Developers at Google Stadia have received an email from VP Phil Harrison, appreciating the “great progress” they had made. A week after, the studios were informed they would be shutting down.
[Stadia Games and Entertainment] has made great progress building a diverse and talented team and establishing a strong lineup of Stadia exclusive games. We will confirm the SG&E investment envelope shortly, which will, in turn, inform the SG&E strategy and 2021 [objectives and key results].Phil Harrison
After five days, Harrison announced that VP and Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, Jade Raymond, had left the company and that Google would “not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E.”
In a call, Harrison stated that Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda influenced Google’s decision to end their own game development plans. He placed the blame on the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a massive spike in gaming profits in the past year.
I am proud of the team we built at Stadia Games and Entertainment and the ground-breaking work on exclusive games for the platform. It was a difficult decision to take on a new opportunity, and I will be forever grateful to this team for everything we learned and achieved together.Jade Raymond to Kotaku
During the call Harrison also stated that he regretted misleading the team with the initial congratulatory email. When questioned by the devs as to what had suddenly changed, Harrison was reported to have said that nothing had happened, adding “We knew.”
Google is reportedly trying to relocate the laid off staff within the company itself, but nothing has been confirmed so far. But all this news has shaken the employees trust in the company, and we’re not sure what will help cement that again.