Google Stadia vice president and notorious gaming figure Phil Harrison has left the company, as reported by Business Insider. Google shut down its streaming service in January of this year following a failure to gain any meaningful traction among gamers. With its demise came refunds for those who had spent money on the platform. Harrison reportedly departed around the time of the shutdown, though his LinkedIn page shows that he left this month. There is no sign of where he’ll be heading next.
Former Stadia employees told Business Insider that Stadia’s failure came about in part due to Google’s struggles with landing lucrative deals. Though the service’s demise was sad for those looking forward to its future, it was anything but a surprise. Since its launch in 2019, players complained of latency issues and general inconveniences, leading to low adoption numbers. The writing was truly on the wall when Google revealed plans to shutter its internal studios in 2021, saying that it would instead focus on simply supporting its partners. The decision to bring Stadia to an end then arrived in September 2022.
Meanwhile, having departed from Google and Stadia, Phil Harrison walks away with one more game platform failure under his belt. He previously played a key role in other tumultuous gaming launches, including serving as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios during the early days of the PlayStation 3 and executive leader of Xbox and Interactive Entertainment business in Europe for Microsoft during the release period for Xbox One. Both the PS3 and Xbox One suffered infamously rough launches, and Stadia continued that trend.
After this latest stumble with Stadia, one has to wonder where Phil Harrison will head next. Stay tuned to see what the former Sony, Microsoft, and Google executive is up to next.