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Google announced in a blog post today that it’s winding down its ambitious streaming service, Stadia. The platform will officially go offline on January 18, 2023. Google has committed to refunding all purchases made on the platform and for Stadia hardware.
Stadia launched in 2019 as a console-less cloud gaming service and has received muted interest since then. While it has maintained a relatively full calendar of launch-day games, it has had its problems. In 2021, Google shut down all internal game development at Stadia, cancelling any planned in-house exclusives for the platform. Compared with other cloud gaming services, such as GeForce Now and XCloud, Stadia has been struggling for some time.
Stadia’s VP and general manager Phil Harrison said in the blog post: “[Stadia] hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected, so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down … . We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start. We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store. Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023, so they can complete final play sessions.”
All is not lost for the concept, though, or so Harrison says. “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.” He adds that Google expects to have all refunds completed before the platform’s death date.