According to a new report, both The Quarry and the newly released High On Life were intended as trademark releases for Google Stadia, and then the two former Stadia titles go off in different directions. Axios sources said that both games were projects that were formerly made for Google and were pitched as signature Stadia releases, meant to attract players to Stadia. According to the Axios Gaming newsletter (opens in new tab), sources are alleging that both recently released horror game The Quarry, as well as the upcoming Justin Roiland-produced first-person shooter from Squanch Games, High On Life, were initially developed with help from Google, and were set for launch on Stadia.
Supermassive’s The Quarry, released this month and published by 2K, and High On Life, the title by Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Rolands, recently revealed at the Xbox showcase, were both initially developed as Stadia games, according to Axios. Both The Quarry and Squanch Gamesa High on Life was intended as exclusives to Google Stadia, according to Axios, with Google looking for ways to make the streaming service more appealing after experiencing disappointing subscriber numbers.
According to Axios, a representative for Take-Two said Supermassive Games, which developed The Quarry, was looking for a publishing partner when the project was completed, while a Google Stadia rep did not respond to requests for comment. Sources close to the project said Supermassive Games was looking for a publisher that will help take over Supermassive Games The Quarry since it is nearing completion, and a representative of Take-Two Interactive said that the company was happy to help the project get the game out of its doors.
An embarrassing rollout, a confusing pricing structure, and the absence of exclusive games on launch all hindered Stadia. With Stadia, Google has therefore made a number of deals with third-party developers to provide exclusive games for their service. Google has attempted to compete in gaming with the creation of Stadia and has worked hard to secure its premium titles. Once touted as a platform with exclusive features only Stadia games could take advantage of, like how Pixeljunk Raiders uses the services play feature to share screenshots, it is turned into yet another tech Google could license for other companies to better take advantage of.
While Stadia remains on, it is making some radical changes, evident by shutting down its in-house games development team, with key members of the Stadia team taking up different positions or leaving Google entirely. Earlier this year, it was reported that Google was going to make a move to sell off the streaming tech behind Stadia to other companies.
What is less usual is that a large platform founded by one of the largest technology companies in the world would drop the idea of the exclusive game almost two years into its life, leaving those games to find new homes. Google was involved with making two prominent video games that were the focus this month, two sources with knowledge of their development told Axios, that before scaling back its Stadia game operations they sent these projects elsewhere.