Google Stadia closes first-party studios developing exclusive games

Google Stadia
(Image credit: Google)

Google is closing its first-party Stadia Games and Entertainment studios, abandoning its plans for exclusive games.

Both the Los Angeles and Montreal SG&E studios are being shuttered, as the company explained in an announcement. "Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially," vice president and general manager Phil Harrison said. "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."

Kotaku reports that some 150 developers will be displaced by the closure, with former Ubisoft and EA producer Jade Raymond now leaving Google entirely after joining to lead first-party Stadia development. Google says it is "committed to working with this talented team to find new roles and support them." 

Harrison didn't specify which "near-term planned games" will survive this closure, but any lingering releases won't change the fact that Google is officially done developing exclusive, first-party games for Stadia. Google Stadia and Stadia Pro subscriptions remain unchanged for now, but Google will rely entirely on third-party support to expand their game libraries going forward.  To that end, Google's 2021 plans will double down on "efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology." 

From November 2020: Google Stadia points the way to the future, but it might not be around to see it.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.