Indie game developers blindsided by Stadia shutdown

Google Stadia
(Image credit: Google)

Indie developers working with Google are taking to social media to express shock and surprise that Stadia is shutting down in four months. 

The company announced Stadia’s closure in a recent blog, with Stadia VP and GM Phil Harrison explaining that the cloud streaming system “hasn't gained the traction with users” that the team expected.

While the news may not be surprising to some, it’s clearly blindsided some of the developers creating games specifically for Stadia or working on a port for pre-existing ones. 

“We have a game coming to Stadia in November,” No More Robots founder Mike Rose says. “Who wants to guess that Google will refuse to pay us the money they owe us for it?”

Following the tweet, Rose followed up hours later to say that they still had not any clarification from Stadia on what’s happening with games, deals, or “anything”. 

Rose isn’t the only developer to share a story of that sort. Various other developers have also said that coverage in various outlets was the first they had heard of Stadia’s closure, despite the fact that they have projects in the works for the platform. 

“I know everybody is having a great time laughing at this but stadia had the best dev revenue of any streaming service, and launching Hyper Gunsport there was going to recoup our dev costs,” Necrosoft Games director Brandon Sheffield says. “We were launching there in November and are now in a much tougher situation.”

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Stadia’s impending closure has also posed questions to publishers about their plans for the platform. Axios report Stephen Totilo asked Ubisoft what it might do for Stadia users who play its games, to which the publisher confirmed that specifics would be shared at a “later date”. Hitman developer IO Interactive has also confirmed that its “looking into ways” for players to continue on other platforms.

We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

Stadia’s service will stay live until January 18, 2023, with refunds on purchases due to go out around the same time.

Meanwhile, this Red Dead Redemption 2 fan with nearly 6,000 hours on Stadia has asked Rockstar for a character transfer.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.