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Former God of War studio boss is heading up a new outfit for Stadia

(Image credit: Google)
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In October 2019, Google said that it intended to open multiple new studios to develop games exclusive to its Stadia platform. The first was based in Montreal, and today Stadia Games and Entertainment head Jade Raymond revealed that the second will be opened in Playa Vista, California, and will be headed by Shannon Studstill, formerly the head of God of War developer Sony Santa Monica.

"I’ve been a fan of Shannon’s for a long time, and have admired her award-winning work leading Sony’s Santa Monica Studio and the industry defining franchises like God of War that have won fans all over the world," Raymond said. "She has an extensive background in product development and creative leadership, but most importantly, she’s a visionary who, as the Studio Director, will lead and inspire the Playa Vista teams."

There are no specifics about what the studio will be doing at this point, but Raymond said that "we are listening to what gamers want and adding our own Stadia twists to create new IP and experiences." 

Whatever it is, it could be quite a long time before we lay eyes on: Raymond said in October that Google is taking a long-term view to establishing itself as a first-party developer, and that "for a big bet and a huge new IP that's going to fully leverage the cloud, it may be several years."

Google also announced today that The Division 2 will launch on Stadia, with PC crossplay support and shared progression through linked Uplay accounts. Unfortunately, there's still no sign of the promised 4K/HDR support or expanded Google Assistant functionality for Stadia on PC. They're expected to arrive later this year, but we still don't have a date on either.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.