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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 had 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.


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