After the shaky launch of Google’s cloud gaming service Stadia, which failed to deliver on some promised features amid questions about whether Google would support it long-term, the company announced on Thursday that it has added Typhoon Studios, the indie developer behind the forthcoming game Journey to the Savage Planet.
It’s not a huge acquisition; Typhoon only has about two dozen employees, and its first game, which has yet to launch, won’t be exclusive to Stadia. But it’s the first investment Google has made in Stadia since the launch, and it’s a signal that the internet giant known for killing off unsuccessful features isn’t backing away despite Stadia’s rough start.
The addition of Typhoon may follow the road map Google outlined for Stadia, according to a pre-launch interview with Stadia games and entertainment division head Jade Raymond. “We have a plan that includes building out a few different first-party studios,” she told GamesIndustry.biz.
Montreal-based Typhoon was co-founded by Alex Hutchinson, a former creative director at Ubisoft who was creative director on Far Cry 4, and Reid Schneider. The team will join the Stadia Games and Entertainment studio led by Sebastien Puel, also based in Montreal.
Stadia’s much-anticipated debut in November was missing some of its expected features, much like a system still in beta. From small hardware problems like needing a USB C-cable for its “wireless” controllers to oddly poor visual fidelity in its “4K” games, some of which look worse than they do on console, Stadia was plagued by a lot of little things that a longer beta might have weeded out. While it bumped up the number of games available on day one from 12 to 22 on the eve of its launch and has now delivered every game it promised to deliver in 2019, Stadia just didn’t impress right out of the gate.
Typhoon’s Savage Planet is still on track for a January 2020 release.