If there's been one constant in Google Stadia's time on Earth, it's a notion that it's not really delivered the games. If I were Google, kicking about with more money than God and wondering how to pack more games onto my streaming platform's catalogue, I would simply develop my own. To that end, Google are setting up a new studio in Los Angeles, nabbing established local talent by putting long time God Of War studio head Shannon Studstill in charge of the development house.
Googles new studio, located in the Playa Vista neighbourhood of LA, is a mere stone's throw from Studstill's old desk at Sony Santa Monica. That team was largely known for developing God Of War, that PlayStation-exclusive series about a bald Greek bloke wot chopped up gods and monsters 'til he had a midlife crisis, moved to Scandinavia, and become a dad in 2018.
It's Stadia's second in-house development house alongside a Montreal studio formed last October. Google haven't disclosed who's running the ship up North, nor have they revealed what either studio is working on right now. In a blog post, Stadia head Jade Raymond simply noted that the team is exploring new mechanics and "interaction models" for Stadia-exclusive games.
"While we’re not ready to share specific game plans yet, rest assured we are listening to what gamers want and adding our own Stadia twists to create new IP and experiences."
It'll be interesting to see where Studstill takes the studio from here. Will she take this as a chance to step away from gore-soaked deicide? Or is Stadia looking for some of that Kratos charm to give themselves a killer edge in the game streaming wars?
Whatever they're working on, it's unlikely we'll get our hands on it anytime soon. Until then, Stadia remains in the uncomfortable position of technically working, but offering little. In her streaming service round-up, Katherine was convinced by the streaming quality, but felt the service "still needs a lot of work and a bigger game library to be a success."