Google is closing its cloud gaming platform Stadia. Players can access the service until January 18th, 2023. All Stadia hardware purchased from the Google Store as well as all games and add-on material purchased from the Stadia store will all be refunded by Google. Google expects those payouts to be finished by the middle of January.
Stadia vice president and general manager wrote in a blog post, “A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia,” Stadia vice president and GM Phil Harrison said in a blog post. “And while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it 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.” The Stadia team’s employees will be split up among the other departments of the business.
Harrison wrote that the company plans to “make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed” and that Google sees opportunities to apply Stadia’s technology to other areas of Google, such as YouTube, Google Play, and its augmented reality initiatives.
In a FAQ, Google went into further information about some of the shutdown’s finer details. You won’t need to send back any hardware because refunds will be made immediately through the Stadia and Google storefronts. However, you won’t be charged during the closure period and can still access any games you might have redeemed as a Pro user until everything is shut down. Stadia Pro subscriptions are not eligible for a refund. You can no longer purchase games or make in-game purchases because Google shut down the Stadia store.
The last blow for Stadia was last week’s announcement by Logitech of their new cloud gaming portable. Stadia was one of the few cloud gaming services left out of the announcement. However, Stadia has been the subject of death rumours almost from the beginning. Stadia, a cloud gaming service from a business with limited ties to the gaming industry, seemed like a great candidate for an early demise. Google has a history of cancelling initiatives only a few years after they begin.
There were rumours that it will shut down last year when the platform’s game releases stalled and the firm closed its in-house game development facilities. This year, when such rumours reappeared, Google insisted that Stadia was not going away. The business tweeted, “Rest assured we’re always working bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia Pro.” Which was accurate up until this day.
Microsoft, which has made significant investments in cloud gaming, chose not to comment. Requests for comment from Nvidia, the company behind the GeForce Now cloud gaming service, and AT&T, which used Stadia technology to power a few game trials, were not immediately returned.
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