As Google ramps up its game streaming platform of the future, Stadia needs to attract talent that’s different from the company’s existing base. The Stadia team today hosted a Q&A talk for prospective employees that covered several areas.
On hand for the 30-minute session was Jade Raymond (VP & Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment), Erin Hoffman-John (Head of Creative, Stadia StarLab), and Justin Lambros (Executive Producer for Stadia). All three are fairly recent hires to Google, and opined about the chance to work on what they perceive to be the future of gaming.
Erin: When Google said, here’s what we’re doing. It’s like, “oh, this is clearly where the future is going and where the next big jump will be for games.” It’s been a long time since we had one of those big jumps.
Jade: Yeah, I think in 20 years, this is probably one of the most disruptive thing that’s happened.
Lambros went on to note how Google — and Stadia especially — maintains a start-up feel:
We’re able to wear a lot of hats, do a lot of things, build stuff from scratch in a lot of ways from process or products. And then you still have the big resources, support, research and all that other stuff that comes along with Google is a really remarkable opportunity.
Raymond reiterates that atmosphere and striving to create a “kind of flat structure where everyone is pitching in many different ways.” Meanwhile, Hoffman-John spoke to a “culture of helpfulness” that allows employees to reach out to different parts of the company.
I think one of the things that’s really impressed me is everyone’s willingness to help and take time and figure out what you’re trying to solve no matter what they’re doing or what their official job is. If you go ask someone a question, they’re gonna drop what they’re doing and help you figure out what you need to solve for, or connect you to the right person. It really feels like we’re all in it together, which is a great feeling. — Raymond
Future of Stadia
When asked about the future — specifically five years from now, Raymond believes that Stadia will have “those big games that really prove out all the promises [they] had at GDC.” She used Breath of the Wild as an example of the class of game that people will be able to play by then. Last year, she laid out a three-tier roadmap for games with exclusive features.
Lambros also added how the proliferation of gaming will change what consumers want to see:
Over the next five years, our consumers are going to be telling us really interesting things. We’re rolled out in our key 14 territories, but as we go and expand to new areas and look at games a little differently, I think the learnings that we’ll get from those audiences and then from those developers will really shape, hopefully, new genres and new kinds of interactive entertainment that we aren’t really thinking about now.
Game Developers Conference
In the short-term, GDC 2020 is not going to see a major announcement from the Stadia team on the scale of last year’s coming out, but there will be “smaller things in store.” For Google, the conference is an opportunity to meet with established and potential partners.
In this talk, the Stadia team also teased that a new Games & Entertainment studio — to follow Montreal — will be announced in the coming weeks.
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