Stadia, the Google project that streams games to your home without a console, took a serious hit today. The company has announced that it will be closing Stadia̵
After all, the success of a gaming ecosystem often depends on exclusive games that drive sales. That is one of the reasons why PlayStation won the last console war. Microsoft’s Xbox One sold a lot of units, but Sony’s PS4 sold a lot more.
But developing games requires years of work and a lot of money. And at the end of the tunnel, the game may still not be right. If CyberPunk 2077 has taught us lessons, but it’s that game developers are often overambitious, which can lead to them not delivering. Developers can restore, see No Man’s Sky and other examples, but that ultimately costs more time and money.
In a statement today, Google said it would use those resources to build out the Stadia service itself:
Given our focus on building on Stadia’s proven technology and deepening our business partnerships, we have decided that we will not continue to invest in bringing exclusive content from our in-house development team SG&E beyond any upcoming games in the near term.
The Stadia Games and Entertainment will be discontinued after completing the ‘planned short term games’. Don’t expect any new Stadia exclusives after 2021. What’s not going away is Stadia. Not only will Google continue to offer Stadia Pro to consumers, it says it will partner with third-party developers to get games on Stadia.
Whether Google succeeds in this remains to be seen. So far, it hasn’t held the landing and Microsoft already offers its own cloud streaming service, with exclusive games, as a free add-on with Game Pass Ultimate. It costs more than Stadia Pro, but it comes with free Xbox and PC games, an EA Play subscription, and all Xbox Gold benefits. But if you’re happy with Stadia’s selection, saving some money may be the way to go – at least for now.