Yet another key Stadia executive has left Google
By the time 2021 began, it became clear that Google’s ambitions for Stadia weren’t materializing the way they wanted them to do so. By February, they had announced their intentions to close down their in-house Stadia game studios, which were to produce unique games as Google Stadia exclusives. While Google announced that this didn’t change a thing regarding their commitment to Stadia, something started to smell bad, as executives started to leave. Today, yet another key Stadia executive made the decision to leave Google.
We’re talking about Stadia’s Vice President and Head of Product, John Justice. In that role, Justice oversaw the consumer experience for Stadia and teased new features coming to the service. Justice had been with Google since the start of 2019, and according to a scoop by The Information, he recently made the decision to leave the company, and when asked for comment by 9to5Google, a spokesperson said that “we can confirm John is no longer with Google and we wish him well on his next step.”
Game streaming has seen a slight surge thanks to the ongoing lack of most gaming hardware in store shelves, particularly PC parts and new-gen consoles like the PS5 and the new Xbox, thanks to multiple factors, and Stadia recently started rolling out a couple of key changes, including a revamped UI with a search bar and library sorting. So while you might think Stadia is doing well given the context, we can’t help but worry as more and more key people leave the ship probably looking for tidier waters.
Plus, we also have to have in mind that this is Google we’re talking about, and Google is known for suddenly killing products when they start to do less-than-stellarly. Will this happen to Stadia? I don’t know. Maybe, or maybe not. These kinds of news, however, do hint that things are not really that good internally.
Together with this news, this scoop also gives out more details about internal reorganizations over at Google, particularly the Search team. In a step away from the conventional engineer-oriented structure, Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who oversees Search, Ads, Maps, and other major services, is giving product managers under his purview “more authority.” Engineers and product managers will have to answer to the same individual instead of having their own hierarchy.
So who knows? This might be just part of internal shakeups at Google, or it could be bad news for Stadia. We’ll have to wait and see.