Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Google didn’t even give its employees advance notice of Stadia’s shutdown

The announcement of the closing Stadia It did not cause much surprise to the general public, who, sooner or later, expected such a conclusion. However, the news did perplex developers planning to launch their games on the platform in the coming months, and even Google employees themselves. Why? Because the company did not even notify them of the determination in advance.

as collected KotakuGoogle workers in charge of Stadia learned of the end of the platform around the same time the news was made public. While the case of the studios preparing titles for the cloud service was even worse, since they learned of the situation directly from the press, based on Phil Harrison’s publication on the company’s blog.

On Reddit, an employee of the Mountain View firm expressed anger at the way they were informed of the decision. “A (now I think ex) Stadia engineer here. None of us knew this was going to happen and that’s how Phil [Harrison] He announced it to all of us this morning, at 8:30 PT: ‘SORRY FOR THE SHORT NOTICE.’ I will never again work on anything he is associated with,” he posted on the official subreddit from Stadia.

The same user shared a screenshot of the meeting invite in which they were notified of the Stadia shutdown. It only said that “important updates” to the cloud gaming platform would be released.

It also quickly gained prominence a tweet from Peter Elst, a Google software engineer based in Ireland. “It’s a strange experience to start your work day and realize that the feature you’ve been working on for over 6 months and would be releasing soon is no longer relevant. If nothing else, it puts things in perspective, moving forward and up,” he wrote.

While he made no direct mention of Stadia, the timing of the publication was quite eloquent. Apparently, Google was working on new tools for developers that promised interesting news. Asked if it would ever be possible to see or know what it was about, he replied: “Unfortunately, [no era] nothing very exciting for the community, but it would have been a nice feature for the developers.”

The closure of Stadia is a headache for video game studios

STADIUM |  Google

Studios working on games for Stadia learned of the determination through the press and Google’s blog. The decision was a bucket of ice waterconsidering that many had releases scheduled for the final months of 2022, as well as for 2023. Titles that will not now see the light of day on the cloud gaming platform developed in Mountain View.

Please note that while the service will remain available until January 18 of next year, Google has already closed the Stadia store. This means that players can no longer make new purchases, and developers can no longer add their video games to the catalog.

Brandon Sheffield, from Necrosoft Games, was one of those who expressed his unease about it. “I know everyone is having a lot of fun laughing at this, but Stadia offered the best developer revenue of any streaming service, and launching Hyper Gunsport there I was going to recoup our development costs. We would present it in November and now we are in a more complicated situation,” he explained.

What Sheffield mentions makes sense, considering that Google paid developers based on the percentage of time played by Stadia Pro subscribers. A quite lucrative determination for the studios and that broke the traditional income distribution schemes.

A platform that has become very helpful for large developers

Photo by Roon Z nl on unsplash

Kotaku has collected several testimonials and posts from developers who now see their plans affected by the situation. He even mentions the case of Bungiethe study after Destinywhich now belongs to PlayStation, that had adopted Stadia as a tool to test its games directly from the cloud. Something that was vital in keeping work flowing during the COVID-19 lockdowns that pushed the industry to remote work.

“Before we started using Stadia, we pushed our internal builds, which are HUGE, to every workstation people took home. Hundreds of transfers of a large set of files, several times a week. With Stadia, in instead, it was a single charge,” explained designer Max Nichols.

Stadia shutdown is the end point long months of rumors around your future. A service that had long ago lost priority within Google, especially among its managers. “Internally, there are a lot of people who would love to keep it going, so they’re working really hard to make sure it doesn’t die. But they’re not the ones writing the checks,” company employees said earlier this year.

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