Google has announced that it is winding down its game streaming service Stadia. The service will be shut down for good on January 18, 2023.
Google will be refunding all hardware and software purchases to users. Anyone who purchased the Stadia controller will get a refund, as well as for any game and add-on content purchased through the Stadia store. The refunds are expected to be completed by mid-January 2023.
Google has said that it will be using the technology that powers Stadia in other parts of the company, such as YouTube, Google Play, and its Augmented Reality (AR) efforts. The members working on Stadia will be carrying on their work elsewhere in the company.
Google Stadia was launched in March of 2019 and was met with immediate skepticism from the industry due to Google’s tendency to close businesses that don’t immediately take off. Many also criticized the high cost of games considering the user did not directly own them, and the substandard library.
The writing has been on the wall since then for Stadia, even though the company pretended all was well and that it wasn’t shutting down as recently as July. As we know now, that wasn’t true at all.
Still, the demise of Stadia doesn’t necessarily mean the demise of cloud gaming as a whole, with Microsoft, Nvidia, and Amazon still committed to their services. It was always going to be a long-term investment for these companies but that’s not the sort of thing Google is known for.