It seems to be going from bad to worse for Google's Stadia game streaming service, as seven key staff members, including vice-president and product head John Justice, have quit the company, hot on the heels of Stadia's internal studios being shut down earlier in the year.
It all started when Justice was reported to have departed by The Information, which was later confirmed by Google in a statement that confirmed "John is no longer with Google, and we wish him well on his next step". It's a surprising turn-around, given Justice was at the forefront of promoting Google's plans to ramp up in-house game production last year. Google made a decision earlier this year to shut down its internal studios, with only one first-party game ever being released for Stadia.
It seems likely this is the reason for Justice's departure. Just five days before Google shut down the studios, employees were told that progress was "going great" by Phill Harrison, Google's VP and general manager. Google has a tendency to quickly launch and then stop supporting products, and it seems Stadia's internal game development was one such experiment that Google had decided to drop like a hot potato.
Six further staff members then also confirmed that they had quit Stadia, including general manager Sebastien Peul, and head of creative services and publishing Corey May. Jonathan Dankoff, Pierre-Marc Bérubé, Erwann Le Rouzic and Francis Denoncourt have also confirmed they have departed Stadia in recent weeks. Interestingly, all of them have joined Haven Studios, a new company founded by former Stadia lead Jade Raymond earlier in the year.
Haven Studios haven't yet confirmed any projects but has already gained backing from Sony for its first game. We'll be sure to report any further news as we learn it.