Follow TV Tropes
Alternatively, "Welp, we fucked up. Let's keep our heads down, not say anything, and let this blow over."
Google have a near monopoly on the search and advertising industries. They can afford to take a "Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" approach.
The sheer rate and consistency of their fuck ups and failures makes me wonder if some day in the future they will become bankrupt.
They are also very massive, so it would take a long time for that to happen.
The issue is whether the cost of their srewups is greater than their income streams. The screwups are big and consistent, but even with people using ad blockers, advertising is still huge, and they get enormous money from Android. Do you really think a company as big as Alphabet, with so much money flowing through them, doesn't have an entire department devoted to budgeting? Indeed, if you look at the screwups from Google's point of view, they seem less like wasting money and more like a ruthless aversion of the sunk cost fallacy - "This thing isn't making us a profit. No sense throwing good money after bad. Cut it."
Yeah, they're good at killing bad projects. But you have to ask who approved these projects in the first place. And there are a number of projects that feel like they could have worked (Google Glass) with just a bit more money and attention, but they get killed for not being instant successes.
The short version is that they are not in danger of going bankrupt. At worst, a few idiot managers will be fired, and a lot of innocent workers who were stuck on a bad project through no fault of their own will be laid off.
More information about studio mismanagement. Phil Harrison was praising the devs on their progress just 5 days before the closure announcement. Some also people found out about the closure externally. Harrison held a QA session with staff concerning the closure that was described as "not pretty."
Additionally, Google closed down its internal studios because Microsoft is buying Bethesda.
Edited by Karxrida on Feb 17th 2021 at 7:54:47 AM
Phil Harrison? Wasn't he a major executive at Sony when the PS3 was first released?
Still, I feel really bad for those developers. I can't imagine working on something only to be told at the last possible minute that you're being shut down. Especially after hearing that you're making great progress when in reality Google was looking to shut you down.
Additionally, Google closed down its internal studios because Microsoft is buying Bethesda.
What? That doesn't even make sense. Just say that the whole project is tanking and you're cutting losses
They can't admit it outright because it would kill the whole platform immediately. They probably want to sucker people out of more money before the plug is pulled.
Google is facing a potential class action lawsuit for lying about game resolutions to sell Pro memberships.
This likely won't go anywhere but it's more bad publicity Google probably doesn't want.
Edited by Karxrida on Feb 20th 2021 at 1:29:23 AM
Stadia Developers Can't Fix The Bugs In Their Own Game Because Google Fired Them
One of Google's studios was Typhoon Studios, which was purchased after Stadia launched. They had released a game called Journey to the Savage Planet, which Google owns now and put on Stadia as part of the Pro sub. The game is suffering from game-breaking bugs, but nobody is around to fix them and the fact it's a cloud game means you can't mod the problems away.
So glad I never bought into this garbage fire.
More info about how much Stadia flopped. I'll go over some of the stuff since the article linked in the tweet is paywalled.
Sales of controllers underperformed heavily, to the point where Google had to give away excess stock. Expected active users have also been below par.
Google spent tens of millions of dollars per port for AAA games like Red Dead Redemption 2.
There was pushback from the internal team about launching Stadia in 2019 without advertising it as a beta, as they knew it wasn't ready. But Phil Harrison and the rest of the leadership don't know what they're doing and ignored them.
Edited by Karxrida on Feb 26th 2021 at 11:22:01 AM
I’m suddenly thinking of the giant paint bubble scene from Sponge Bob as a way to describe Stadia in a nutshell thanks to this news.
Google sales rep: Look kid, here's a bunch of Google Stadia controllers.
Kid: Do...do I have to play on Google Stadia?
Google sales rep: I don't even give a shit anymore.
Video Games Chronicle: article on cancelled projects after Google's shift away from game production.
In a statement published on February 1, the company said that this year it would be refocusing on offering its technology and platform tools to external partners. This would see the company close all its internal Stadia game development teams, it said.
Among its numerous third-party licensing agreements, Stadia had been working with music game firm Harmonix on an original title that is virtually complete, people with knowledge of its plans said.
While the Harmonix game could yet release for Stadia, some sources said that complications around music licensing for Stadia’s Pro service had caused significant disruption behind the scenes, even before Google’s announcement this month.
In a response to this story, Harmonix CEO Steve Janiak denied the company’s unannounced Stadia game had been cancelled, or that it had experienced issues related to music licensing, but said it would release the title for other platforms if necessary.
“While Google has shifted its strategy, we remain incredibly excited about what we’ve been working on for Stadia and if the project isn’t released for Stadia we will take it to other platforms,” he told VGC.
The Kojima Productions project is understood to have been positioned as an episodic horror game. Sources indicated that the Japanese studio was keen to innovate in the cloud gaming space, but the deal was ultimately blocked by Stadia GM Phil Harrison last year.
This is possibly the project designer Hideo Kojima was referring to last summer, when he told a Japanese publication he had recently seen a “major” project cancelled. “I’m pretty pissed, but that’s the games industry for you,” he said.
Kojima Productions did not offer a response to this story.
Internally, Stadia’s decision to close its first-party game development teams saw several projects cancelled at various stages of development.
VGC was told that the team formerly known as Typhoon – which Google purchased last year – had been in full production on a sequel to the co-op adventure game Journey to the Savage Planet.
The sequel was to be far grander in scale and feature fully animated cut-scenes. Its development team found out the project was cancelled along with the public announcement this month, VGC was told.
Another Stadia team, led by former Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate producer Francois Pelland, had been working on a multiplayer action game codenamed Frontier. The team also found out about its cancellation this month, sources said.
A new Bloomberg report details the missteps that led to this month’s closure of Stadia’s internal development teams. According to the publication’s sources, the amount of money Google was willing to spend to attract titles to Stadia “came as a shock” to developers.
Phil Harrison’s team courted big-name publishers like Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., shelling out “tens of millions of dollars” to get games like Red Dead Redemption II on Stadia, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
Imagine getting ahold of Kojima to make an exclusive game to help save your dead platform and then canceling it. Said game even sounds like it was basically going to be P.T.
They've 100% given up on Stadia.
Edited by Karxrida on Feb 27th 2021 at 9:09:44 AM
Are we sure this isn't some kind of money-laundering scheme? Because it seems like they're deliberately trying to do everything wrong.
At this point, it's hard to tell whether they are this mind-numbingly incompetent or they are trying to fail. And Google has been taking rather stupid decisions for a while.
So I was bored and did some math earlier. Assuming that Google paid about $20 million per AAA port (and that's probably a safe number), they'd need to sell 1.11 million copies of each game they bought to break even. (This is also assuming they still get the standard 30% cut from game sales, which leads to about $18 per sale.) Hitting this number for a normal console wouldn't be a huge issue, but Stadia is confirmed to have underperformed in both sales and active user numbers. And Google overpaid a fuckton in the first place.
Stadia is probably super in the red.
Edited by Karxrida on Feb 27th 2021 at 11:28:58 AM
I was wondering why all these big AAA titles were jumping onto an obvious sinking ship, but that kinda price tag certainly explains it.
So hey, Google did do something good here: They donated a bunch of money to actual video game companies!
I know Google's finances will probably tank the failure of Stadia, but in any other situation they could have suffered the same fate of Atari when it released the Atari Jaguar.
Google can totally take it and play the long game if they really wanted. Microsoft lost a ton of money on the OG Xbox but stuck with it to get where they are today. But Google is impatient and it's clear they're not going to commit.
Edited by Karxrida on Feb 27th 2021 at 11:31:40 AM
Google seems to be trying to capture lightning in a bottle like they did with their search engine.
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?