Source Byte Studios Board Chairman Nikodem Swider had just held one last late night bug squashing session. After four long months of porting work, his small Polish studio was finally ready to submit a near-final build addressing all the “needs to fix” bugs that Google had identified before the game. jump challenge could finally launch on Stadia.
Then, while scrolling through the news on his train ride home, Swider saw what he called a “horror message” on his phone. Stadia was closing. All his carrying work would be in vain.
“I [thought] it was a rumour…it can’t be true,” Swider said in a YouTube video immediately after stopping. “[Then] I saw [it was an] official statement on Stadia.
“I’m starting to shake a bit,” recalls Swider. “We put in so much effort, so much effort to make it happen… But everything [is] gone, all the work is gone.
The blind side
Swider wasn’t the only Stadia developer caught off guard by Google announcement at the end of September that the streaming game service would shut down next January. Game makers who spoke to Ars (and some who share their surprise on social media), all of whom said they had no indication of Google’s shutdown plans ahead of the public announcement.
“During the correspondence [with Google]we exchange emails – nothing has shown us that this could be the end of Stadia,” Swider said.
Olde Sküül Games CEO Rebecca Heineman told Ars her team is still working on a planned Stadia port of a casual color-matching game Evolved Luxor the morning of Google’s shutdown announcement. Heineman said she was preparing for a marketing meeting with her Google representative, scheduled for the next day, when an employee seen the news on the official blog of Google.
Heineman said she immediately contacted her contact at Google to find out what was going on. “A few hours later, I got a response saying, ‘WTF?…Well, now I know what the town hall is going to be about,'” Heineman recalled. “He was a Stadia employee!…So even them didn’t know.”
“People have been talking about it being shut down since day one…I was just hoping it wouldn’t happen before we could release the game!”
Brandon Sheffield of Necrosoft Games
Necrosoft Games Director Brandon Sheffield said he discussed Stadia SDK updates and marketing plans just days before the Stadia shutdown killed off the studio’s planned port. Hyper Gunsport. That said, Sheffield added that he always knew that result was a distinct possibility.
“I mean, people have been talking about it being closed since day one,” Sheffield told Ars. “I knew it was a risk because Google is a big company, and if they don’t see big numbers, whether it’s dollars or users or any other mysterious numbers, they have a reputation for shutting things down. I was just hoping it wouldn’t happen before we could release the game!