Google Stadia is shifting focus. The company announced (opens in new tab) today that it will be shutting down its studios in Los Angeles and Montreal. Jade Raymond, creator of Assassin's Creed, is leaving the company as well.
According to sources close to Kotaku (opens in new tab), pretty much any game that was slated to release after 2021 has been cancelled.
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Raymond, the creative head behind the Assassin's Creed franchise at Ubisoft, was hired by Google as games and entertainment vice president. Stadia GM and vice president Phil Harrison will remain.
"Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially," Harrison said in the Stadia announcement. "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.
Harrison has had a storied career in games, having had executive roles at Microsoft, Sony, and the 2009 formation of Atari. It's no wonder that Google sought him out.
Stadia is aiming to push its technology with other companies, making its infrastructure the backbone for other games publishers.
“We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming, and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward,” Harrison said. “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.”
While this might be a minor setback for Stadia, the company still has plans to leverage its might in the game streaming space. Already, Stadia has proven to be one of the best places to play the computationally expensive Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab).
While exclusive Google-made games are now off the table, the company has the money to make exclusive publishing deals with major studios. And with Microsoft upping the ante in studio acquisitions (opens in new tab), the games race is about to get a lot more heated.