February 1, 2023

By now it’s no secret that Google’s Stadia shutdown is official, but for employees, it was reportedly a secret up until this morning. According to 9To5Google, Stadia employees didn’t learn about the shutdown until a little while before the public announcement. Stadia GM and VP Phil Harrison put out an email asking staff to attend an early morning meeting. It was during this meeting that Harrison broke the news to employees about Stadia’s fate.

Details about the email popped up on Stadia’s official subreddit. Where a now former Stadia engineer shared a screencap of the email sent to employees requesting everyone attend. As the email states, employees were being requested to attend an 8:30am meeting to talk about some important updates happening with Stadia. The meeting was virtual, and employees were told they could attend from wherever they were working today.

Harrison also apologized to everyone for the short notice about the meeting. Short notice indeed, as the public announcement went out about 45 minutes after the meeting was over.

What does the Stadia shutdown mean for employees?

That’s uncertain, but hopefully Google will end up doing the same thing it did for employees of its now defunct first-party studio. When Google announced Stadia Games & Entertainment was being shut down, it offered employees the opportunity to move into other roles within Google. It hasn’t been confirmed if it will do the same thing here. But we’d imagine the offer is likely on the table. And if it’s not, it should be.

That being said, anyone working on the Stadia team was probably doing so because they believed in the vision. A vision that cloud gaming deserved a rightful spot in the gaming landscape.

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And for those that were truly passionate about it, it seems tough to imagine those employees wanting to work on anything that isn’t related to cloud gaming. Or at the very least, gaming in general. All of this may feel like it’s happening suddenly. But it’s hard to believe that’s the case. And it makes you wonder how much more of a notice employees could have been given.