Google shocked the gaming community more than two weeks ago with a surprise announcement explaining how they were giving up on first-party development plans for the Stadia, effectively shutting down all of its internal development studios. It seems we weren’t the ones whole were surprised by the decision, as new reports indicate that the project devs were kept equally in the dark regarding the matter.
"Stadia developers learned the news, first reported by Kotaku, at almost the same time as everyone else via an internal email and conference call with Harrison." https://t.co/d6qc8iHfJT
— 𝙥𝙖𝙪𝙡 𝙩𝙖𝙢𝙖𝙮𝙤 (@polimayo) February 17, 2021
Stadia developers heard about layoffs shortly before the rest of the world
According to a recent report from online gaming publication Kotaku, Phil Harrison – Google vice president and general manager – shared some encouraging words to Stadia’s internal teams just five days prior to the announcement, circulating an email stating that they “made great progress building a diverse and talented team and establishing a strong lineup of Stadia exclusive games.”
“We will confirm the SG&E investment envelope shortly, which will, in turn, inform the SG&E strategy.”, continued Harrison. Five days later, Harrison would break the news that they “will not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E, beyond any near-term planned games.”
Phil Harrison said that Microsoft buying Bethesda was a factor that made Google choose to close its own Stadia studios
— Nibel (@Nibellion) February 17, 2021
Sources say that the Stadia developers learned of the decision just a short while before the announcement was made and were unable to question Harrison about it until a conference call was made three days later. Multiple reports suggest that when confronted about his reassuring email, Harrison stated that he regretted sending it since he already knew about the decision at the time.
Despite the closure of its independent development studios, Google still plans to continue with the cloud gaming aspect of the Stadia. “We’re committed to the future of cloud gaming and will continue to do our part to drive this industry forward.”, explained Harrison.
The birth of Google Stadia
Google’s Stadia is a cloud-based gaming platform supposedly capable of streaming video games at 60fps at up to 4K resolution. It made its debut on November 19, 2019, and can be accessed through Chromecast Ultra, Google Chrome, Chromium-based browsers, Chrome OS tablets, Safari browsers, and Android devices.