Stadia’s “superhero,” John Justice, has reportedly left Google for unexplained reasons, according to The Information and 9to5Google. John has served as Stadia’s VP and Head of Product until now, and his exit is somewhat shocking given that he has served as the initiative’s public face. He’s also been the most enthusiastic about the service and its content, participating in the most interviews about it.
According to a Google spokesperson who responded to 9to5Google’s request for clarification on this, John has moved on to a new chapter of his career. At this time, all we know about why he quit is that Google might be trying to give product managers more power and step away from the idea of engineers running the show. we are not sure how the future looks for Google Stadia.
I understand that John Justice’s departure from Google will create some ripples in the public eye for Stadia, but I want to be clear right now that this tells us very little about how the service will or will not be affected. That said, considering its appearance and the platform’s recent track record for decision-making, we should be cautious in passing judgment on this step.
After launching several new features this week, including a real (really real) search bar at the top of your cloud gaming console, a new library organization process, and an awesome social media-style activity feed inbound, I think it’s safe to say that anyone changing careers, even someone as important to Stadia’s operation as John shouldn’t be taken as foreshadowing. There could have been just as many personal explanations for such a decision as there could have been corporate ones.