Questions arise about the funding aspect of the Stadia Makers Program

The Stadia Makers Program in broad terms is a scheme to bring indie games to Stadia. This program was announced on March 23 2020 in partnership with Unity and was lauded at the time as a good thing for Stadia. As part of the Stadia Makers Program, they provided technical assistance, free hardware, and crucially funding. We have seen some fruit from the labors of this over the last year including Kaze and the Wild Masks, Tohu, Figment Creed Valley, and others.

It is our understanding after speaking to a number of indie game developers, who wish to remain anonymous, that the funding aspect of the Stadia Makers Program is scaled back or is no longer available. A number of developers have reported to us that when asked about the funding aspect of the Stadia Makers Program has been changed and they cannot receive funding. This has resulted in some developers lower the priority of the Stadia port of the game. For others, this has made them question bringing their game to the platform. While some games are still on track to come to Stadia.

We reached out to Stadia for comment and the Stadia spokesman said

The Stadia Makers program is still accepting applications through Stadia.dev/apply, which we’re actively working through. In addition, we’re currently busy supporting Makers partners in launching their games on Stadia, including Merek’s Market arriving on the Stadia store next week.”

Thursday September 9th

During our conversations with developers, we also discovered a number of 3rd party game projects and partnerships have been canceled from Stadia. These cancellations happened a number of months ago. Over the last week, we have learned that Tchia is no longer coming to Stadia and is heading to PlayStation. Following a tweet by Stadiasource’s Lee Reid, this may have been the case with Tchia.

We approached Stadia for comments about partnerships and the funding and were told that they cannot comment on individual business deals. This was an expected response.

The Stadia Makers Program is still available via Stadia.Dev.

Stadia Makers Bears Some Fruit

Earlier this year, Stadia revealed Stadia Makers at Google for Games Developers Summit. A program devised to allow independent developers to self publish, which was in partnership with Unity.

Fast Forward just 6 months from that announcement and Stadia have announced 8 games that will be releasing on the platform between fall this year through to Q1 in 2021.

In an rare move, Stadia kicked off this week with an announcement on a Monday. It’s good to see not only have 8 games just been announced but along that, there’s the slightest glimpse of a road map. (Well for these games anyway)

The thing that’s pleasing is that as we hit the traditional run of big titles, the year begins it’s face paced, thrilling ride to the end of 2020 in a gaming sense, is that something sticks in my mind and it’s the message from Stadia’s controller box. It sums up beautifully what the months ahead will come to bear.

” One place for all the ways we play”

The titles announced in the blog update are listed below with the trailers for you to feast your eyes on.

Kaze and the Wild Masks (Q1 2021)

“Let 90’s inspired platformer Kaze and the Wild Masks take you on a trip down memory lane as you side-scroll your way through the Crystal Islands. In the colorful world of Kaze, you face enraged living vegetables in a variety of ways thanks to the powers of the Wild Masks. Pounce ferociously like a tiger, soar through the sky like an eagle, sprint fiercely like a lizard, and rule the sea like a shark.

Kaze and the Wild Masks embraces all the classic 90’s platformer elements and gives it a personal touch with modern-looking pixel art graphics. With simple and intuitive mechanics, difficult challenges, iconic bosses, and the satisfyingly smooth platforming and speed of the game, you will find yourself hooked to accomplish everything.”

The Darkside Detective Season 2 (Q1 2021)

“Season 2 is bigger, better, and 100% slimier than ever! A year after the “Motel Incident” of Season 1, we find our reliable Darkside Detective, Francis McQueen, picking up the pieces that left the Darkside Division’s dynamic duo as a slightly less-than-dynamic solo. While the best line of defense against the unknown took a hit to their ranks, the Darkside’s ominous influence remains ever-present with the supernatural running amuck and the paranormal causing havoc around the completely (ab)normal city of Twin Lakes.

This brand new collection of comedic point-and-click adventures will see Detective McQueen in six new standalone cases as he investigates a creepy carnival, explores a retirement home, and even tries to unwind on a trip to “sunny” old Ireland…”

Nanotale – Typing Chronicles (Early 2021)

“Nanotale – Typing Chronicles is an atmospheric typing adventure RPG set in a colorful vibrant world. Follow Rosalind, a novice Archivist, as she journeys out to explore a distant world. On her quest to gather knowledge, she collects samples of mystic natural beauties. Everything is peaceful. War is a thing of the distant past.

In the shadows, a tale of dissonant magic is spreading, instilling corruption into broken hearts.”

Figment: Creed Valley (Early 2021)

“A musical action-adventure set in the recesses of the human mind… Welcome to the world of Figment. A strange and surreal world; a place filled with our deepest thoughts, urges, and memories, populated by the many voices we hear in our heads.

Figment: Creed Valley is an encore to Figment. Dusty and Piper have restored peace in The Mind, however, a new adversary is threatening its balance. Our two heroes must travel to Creed Valley, where The Mind’s beliefs and ideals are formed, to face their most menacing and theatrical foe so far.

The Moral Compass has been shattered and a once-peaceful voice of the subconscious has broken loose. Face new enemies as you make your way through enigmatic challenges and explore The Mind’s two fundamental states: Open-minded and Closed-minded. Switch between states and adapt to the shifting environment to move forward. “

Unto The End (This Winter)

“Unto The End is a hand-crafted cinematic platformer about a desperate journey home.

As the adventure unfolds, the decisions you make can carry consequences not just for you, but also for the creatures you encounter. Mastery of combat is critical, but fighting isn’t always the only way. Overcoming adversity can sometimes be better achieved through sharpness of perception.

Unforgiving terrain, fierce opponents, and paucity of supplies means there are scant opportunities for respite. Through the suffocating gloom of frigid caverns and biting winds of harsh mountain peaks, every step weighs heavy with the relentless struggle to make it home.”

Death Carnival (This Winter)

“Death Carnival is a fast-paced top-down shooter with extreme weapons & online multiplayer mayhem. In a future world, broken by war, humanity endures in a few overcrowded cities. To escape their bleak reality, many turn to televised combat sports, the most popular being Death Carnival. In this deadly game show, contestants must battle against hordes of monsters and machines for fame and fortune on live TV.”

TOHU (Fall 2020)

“TOHU is a brand new adventure game that’s set amongst a world of weird and wonderful fish planets. Explore beautiful landscapes, solve intricate puzzles, and discover the truth about a mysterious little girl and her mechanical alter-ego, Cubus. Combining traditional adventure game mechanics with an approachable design, TOHU features a variety of enchanting locations and strange scenarios, including a theatrical stage production filled with wonderful creatures and a topsy-turvy world where staircases lead you in directions that defy physics.

The adventure begins when The Girl’s peaceful world of the fish planets is disturbed by a strange, shadowy creature. With an intention to only cause chaos, it destroys the sacred engine that is the key to this world – and now all life on the fish planets is under threat.”