Google Launches Stadia Games and Entertainment Studio in Playa Vista

Courtesy Google

Former Sony Santa Monica (the developer of 'God of War') studio head Shannon Studstill will head the new studio.

Google is expanding its physical footprint in video games with the formation of a new studio in Playa Vista. The new studio is the company's second Stadia Games and Entertainment studio, following the launch of its first outpost in Montreal last year.

The Playa Vista studio will be led by games industry veteran Shannon Studstill, who most recently served as studio director of Sony's Santa Monica Studio (which, despite the name, is also based in Playa Vista), the developer of 2018's God of War.

"The new Playa Vista studio will focus on delivering exclusive games, using new gameplay mechanics, creative ways to play together and unique interaction models that we’re just starting to explore," Jade Raymond, vp and head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, wrote in the official announcement for the new studio. "While we’re not ready to share specific game plans yet, rest assured we are listening to what gamers want and adding our own Stadia twists to create new IP and experiences."

Google launched its foray into gaming last November, when its Stadia streaming service debuted after more than half a year of fanfare after the tech giant unveiled the platform at the Game Developers Conference in March 2019. Stadia bowed with a limited number of titles, most of which were already available on competing platforms, and only a small amount of exclusive games. With its new game studios, Stadia is looking to develop its own first-party games for the platform. 

Studstill comes to Google with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, having served as an exec producer at Sony and EA before taking over at Sony Santa Monica. 

"I’ve been a fan of Shannon’s for a long time, and have admired her award-winning work leading Sony’s Santa Monica Studio and the industry defining franchises like God of War that have won fans all over the world," said Raymond. "She has an extensive background in product development and creative leadership, but most importantly, she’s a visionary who, as the studio director, will lead and inspire the Playa Vista teams."