Google has just announced that it will shut down its Stadia cloud gaming service on January 18, 2023. The company will also be refunding all Stadia hardware and game purchases by mid-January 2023, though there will be no refunds for Stadia Pro subscriptions.
Today, the company has also disabled all game purchases on the Stadia store including in-game transactions. In his message announcing the closure of the game streaming service, Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager for Google Stadia said what has been quite obvious since its launch: Stadia never reached a level of momentum that made it sustainable for Google.
“A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia. 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 exec said.
Google Stadia launched in fall 2019 alongside the public preview of Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service. To Google’s credit, the company did make a good job of convincing big developers to port their games on the Linux-based platform: Blockbuster games like Destiny 2, Far Cry 6, Resident Evil: Village, and Cyberpunk 2077 are all available on Stadia. Even the upcoming FIFA 23 will also be released on the game streaming service this week.
Even though Stadia will soon close its door, the low-latency streaming technology behind it will live on, Harrison suggested today. The exec said that other Google services including YouTube could benefit from it, but the company is also interested in offering Stadia’s technology to other gaming companies.
“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. 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,” Harrison said today.