Google Stadia announced the closure of its internal development studios in early February. With that decision, approximately 150 developers were left without jobs (although with the possibility of relocating to other positions within the company). None of the games they were working on were ever announced, let alone published, but there is one particular case: Journey to the Savage Planet.
In December 2019 Google announced the purchase of Typhoon Studios. This independent studio was finalizing the development of Journey to the Savage Planet, a first-person action adventure published by 505 Games. In addition to working on another title planned for 2021, this team of veteran developers launched last January 28 the Stadia version of their opera prima. However, the title on the streaming platform was published by Stadia Games and Entertainment, as the company was already part of them.
This has led to a situation that has left a multitude of gamers helpless. A look through the Stadia subreddit reveals that this version of the game has multiple bugs, such as crashes in the main menu, sudden closures and crashes after pausing the game. One such user sent a complaint to what he assumed would be the publisher, 505 Games.
But 505 Games could do nothing: “Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do on our end as the game code and data in Stadia is owned by Google,” said publisher representative Calin P. in an email sent to that player on Feb. 12. Six days later, he received another email where the rep suggested the player remind Stadia that they are responsible for the game.
“We suggest that you contact Stadia support again and inform them that the publisher of Stadia’s version of Journey to the Savage Planet is, in fact, them,” the 505 Games rep says. “Also, let the rep know that Typhoon Studios, the developer of Journey to the Savage Planet, was acquired by Google Stadia in 2019, which means they should have more information on this situation.” However, days earlier the people responsible for that code had been fired.
Google assures that it has not abandoned Stadia, but that they have transformed it into a platform on which other developers will publish their games. The brand promises the release of more than 100 games this year, including FIFA 21, which will arrive on March 17. The firm has been sued for “grossly exaggerated statements” about the functionality of its service.