Could This Be the Beginning of the End for Google Stadia?

By Bill Toulas / February 2, 2021

Google has published an announcement to communicate a significant shift of focus on Stadia’s future as a platform and let the public know that the internal development team SG&E will wrap up operations after they finish work on any near-term planned games. According to the tech giant, faith in cloud gaming as a concept remains intact, and the funding on Stadia will remain in place. However, Google believes that this is a space that will bloom later on, so the focus will go on business partnerships and the further development of the platform itself.

Creating compelling exclusive titles for Stadia has proven to be a very large investment for Google, and as they state, the cost of this is going up exponentially. Seeing no significant returns from that investment, the company obviously prefers to partner with more game-making studios and publishers and just work on the cloud gaming infrastructure and technology. It makes business sense as Google wants to take a more long-term and sustainable approach, but it also creates uncertainty that is sure to be felt.

Google is egregiously known for pulling the plug on projects, and ever since Stadia was released back in March 2019, people were quick to express their disbelief on this new endeavor. For Google, it doesn’t matter if a project is small or big or if many people are still relying on it, or if it is something unique in the market.

If a project isn’t reaching the set goals, it’s killed and sent to the graveyard for an unceremonious burial. We don’t imagine many people buying titles on Stadia after an announcement that practically sways “the sword of Damocles” above the service’s head.

Source: Visual Capitalist

That is not to say that Stadia is done for already. It’s just that Google is adjusting the plans and hopes for the cloud gaming service, so they may not see that large audience ever coming aboard after all. Even if the partnering approach brings success to the project, it will be a success achieved on a discounted vision.

And as for the people who had hopes for a cloud-based service that would change the space forever, this development comes more as a disappointment rather than as a surprise. Cloud gaming is still a minuscule part of the gaming universe, and Stadia failed at changing that.

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