Google abandons effort to create video games less than 2 years after it was announced

  • After less than two years, Google is closing its video game development studio Stadia Games & Entertainment.
  • Jade Raymond, who helped create the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, was leading the project. She is leaving Google.
  • Google said it will continue to support its gaming platform, Google Stadia.
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Google is ending its ambitious project to create large-scale video games as part of its ongoing Google Stadia video game platform, the company announced on Monday.

Google’s Stadia Games & Entertainment division, headed up by game industry veteran Jade Raymond, is shuttering. Raymond will also leave the company.

“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,” Google Stadia VP Phil Harrison said in a blog post. “With the increased focus on using our technology platform for industry partners, Jade Raymond has decided to leave Google to pursue other opportunities.”

It’s unclear if any layoffs are planned for Google’s internal game development studio, but Google said “most” of that team “will be moving on to new roles.” Approximately 150 employees across two game studios in Los Angeles and Montreal are impacted, according to a report in Kotaku.

Though Google spent years developing the video game streaming technology at the heart of its Stadia platform, it’s been less than two years since Google formally launched the platform at the 2019 Game Developers Conference.

At that event, a gaggle of Google execs laid out plans for the future of the platform.

“Stadia will be a driving force defining the future of games and entertainment,” Stadia Games & Entertainment chief Jade Raymond said in March 2019. Less than two years later, Raymond is out and Google is cancelling those plans.

Google Stadia VP Phil Harrison cited the increasing cost of video game development for why it’s shuttering its game development studios.

“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,” Harrison wrote. Google has yet to release any first-party games on the Stadia platform.

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