Developers react to the sudden closure of Google Stadia

Developers react to the sudden closure of Google Stadia

This does not surprise anyone, as Puyo recalled last night when commenting on the announcement of the closure of Stadia on January 18. We remember the attendance figures that had been leaked and that barely 40,000 users were reported on the platform a few months after its launch. However, many developers continued to port their old or future games on the platform for an excellent reason: Google offered them a golden bridge. Stadia ports almost paid for themselves, despite an audience that we imagine will become more and more limited over time.

The service failure is not a surprise, as Aadit Doshi jokes, game programming at Rocksteady Studios.

“Honestly, Google Stadia had everything going against it for the last three years: a global pandemic that forced everyone to have online games, but also a shortage of graphics cards and consoles that created a huge demand for alternatives. If only they had come to market at a better time”.

Not all developers have this bite, with most complaining directly about their studio’s financial future, as well as Google’s lack of communication with co-contracted studios. This is particularly the case for Tom Vian of SFB Games, who was going to release Tangle Tower tomorrow and who discovered Stadia’s death in the press like everyone else.

This is also the case for Brandon Sheffield of Necrosoft Games, who was going to release a new title on the platform.

“I know everyone laughs a lot at Stadia’s hiccups, but it was the biggest moneymaker among streaming services, launching Hyper Gunsport on it was going to lower our development costs. We were going to launch the game and now we’re in a situation much harder. I still don’t know what will happen with our launch on Stadia (we will always launch on other platforms), but Google paid for the percentage of time played per user of Stadia Pro, which was a guaranteed return on investment, I’ll find out soon, but we had several months of use of the player to recover our investment.

Financial issues are numerous, as for Mike Rose of No More Robots.

“My goodness, we had a title launching on Stadia in November. Who wants to bet that Google will refuse to pay us back the money they owe us? For all those who ask why we don’t publish more.” on Stadia, that’s why. Three hours later, we still have no email from Stadia, and no visibility into what’s going to happen to our games, nothing. Really, it would have been nice to say up front or even get in touch. with your trading partners, right?

Thankfully, a more recent tweet from Olde Sküül boss Rebecca Heineman shows that Google has since reached out to some of its developers.

“At least Google has reached out to us and we’re working together to mitigate the damage of canceling our game’s release on Stadia. It’s still on other platforms, but still, ouch.”

It’s unclear what kind of compensation Google can offer, and the contracts presumably include a service shutdown clause. Do developers keep the benefit of milestones paid during development progress? We hope so. But are they compensated for the loss of profit from long-term operation on the platform? Nothing is less secure, and we run the risk of not learning it for a long time.

It is in any case the end of a service that has not been easy for the companies that have decided to use it. We recall, for example, port cancellation of Terraria on Stadia because the game’s creator had their Google account removed during development.

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