Google has made public its intention to terminate the Stadia cloud gaming service and provide refunds to customers.
When it first launched in November 2019, Stadia was marketed as a “Netflix for games,” enabling users to stream video games over the internet without buying a gaming device.
However, the service will be discontinued on January 18th, 2023 because it has failed to gain “traction” among gamers.
Players who have already purchased Google’s Stadia controller, in addition to any games or add-on content, are eligible to receive a refund from the company. It stated that it anticipates all of those refunds would be processed by the middle of January.
In a post on the Stadia blog, Vice President and General Manager Phil Harrison stated, “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.”Vice President and General Manager Phil Harrison
Google is brutal at killing off failing products; the website Killed by Google has a huge list of them. 2019 saw the launch of Stadia, which was clearly Google’s attempt to get into the lucrative gaming industry and was met with a great deal of unrest.
Stadia was more than just a service for streaming video games; it also came with its own specialized hardware.
The announcement, which was undoubtedly the beginning of the end for the corporation, was made in February of 2021. It closed its in-house studios and announced it would provide Stadia as a platform for others to expand on. Now, almost exactly two years to the date that that announcement was made, Stadia will be turned off permanently.
But competing with the industry titans is difficult, especially when you consider yourself to be a giant in your own way. Microsoft and Sony have lucrative arrangements with the world’s major game publishers, making it impossible to repeat Xbox and PlayStation’s success.
Phil Harrison’s statement that Stadia has not “gained the traction” that Google anticipated probably does not come as a major surprise to most people.