To the surprise of nobody, Stadia is officially making it’s first pivot into the dumpster fire of forgotten video game projects. It’s doing this by cancelling all internally developed game projects and focusing on offering it’s services to other companies.
So two Google owned game studios, about 150 creative developers, and one Jade Raymond will all have to find work elsewhere. That’s Google for you. You have to wonder what was happening at those game studios, what those games were looking like for Google to just pack it in and call it a day. Did they think the strategy they had was going to perform better in the time allotted? If so, hire me as an executive and I’ll come up with a better roadmap for you streaming service, you clearly were misled We all knew from day one, or maybe by the launch of Stadia, that it wasn’t going to be blow anyone over. I was initially excited of what could have been possible technically. Their technology allows for the possibility of having a massive amount of computational power delivering visuals impossible by the standard computer or console hardware, all to deliver breathtaking visuals and simulations. Instead, they opted to have traditional ports of games and even those didn’t always run at 4k resolutions.
What really interests me about all of this is the career of Jade Raymond. You might remember her as the attractive woman in every video produced back when she was working at Ubisoft. It felt like her beauty was a marketing tool to sell games, promote Ubisoft, and as a symbol of sexism in the industry. Yes, the gaming industry has attractive women and they can be in a position of power. I’m not saying a woman can’t be beautiful and work in video games, it felt like she was used in a lot of promotional videos and there were a lot of horny guys creeping on her in the comments section. You didn’t see a lot of women faces in gaming videos even ten years ago, so if it took Jade to kickstart it then it’s a net positive. I just wish, and she probably did too, that it wasn’t so creepy back then.
None of that really bothers me though, what really bothers me about her career, and that of another prominent female developer, Amy Hennig, is that they don’t actually make games anymore. Amy Hennig hasn’t launched a game in 10 years, but continues to work in the industry while she’s touted as this symbol of being a female director that makes AAA games, yet they keep getting cancelled. Jade Raymond is finding herself in the same situation. They take these roles at studios where they are used as a selling point for the larger company, look who we got to head our studio, two years later their game gets cancelled and the studio goes in a different direction.
I wish they would try to make a “normal” game at a “normal” studio just so it can get released. Hennig is currently at Skydance Media, which I hope culminates in a released product that we can all experience. Do something smaller, unless they’re just trying to make that money and in that case “do you”. Ken Levine would be a similar example for the male side of the industry, it’s been 8 years since his last game was released.
That might be a bit of a tangent, we are here to talk about the failure that is Stadia. We were all waiting for the shoe to drop and it just did. I never even tried the service, never had a reason to. Makes me wonder if any other company will utilize their infrastructure. Perhaps a Sony or Nintendo would think about getting onboard and renting hardware to improve their streaming capabilities to compete with Microsoft.