Following an announcement Monday, Google will no longer be investing in developing exclusive games for their Stadia game streaming service. Stadia Vice President Phil Harrison explained in a blog post that Google will be closing two game development studios in Los Angeles and Montreal, both of which have not yet released games.
Harrison cites the “successful” launch of Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia as proof that Stadia’s tech “works at scale.” By changing focus from developing games into perfecting game streaming technology, Harrison noted that “this is the best path to building Stadia into a long-term, sustainable business that helps grow the industry.”
Google’s choice to focus on working with third-party developers comes strategically before Amazon’s competing service, Luna, enters early access. Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service, also, offers an unrivaled ‘unlimited’ streaming plan on their Xbox consoles as well as PC. Google’s most expensive Stadia plan, Stadia Pro, only offers access to certain games.
Stadia has had trouble finding a dedicated player base since its launch in 2019. Even though games like Cyberpunk 2077 were found to run relatively well on the system, several publications have lamented low player populations even in the most popular games.
Harrison made it clear that Google’s new plan is to reach out to developers and make sure games get released on Stadia. Amazon, which purchased the popular streaming website Twitch in 2014, is poised to be major competition for Google’s Stadia. Amazon’s gaming partnerships may already give them an edge in the impending game streaming wars.
Stadia will continue to offer Stadia Pro to its subscribers, but specifies that from here on out, the only new games coming to the platform will be third party one. Harrison closed off his post saying, “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.”