After rumors and speculation, Google has officially announced Stadia, the name of its cloud gaming platform and video game streaming service. Along with that, it's also revealed that it's setting up a first-party game studio, called Stadia Games and Entertainment.
This is a big deal. Google has never been a key player in the gaming business — or has never even tried to. Yes, there's the Daydream View VR headset and the less fancier Google Cardboard, but they have yet to make a splash in the context of gaming. By setting up its own studio, Google makes clear that it wants to put more focus on making games itself, and more seriously this time around.
Stadia Games And Entertainment
Google will leverage this new studio to make games for Stadia. It will be led by Jade Raymond, the former Ubisoft and Electronic Arts executive, and this hiring alone shows Google isn't messing around.
Raymond says Google's first-party studio will "reimagine the new generation of games" and work with other developers to create "all of the bleeding-edge Google technology you've seen today available to partner studios big and small." At the moment, these developers include Ubisoft, id Software, and Q-Games. More are poised to join later on.
Multiple studios will make up Stadia Games and Entertainment, according to Raymond. She did not announce specific titles for Stadia, which is slated to be released in certain countries later this year.
Raymond brings to Google more than 15 years of experience working in the video game industry. She served as a producer for Ubisoft Montreal during the early days of the Assassin's Creed franchise, and she worked on Watch Dogs before she hopped on Electronic Arts. Suffice it to say that she's more than capable of giving Stadia the groundwork it needs to become a serious player in the landscape.
Google says 100 studios around the world have received SDKs for Stadia, and that there are more than 1,000 engineers and creatives working on Stadia games and ports at the moment.