Google’s Stadia gaming service appears to have lost another video game industry veteran. Jack Buser, Stadia’s director of games and former PlayStation executive, is moving to the company’s Google Cloud department to lead “Gaming Solutions”.
While it’s easy to think that Google is just trying to create a loss for Stadia as a synergy for Google’s larger gaming goals, this could make a lot of sense for Stadia’s future. When the company cut its own game studios, Stadia boss Phil Harrison sent a clear message that Stadia’s future was to run it as “a technology platform for industry partners”.
If eventually Google decides to add Stadia to Google’s graveyard, it might be easier to digest if the company manages to turn it into a different type of business first. But it may just be Google deciding to invest more, not less, in games, taking a different path. “The tech giant can offer, for example, end-to-end collaboration solutions that include YouTube as a streaming partner for live streams or e-sporting events,” adds an insider from Google.
The 70-page Google classified document we unearthed from the Epic vs. test. Apple last month, outlining a plan to make Google “the world’s biggest gaming platform” by 2025, starting with bringing about 100 Android games to Windows PCs and later expanding to Mac, smart monitors and TVs, all supported by Google’s cloud services.
Buser has a lot of experience in attracting premium games at both Google and Sony, where he headed Sony’s cloud gaming service, PlayStation Now, and may soon have a more attractive proposition to launch those same games.
Although Stadia has faced serious difficulties, it has also been constantly trying to make its service more attractive, recently reducing its revenue share to attract more developers, thus adding a direct control option, bringing Stadia to Chromecast with Google TV.