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Google did not bother to inform the developers

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Again, Google did things backwards and didn’t see fit to notify all of its partners of its decision to shut down Stadia.

A few days ago, the general public learned of the upcoming closure of Google Stadia… at the same time as some of the developers affected by this decision. The appointment is made, so it’s on January 18, 2023 that the cloud gaming platform will retire (very) anticipated after 3 years of good and loyal service. A decision not so heavy with consequences for the players in view of its limited popularity, but which is much more so for the developers who held the service at arm’s length.

Some of them were shocked to learn the news via the media the same day the information was made official. It’s a story that Rebecca Ann Heineman tells at The Verge, she who holds the position of CEO at the Olde Skuul studio. She says: “I woke up getting ready for my work day, and saw on our private Discord chat for the company that one of my employees sent a message saying ‘is this true?’, with a link“.

This link sent directly to an article that mentioned the closure of Stadia, a news that the businesswoman took with astonishment. And for good reason, the studio planned to launch its next game Luxor Evolved and make it available in the service catalog. And this is not an isolated case; Brandon Sheffield, creative director at Necrosoft Games also explains that he was flabbergasted on the day of the announcement. He shares his experience:

We had marketing discussions with Stadia just last week. […] They also released a new SDK update two days ago. So it’s unfortunate, because I think the platform was growing in popularity.

Hasty decision or miscommunication?

For this last statement, nothing is less certain. If cloud gaming is more and more popular, Stadia has so to speak never managed to pull out of the game. From near or far, the failure of Google was seen coming, especially after the events of the last year.

Because remember, this is not the first time that a similar story has made headlines in the video game world. In 2021, Google has already announced that it is abandoning its video game studio, which was originally supposed to provide first-party titles to Stadia players. If the news was rather expected, some people had not seen it coming and not the least. The very employees of the firm were shocked to learn this important information, which put them out of work precipitately… a week after the head of the division congratulated the developers for their work.

The lack of communication therefore seems to be a recurring problem at Google. With Stadia disappearing from the landscape, let’s hope that the firm learns from its mistakes in the future and will not reserve any more unpleasant surprises for us.

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