Gaming

Google acquires Typhoon Studios to bolster Stadia game development team

Google acquired Typhoon Studios, the independent developer behind the upcoming Journey to the Savage Planet, to help make games for the Stadia streaming service.

In a blog post, Google said that Typhoon Studios will be joining the first studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment in Montreal. The developer, however, will continue working on the release of Journey to the Savage Planet to multiple platforms on January 28, 2020, as it is integrated into Stadia’s game development team. Future games from Typhoon Studios will be exclusive to Stadia.

Typhoon Studios was launched in 2017, co-founded by Reid Schneider and Alex Hutchinson. Schneider has loads of AAA game development experience, including as a senior producer on the original Splinter Cell and as executive producer on Batman: Arkham Knight. Hutchinson, meanwhile, was a lead designer for The Sims 2 and Spore, and creative director for Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 4.

Stadia Games & Entertainment head Jade Raymond told GamesIndustry.biz that she was impressed with Typhoon Studios’ feat of launching Journey to the Savage Planet, the developer’s debut title, in less than three years, and with a small team of just 26 people.

“They’ve really assembled a AAA team, and the goal of acquiring the team is that it will really give us a head start in making the system-defining games everyone is waiting for,” said Raymond.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but it is likely not a massive purchase. Typhoon Studios, however, is the first investment by Google into Stadia since the video game streaming service launched in November.

Google Stadia has had a rough start, due to a variety of issues that have limited the service’s potential such as poor PC performance, latency issues, a limited launch library, and a confusing user interface. The announcement of the bonus Buddy Pass, which gives away free three-month subscriptions, showed just how much it is struggling.

Joining Google in acquiring assets to boost its cloud gaming capabilities is Facebook, which recently confirmed that it bought Spain-based PlayGiga for $78 million. Facebook has not specified its plans with PlayGiga, but it appears to be preparing to take on Stadia and other video game streaming services.

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