Google Stadia to shut down in January 2023
Google announced that Stadia, its cloud gaming service, will be shut down on January 18, 2023. Until then, the service will remain live as the company moves to refund all Stadia hardware, as well as all games and add-on content purchased from the Stadia store.
“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,” stated Stadia vice president and General Manager Phil Harrison.
Harrison, a video game industry veteran who’s overseen the launches of multiple consoles, including the PlayStation 3, added that the company was planning instead to make the technology developed as part of Stadia “available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed.”
Employees on the Stadia team will now be moved to other parts of the company.
According to its FAQ, refunds will automatically be made through the Google and Stadia stores—Stadia owners will not have to return any hardware. Stadia Pro subscriptions, however, will not be eligible for a refund. That said, subscribers will not be charged during the shutdown period and will still be able to access games that they’ve redeemed as a Pro user until the end. As for the Stadia store, Google has now closed it down, preventing users from buying games and add-ons.
Stadia faced rumors of its demise ever since it launched—Google has a habit of killing off projects only a few years after they launch. As a cloud gaming service from a company with very few ties to the video game industry, Stadia seemed like an obvious candidate for the latter.
Rumors of Stadia’s impending doom abounded last year after the number of game releases on the service slowed down and Google shut down its first-party development studios. That said, Google insisted that the service was not shutting down when those rumors resurfaced early this year.
“Rest assured we’re always working bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia Pro,” stated the company in a tweet.
However, it seems that Stadia’s failure to gain traction in the face of increased competition from competitors such as Xbox GamePass and PlayStation Plus—subscription services that allow for offline, non-cloud-based gaming—has led Google to decide to finally kill the service.
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