Phil Harrison, the former head of Google Stadia, has left Google following the demise of the company’s cloud gaming service.
Harrison joined Google in 2018 and oversaw the development and launch of Stadia, which aimed to bring high-quality video games to players through cloud streaming technology. Unfortunately, Stadia never came close to meeting expectations.
Despite an initial wave of excitement and interest, Stadia struggled to gain traction in the highly competitive gaming market. Google announced in February 2021 that it was closing down its internal game development studios and pivoting Stadia to a platform for hosting games developed by third-party studios.
In the wake of this announcement, Phil Harrison has left Google, reportedly to pursue other opportunities. His departure marks the end of an era (error?) for Stadia, which was once seen as a major player in the future of gaming but ultimately failed to live up to expectations.
Prior to joining Google, Harrison served as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios until 2008 during the PlayStation 3 era. From there, he served on the boards of Atari and then rejoined Sony as an advisor on the cloud gaming service Gaikai. In 2012, he joined Microsoft, heading up the European Xbox and Interactive Entertainment divisions, departing in 2015 while the company was focused on Xbox One.
In retrospect, he doesn’t have the best track record.