Google will instead focus on working with other developers and publishers to have their games delivered through Stadia, with the company saying that “this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry”.
The majority of the SG&E team will move to new roles, while former Google SG&E VP and Head Jade Raymond will leave Google owing to the change in direction.
SG&E was described as "both a developer and a publisher" by its portfolio director Julien Cuny in a November 2020 video. It had two offices, one in Montreal and one in Los Angeles, with the former announced in October 2019. At the time, Raymond, who joined Google after serving as executive producer for games like Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Watch Dogs, told GamesIndustry.biz, “We have a plan that includes building out a few different first-party studios, and also building up the publishing org to ship exclusive content created by indie devs and other external partners."
While Google has now shuttered its first-party development plans, it said that it remained committed to cloud gaming’s future and will continue to do its 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,” the company wrote.