Google Pulls The Plug On Stadia’s SG&E

By Ben Hamill - February 03 2021
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Google Pulls The Plug On Stadia’s SG and E

Google has announced that it will be shutting down its in-house Stadia game studio, SG&E – Stadia Games and Entertainment. Instead of creating games and investing in building new gaming content from the ground up, the search engine giant has elected to focus exclusively on growing the platform that will allow people to play best-in-class games by third-party developers.

A recent blog inscription by Google revealed that the company has recognised that creating high-quality games from scratch requires many years of significant and costly investments – and investments that are becoming increasingly more expensive. For this reason, said the company, it will in future be investing instead on outside developments.

No further content will be developed beyond near-term games already planned and in process, confirmed Google.

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Major Changes In The Pipeline

The tech titan also announced that most of the games development teams that have been part of SG&E to date, will be transferred to new roles within the company. It has also emerged that gaming industry veteran Jade Raymond, previously at Ubisoft and EA, who had been brought on board to lead in-house games development at Google, has left the company. Raymond in a recent statement commented that leaving had been a difficult decision to make, but that he would forever be grateful to the SG&E team for everything learned and achieved as a unit.

The search engine giant did however stress that Stadia itself would not be “going anywhere”. Players won’t be experiencing any interruptions whatsoever to the platformed service, and Google will continue to bring new third-party titles to the cloud-based service.

When Stadia first launched, it had been a cloud-based gaming voice in the wilderness, with no competition whatsoever. But now, a little over a year later, the service is having to deal with big-name rivals literally in their drones, with the likes of Microsoft’s Game Pass and xCloud, and Amazon’s Luna having joined the party.

Sensible But Disappointing

Google’s shutting down of SG&E means it will be shuttering both its Los Angeles and Montreal studios, both of which operated under the Stadia Games and Entertainment umbrella.

The closing down of Google’s in-house games development studio is however a crippling blow to Google’s own studio gaming ambitions. Google was seriously invested in Stadia, which was evident from the fact that the tech giant had been willing to push millions into fledgling first-party projects in the first place.

While Stadia’s move back to exclusively hosting does make a lot of sense, the shuttering of SG&E means Stadia will probably be “downgraded” to just another cloud-based option in future remains disappointing.

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