Google’s chief game designer leaves the company so he can actually design games

Google's chief game designer has stepped down from his position, suggesting that the company currently has little interest in making its own video games. Noah Falstein announced his resignation in a post on his own blog, stating that the "opportunity to actually build the big, consequential games" that he had been hired to help create had "failed to materialize."

Falstein took the role four years ago, but his job change wasn't spotted until a month later, when TechCrunch noticed a change on his LinkedIn page. Google didn't publicly announce his appointment, nor specify exactly what its chief game designer would be working on within the company.

His original appointment came at a time when it seemed Google would be making a step into the video game industry. A year before it hired Falstein, the company published augmented reality game Ingress, developed by an internal startup set up by Google employees called Niantic Labs.

But rather than ramp up game development, Google pulled away from the sector, allowing Niantic to leave and become an independent company in 2015 — a month after it was announced that Niantic would be developing subsequent smash hit Pokémon Go. Google invested in Niantic, and has maintained an apparent interest in video games (it launched its own indie game awards last year), but Falstein's resignation indicates that the company doesn't have any of its own games on the horizon.

Comments

I Think this is a bad idea because Google is best platform for him specially with Android success. The budget he can get for development of a game would be enormous.

Unless they weren’t really committed to making games which is probably why he left….

Google is in an odd spot, that if they made a game for profit it would compete with their ecosystem. I personally applaud the decision of Google and Apple as owners of the App stores to stay out of directly publishing games. I think it might have made sense at one point for Google to make games to show off new platforms (like Android TV) but now there is such a Vibrant ecosystem on Play they can just ask who wants the chance/NDA for a new system.

Some of the Google Doodle games over the years, while not huge, have been really cool. If he had been involved in their development they’d be excellent advertisements for his talents.

The Halloween 2016 game was so good!

That’s pretty sad. Android could do with some quality games like Nintendo makes for the Switch.

Many of the best games for the Android are emulated ones, which are impossible to introduce friends to, have no multiplayer etc etc

There’s more that game designers can do than develop video games. Google could have been using him (or could’ve used him in the future) to "gamify" certain aspects of Google services, like Gmail, Calendar, etc. Good game designers know how to turn anything into a game, and with the recent push of gamification by other tech companies (think about all the badges you earn with fitness apps), I’m surprised Google won’t use his talents in this regard.

Such talent waisted on a machine learning company like Google.
I know Google builds AI for Starfcarft III but did they build Starfcraft III? no they didn’t, IMO Google should spend more money on video games and less on projects that won’t get any future support (remember Buzz, Wave, Google+, they’re ghost towns now)

This begs the question – what did the guy do for the last four years?

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