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.”