Goodbye, Stadia

Google's gaming service is shutting down.

2 mins read
Two people are playing Stadia on the TV. We can only see their arms and controllers.

I’m quite sure this news surprises nobody: Google is shutting down its gaming platform, Stadia, in January 2023. The service, like many others Google has attempted, lasted less than four years. The shut down was announced via a blog post from Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager of Stadia.

Stadia was first announced at GDC in March 2019, launching in November of 2019. It is a cloud gaming platform that never quite lived up to expectations, with reality not meeting with promises made from the company. Harrison states, in the blog post, that Stadia “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. “It will be ‘turned off”” (Google’s words) on January 18, 2023.

Surprisingly, Google intends on refunding everyone who purchased hardware, games, and add-ons through it. Stadia Pro subscriptions are not eligible for refund, however users can continue to use it without being charged until the shut down date.

Google’s efforts in the gaming world won’t be over with Stadia leaving the picture. The blog post states, “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 — 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.”


Support 9

Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

    • I’m quite a fan of Microsoft’s game streaming tech – I’m playing through Yakuza Like A Dragon on a cheap device right now and it’s playing really nicely, where my mid-range gaming laptop really struggled with it off Steam.

      But the monetisation of this stuff is *shocking*, and Google’s rug pull on the entire service will, as you say, inspire people to just pirate stuff. Stadia was such a failure for tech that could have been a good idea, and will set everything back significantly.

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