Google Gaming Service Shutdown Affects Regional Game Publisher

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ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) — Google Stadia, Google’s cloud-based gaming service, terminated services Wednesday after just 3 years on the market.

The decision affected game developers big and small, including local Erie publisher, Whitethorn Games.

The studio already had two games on Stadia, with others in development before the announcement of the service’s shutdown. The shutdown cost Whitethorn Games potential revenue.

We had Calico, one of our bestselling titles, on Stadia,” said CEO Matthew White. “We were about to bring another one of our titles to Stadia as well, and we got the notice literally while developing, like most folks. It’s not great. We had projected revenue off the platform that we now don’t have.”

Stadia worked similar to Netflix, by streaming the game to any device connected to the internet; instead of processing the game locally on a computer or gaming console such as a PlayStation or XBox. This would allow those with less powerful computers to play more intense games, but required a faster internet connection.

“A core problem in big PC games is that the PCs needed to run them are sometimes really expensive and powerful and sometimes complicated to put together,” said White, describing the service.

“So the idea that you could play something really, really high fidelity, like Elden Ring, with a single button press on any device – from smart fridge to a gaming PC – is kind of a nice[idea]. It means games are more accessible and so forth.”

But White says the Stadia shutdown likely won’t affect their business going forward.

“We’re always moving here,” continued White. “Again, 30+ games means we always have somewhere else to deploy something. When you consider that, there’s the three mainline consoles, but there’s also a million other small ancillary markets. So things like the Android store [and] Apple iOS, for games that are coming to mobile [phones].

Google announced the shutdown of it’s Stadia service back in September, and has since then issued refunds for all hardware and software sold via the Google and Stadia stores.


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