Stadia game developers had no idea Google was killing Stadia

Stadia pupper
(Image credit: Google)
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The news that Stadia is shutting down is a little surprising, but no one's cleaning spit take coffee off of their screen. The Stadia offer just never sounded very good: Here are some games you like, but with video compression, extra input lag, and other internet problems, and they cost full price, plus a subscription fee if you want 4K streaming. There were some good features, and Stadia did work as well as any game streaming can work right now, but Google really Leeroy Jenkins'd the whole thing by launching it before it was ready, cavalierly starting an in-house game studio and then axing it after a year, and making a ludicrous ad that failed to communicate why anyone should take a chance on the service.

It's classic Google: There's a website dedicated to memorializing products the search and advertising giant has buried. Maybe that bold willingness to fail is why Google has a market cap of over a trillion dollars and I don't, but it's not great for the people who trusted the company's commitment to Stadia. Stadia users are going to lose access to their games, and although they're getting refunds, a lot of save files are going to disappear into the void. Meanwhile, game developers who were making Stadia versions of their games have apparently been wasting their time, and based on the reactions we're seeing, they found out that Stadia's a goner at the same time we did. 

From disappointment to I-told-you-sos, here's how the games industry is taking the news.

Destiny 2 game director Joe Blackburn

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Rocksteady senior gameplay programmer Aadit Doshi

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(Got 'em.)

Necrosoft Games director Brandon Sheffield

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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney

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SFB Games co-founder Tom Vian

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Another game developer, Rebecca Heineman, replied to the above tweet: "We have a title coming out November 1st. Now we hear about this." 

Game developer and consultant Rami Ismail

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Creator, host, and accessibility advocate Steve Saylor

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No More Robots director Mike Rose

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PC Gamer has contacted Google to ask for comment on what its closure means for studios that had deals with Google for Stadia games, such as Mike Rose, or who were independently working on Stadia versions of their games.

For Stadia users, the service will remain operational until January 18, 2023. Regarding save games, Google says it might be possible to hold onto progress in "some games that support cross-progression play on other platforms," which I assume means games like Destiny 2. "For the majority of games," however, Google says preserving progress "won't be possible."

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.