Google Stadia Poaches Sony Santa Monica’s Shannon Studstill to Lead New Studio in California

Google Stadia Poaches Sony Santa Monica’s Shannon Studstill to Lead New Studio in California

After leading the studio behind 2018's God of War, Shannon Studstill has now started a new venture with Stadia Games and Entertainment.

While rumors are swirling that Google is having trouble incentivizing developers and publishers to bring their games to the Stadia platform, it clearly hasn’t prevented the company from continuing to move forward with its own first-party ventures.

Today, VP and Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, Jade Raymond, announced that Google has now opened a new first-party studio to work on new projects exclusive to Stadia. The studio, which is located in Playa Vista, California, is now the second one that Google has opened alongside another in Montreal. Perhaps most interestingly of all, this Playa Vista studio will be led by none other than Shannon Studstill, who previously was the studio head at Sony Santa Monica Studio.

“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,” Raymond said of the decision to have Studstill lead this new division of Stadia Games and Entertainment. “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. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the Stadia family!”

Studstill herself chimed in about the move over on Twitter to accompany today’s announcement, saying that she is very excited to now work with the team at Google Stadia.

As of now, it’s still unknown what games Stadia might be working on at its first-party studios, but Raymond said the teams are focused on “new gameplay mechanics, creative ways to play together and unique interaction models.” She continued by saying, “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.”

Even though many have been down on Stadia since it arrived in 2019, it should be interesting to see what Google cooks up at these first-party studios. There is no doubt whatsoever that Stadia has acquired some supremely talented developers over the past year or so, so now we just have to wait to see what kind of games will be coming about down the road.