Google is politely killing its gaming business known as Stadia. This is only one venture among many that Google had to switch off or ‘demote’ as corporate lingo would say.
Launched in 2018, the starting idea was sound, mind you. A cloud platform would stream games to your TV in real-time and with low latency, allowing you to play the latest games without investing in stupendously expensive hardware.
The first hiccup appeared with the low customer adhesion. The pricing model chosen by Google wasn’t competing with services like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. The lack of consistent support and promotion didn’t help. From the beginning, Stadia appeared as a side-project. Also, let’s also remember that Google has a long string of failed hardware projects. And it’s always the same story: so-so first iterations, lack of commitment, phasing out of the product line.
In 2021, Google shut down the internal game development studio linked to the Stadia initiative. It just didn’t work with Google engineering culture and was painfully pushing out mediocre games that no one cared about.
And now this.
So what’s the possible takeaway?
I would go to this simple adage: culture’s a bitch. The best business idea won’t survive without a proper business/startup/corporate culture. A lack of cash or workforce does not hinder Google. But where is the focus? Where is the commitment? Where is the relentless drive to change the market?
If anything, companies like Google or Facebook are becoming more and more irrelevant. Their vision and organization are stuck in the early 2000s… More than twenty years ago.
EDIT: Google just killed Currents, too, their business version of the late Google+.