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Google says Stadia is “healthy”

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Google Stadia won its headline in 2021, but it’s probably not the way Internet giants want it.

First, the company expects to shut down its in-house development studio, Stadia Games & Entertainment, within two years of launching the service and see a first-party title that truly demonstrates the full power of cloud gaming services. Seems to have put an end to.

In doing so, Google lost important talents like former EA and Ubisoft producer Jade Raymond. Jade Raymond has since received an investment from PlayStation in a new venture, Heaven Studios.

Earlier this month, Stadia’s product manager John Justice resigned, and everyone was quiet until six staff members joined Raymond in Haven.

The reception at launch was mixed, previous complaints about the lack of service updates, and even the various witnesses of the ongoing Epic vs Apple trial seemingly unable to understand if Stadia is still up and running. Given that, it’s all too easy Imagine that the era of cloud gaming services might count.

Nate Ahearn, Google

However, developer marketing leader Nate Ahan tells GamesIndustry.biz that the platform is “alive.”

“We’re on track for more than 100 new games to be released on Stadia in 2021, and we continue to make Stadia the perfect place to play games on devices we already own,” he said. I will. “As we grow the Stadia Makers program and partner with AAA studios like Capcom, EA, Square Enix, Ubisoft, etc., non-believers to look at how we continue to carry out our words. I would like to tell you. “

When asked for more information, Ahearn said Google “is focused on providing value to partners and providing them on behalf of players.”

He released new titles on the platform (such as Resident Evil Village last week), introduced AAA hits such as Resident Evil 7 and Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order to Stadia Pro subscriptions, and continued to add new features. I pointed out. (The company has introduced a search bar in Stadia).

When Google announced that it would close the studio, the spokesman reiterated that the company would find as many new roles as possible for the SG & E team. For the six people who joined Raymond’s team, Google “is pleased that they have found a new opportunity.”

“As we grow the Stadia Makers program and partner with AAA Studios, we want to tell non-believers to pay attention to how we continue to carry out our words.”

Nate Ahearn, Google

Stadia’s product team is now said to be headed by Dov Zimring, a longtime Google employee and founder of Stadia.

“Dov has been a senior leader in product development for both Project Stream and Stadia,” a spokeswoman added. “He leads the team towards our goal of creating the best possible platform for gamers and technology for our partners.”

Another focus of the rest of the Stadia team is the Stadia Makers program. This is an initiative that supports everything from development to marketing support to studios that provide Unity-based titles to the service. The program has already created five indie titles for Stadia and more than 20 are under development.

Since there is no first-party exclusivity to Stadia, it may be expected that indie registered with Stadia Makers will be responsible for providing titles that will help sell the platform, but Ahearn says it is not. I will.

“We’re not putting pressure on the independent studios we work with at Stadia Makers,” he says. “The point of the program is to support the addition of Stadia as a launch platform for the game, not to put pressure on it or make anything difficult.”

The two indie studios we talked to, the ones currently working on the new release of Stadia Makers, upheld this claim. Marten Buijsse, community manager at Soedesco, who recently launched Kaze and the Wild Masks at Stadia, said the closure of the internal studio “has not affected the support we received or our relationship with Stadia.”

Meanwhile, Alyssa Kollgaard, Senior Producer of The Darkside Detective Studio Akupara Games, adds: This is to ensure that it is supported at the same level as when you signed on to the Makers program. “

Despite the seemingly worrisome headlines, Google says it continues to work on Stadia’s growth through initiatives like the AAA partnership and the Stadia Makers program.

Also note that Stadia Makers is not set as a true service-only source. Some titles are exclusive and will debut on Stadia long before they’re available on traditional platforms, but Google has as many developers as possible, even on other platforms. Ahearn says he wants to reach his users.

Alyssa Kollgaard, Akupara Gams

“The key difference between Stadia Makers is that by design, no studio expects the game to be published exclusively on Stadia,” he says. “Rather, the program is designed to support studios releasing Unity-based games on Stadia, in addition to other platforms.”

“This means more games for players to enjoy from different voices, addressing themes such as mental health, dystopian reality, and the human spirit. In an independent studio that is part of Stadia Makers, 2021 More players will be able to experience it. Their game runs instantly via the cloud and we see it as a great opportunity to develop it further. “

This raises another mystery about Stadia’s continued existence. It’s that audience. Google hasn’t yet confirmed the number of people attracted by cloud gaming services, but both studios we talked to show that there is at least a demand for new titles, and Corgard says Stadia users “Players who are very hungry for the title, enthusiastic and vocal.”

“It’s actually very interesting to see the demand for cloud services like Stadia. It fills certain gaps in the market.”

Marten Buijsse, Soedesco

“Cloud-based games are still relatively new, but in many ways reflect the early adoption of VR games,” she says. “If you’re familiar with the technology adoption life cycle, you’re probably moving from the” Early Adopter “phase to the” Early Majority “phase. Although not yet at that watershed moment, Google is currently pushing the boundaries of technology and will actually kickstart this area with brand awareness and funding strengths. This does not happen overnight, it burns slowly.

“For new entrants, the barriers to entry are still perceived to be a bit high. They just don’t know much about cloud gaming and how it works, and traditional consoles have been the industry’s flagship from the beginning. Players are considering alternatives. I’m a little reluctant to do. Doing innovative things is always challenging, but everything is innovative before it becomes commonplace. If anyone tries to do it, it becomes Google. Let’s do it. “

Buijsse adds: “It’s really very interesting to see the demand for cloud services like Stadia. It’s clear that it’s closing certain gaps in the market. Many people say,” This game is on. I wish I could be. ” “Mobile” and Stadia will allow these mobile players to play games. “

Ahearn reports that more studios are still signed on, and Google’s partnership with Unity is to help studios that have already released games reach new players. It was rewarded. ” Our future goal is to work more closely with these developers. This is necessary given the reorganization of developers who worked internally at Google.

“One of the lessons learned from our close relationship with Stadia Makers Studios is that our close relationship with our partner engineering team walks through a variety of technical resources to more directly support the shipment of titles on Stadia. That’s what he wanted. “He concludes. “This is a change we made in February 2021. If necessary, we have more resources for our partner engineering team to work more closely with our developers.”

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