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Google’s Stadia Problem? A Video Game Unit That’s Not Googley Enough

The tech giant likes to test and tweak. Stadia promised to change the industry and failed to deliver.

The Stadia game controller displayed in the Google Play Space at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

The Stadia game controller displayed in the Google Play Space at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Google’s streaming video game service Stadia had ambitious plans to disrupt the gaming industry, which is dominated by consoles. The tech giant had planned to pack Stadia with original content, announcing two years ago that it was hiring hundreds of game developers and starting studios in Los Angeles and Montreal.

But those teams barely had time to get started before they were dismissed earlier this month as Google shut down in-house game development.