No one could have predicted that the fallout of Microsoft acquiring Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda back in September was tied to Stadia’s decision to close down its internal developers, Kotaku reported.
One of the factors in the decision was brought up by Stadia general manager, Phil Harrison in a Q&A with staff after Google’s decision to shut down internal development earlier this month.
“[Harrison] pointed specifically to Microsoft’s buying spree and planned acquisition of Bethesda Software later this year as one of the factors that had made Google decide to close the book on original game development,” Kotaku’s source said.
It’s not clear what the direct connection between the acquisition and Google’s decision exactly is. The news might have been the nail in the coffin in Google’s commitment to the market. I think when they saw Microsoft putting billions of dollars into first-party they were put off on the idea of putting more investment into first-party development and how they think they can’t compete with Xbox.
Other factors why Google shut down its studios were the COVID-19 pandemic and “the rising costs of game development.” Those aren’t actual real reasons though, like ‘did you even know going in?’ game development costs have always been high especially this past generation of consoles.
I think Google underestimated how much time and investment it takes to make a real impact on the platform video game market. Google is one of the most profitable tech companies in the world, it feels like Google wanted to make a quick buck from the market.
I never believed Google would stay long and Stadia would just be another cancelled product the company put time into and quickly gave up on, which is a long list I mean does anybody remember Google+?
For now, Google will continue to support Stadia as a platform with no 1st party support. 2nd party time exclusive deals might be how Stadia pivots to hook more users in the future but for me, it’s not enough to adopt the platform any time soon.