Last week’s news about the debacle of Google’s cloud gaming service Stadia may come as a shock to some people, but no one could be more surprised than the game developers themselves. This is especially true considering that just months ago, Google denied rumors that it wanted to shut down Stadia. Now that the news is official that Google will end Stadia on January 18, 2023, some developers have been scratching their heads and wondering why they heard the news at the same time as the public.
On Twitter, many developers expressed their disappointment immediately after learning of Google’s abrupt decision last week. Indie developer Tom Vian from London-based studio SFB Games tweeted:Tangle Tower It was going to be released on Stadia in 2 days and this article was the first I heard that it was shut down,” while linking to the news published by The Verge.
Others, like No More Robots’ Mike Rose and Olde Skuul’s Rebecca Heineman, responded to the tweet with the same level of excitement, having planned to launch their games on Stadia in November. In a separate tweet, Mike also expressed his frustration at not receiving any notification sooner: “Hours later and still no email from Stadia, no clarity on what’s going on with our games, our promotions, nothing. Really It would have been nice if they had told partners or even contacted us by now.”
While most of the commotion on Twitter came from indie developers, some major established studios were also caught off guard. Sony-owned Bungie, the studio responsible for DESTINY franchise, also stated in the help section of its official community forum that it has not received any information from Google regarding the closure of Stadia. The statement was in response to a user asking about their portability Destiny 2 progress from Stadia to other platforms.
For most developers who had already signed on to publish their titles on Stadia, the disappointment is certainly real given that they have invested time and resources to make their games available for the cloud gaming service. Additionally, shutting down Stadia also means developers are losing a potential source of revenue, which one developer admitted was very viable compared to other streaming services. The stakes are even higher for studios publishing their titles exclusively on Stadia, such as Tequila Works, which has since announced that its horror adventure game GYLT coming to other platforms.
The death of Stadia is clearly not a good sign for the future of the cloud gaming landscape. However, it could also mean that Google is getting cloud gaming wrong, as rival services like Xbox Cloud Gaming seem to continue to gain traction. Not only that, lately the demand for cloud gaming also seems to be on the rise, keeping in mind that Logitech and Razer are both making a cloud-enabled portable gaming device.
MORE: The rise and fall of Google Stadia