Despite recently losing a number of staff, Google and a couple of indie studios believe Stadia’s future is still bright.
When Google announced it was giving up making its own games for Stadia, before it even managed to release one, many saw it as a sign that the service was already on its way out.
But Google isn’t ready to abandon Stadia as a whole, with developer marketing lead Nate Ahearn insisting that the service is ‘alive and well.’
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Ahearn pointed out how Stadia is on track to receive more than 100 new games this year alone (which includes brand new releases like Resident Evil Village) and that Google still has plans to partner with major studios like Capcom and Square Enix.
What’s more, its Stadia Pro subscription service continues to offer free games monthly, including major releases like Resident Evil 7 and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
‘We’re well on our way to over 100 new games launching on Stadia in 2021, and we’re continuing to make Stadia a great place to play games on devices you already own.
‘I’d tell any non-believers to take notice of how we’re continuing to put our words into action, as we grow the Stadia Makers programme and partner with AAA studios like Capcom, EA, Square Enix, Ubisoft and others.’
While Google itself isn’t making games for the service, its Stadia Makers programme lends support to indie studios, whether it be with development or even funding.
Ahearn insists that, with no first party exclusives to speak of, Google isn’t pressuring studios that sign up for the programme into delivering games for it.
‘We’re not shifting pressure onto the independent studios we work with in Stadia Makers. The whole point of the programme is to support their addition of Stadia as a launch platform for their game, not add any pressure or make anything harder for them.’
GamesIndustry.biz also spoke with a couple of these indie studios and they back up Ahearn’s comments. Marten Buijsse, community manager at Soedesco (which recently published 2D platformer Kaze And The Wild Masks) said the closure of Google’s internal studio ‘has not had any impact on the support we received, or our relationship with Stadia.’
Alyssa Kollgaard, senior producer at Akupara Games, added that Google has ‘been transparent about their restructuring and working with us directly on ways to ensure we are supported to the same level we were when we signed on to the Makers programme.’
It should be noted that, not too long ago, word broke that Stadia’s head of product, John Justice, resigned from Google and another six staff members, including general manager Sebastien Peul, left to join Haven Studios.
Haven is the new studio founded by Jade Raymond, the former Assassin’s Creed producer who Google hired to lead its internal development studio in the first place.
When asked about the departures, a spokesperson for the company only told GamesIndustry.biz that Google was ‘happy they were able to find new opportunities’ and that Stadia’s product team is now being led by Dov Zimring, one of Stadia’s founders.
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