Stadia shuts down in January
Google is shutting down Stadia, the beleaguered cloud gaming service set to remain online for gamers until January 18, 2023.
Stadia’s woes are, of course, well documented; despite initial praise for the service’s streaming capabilities when it launched in 2019, a slow and problematic rollout prevented Google from capitalizing on initial consumer interest. The extent of Stadia’s failures began to become clear when the company announced it was closing its first-party game development studios less than 14 months after launch, with subsequent reports claiming the streaming platform was missing its goals for monthly active users in the hundreds of thousands.
And while Google continued to insist that Stadia was “alive and healthy” as 2021 progressed, reports claimed it had “deprioritized” the consumer side of its streaming platform. games, having largely focused on selling the technology underlying the services to third parties. parties.
And now, with Stadia’s third anniversary approaching in November, Google has finally gone unplugged. “While Stadia’s approach to consumer game streaming was built on a solid technology foundation,” Stadia Vice President and General Manager Phil Harrison wrote in a new blog post announcing the news, “It didn’t gain the user appeal we expected so we made the difficult decision to start terminating our Stadia streaming service.”
However, while Stadia’s consumer operations will cease in January, Harrison says Google will continue to offer its game streaming technology to industry partners. “The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia is proven at scale and transcends games,” he explained. “We see clear opportunities to apply this technology to other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play and our augmented reality (AR) efforts – as well as making it available to our industry partners, which which is where we see the future of head-to-head gaming.”
In light of today’s news, Google is announcing that it will refund all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, as well as all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store. It expects “the majority” of refunds to be made by mid-January 2023, and more details are available through its help center.
“For the Stadia team, building and supporting Stadia from the ground up has been fueled by the same passion for games that our players have,” Harrison concluded. “Many members of the Stadia team will continue this work in other parts of the company. We’re so grateful for the team’s groundbreaking work and look forward to continuing to impact games and grow.” other industries using fundamental Stadia streaming technology.”