Due to a lack of popularity Google will be ending Stadia in January

Its cloud gaming service “hasn't gained the traction” expected, says its vice president.
Brittney Grimes
Gaming at Stadia.
Gaming at Stadia.

Marcus Chung/iStock 

Google announced today that it will be shutting down Stadia, its cloud gaming service. The service will be live until January 18, 2023.

Refunds being issued

The company will be issuing a refund on Stadia hardware that gamers purchased through its Google store, along with add-on content and games bought from the Stadia store. The refunds will be issued in mid-January, the company stated. The only non-refundable software is the Stadia Pro, which is not eligible for a refund.

What went wrong?

The gaming service launched in 2019 but has not been able to gain a large following. Stadia allowed people to stream games directly on their laptop, desktop, phone, tablet, or TV. It was seen as innovative because it allowed people to play games over the internet rather than only with a console. However, this streaming service hardware was eventually picked up by bigger gaming brands, causing very strong competition, and possibly one reason leading to its demise.

Investing in the gaming industry

According to a blog post released by Stadia, Google had invested across multiple aspects of the gaming industry, with this company being launched as well. “We help developers build and distribute gaming apps on Google Play and Google Play Games,” Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager of Stadia, said in the post.

The company was hoping to use its cloud streaming service and technology to grow the interest in their company on a large scale. However, that was not the case.

Stadia had a catalog of hundreds of games available.

Not gaining traction

The technological foundation for this gaming cloud was thought to be the highlight for this company. This proved otherwise, since the cloud gaming service “hasn't gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.”

Value in the technology created

Despite Stadia being shut down, the company still sees future value in the technology behind the cloud gaming service. They mentioned that they might combine efforts with other industry partners, sharing their technology. “The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. We see clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts — as well as make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed,” said Harrison.

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“We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators,” he continued.

Many employees at Stadia will be working in other parts of the company, Harrison stated. “Building and supporting Stadia from the ground up has been fueled by the same passion for games that our players have.”

What's next for players?

As for the players, they are not required to return hardware purchases made directly from Google, according to the Google support page for Stadia. They can continue to access their games until mid-January, around the same time when their refunds will be issued.

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