Google is officially shutting down its cloud gaming service, Stadia. The announcement comes less than three years since Stadia was launched. In a blog post published Thursday, Phil Harrison, Stadia Vice President and General Manager said players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023. Google 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. Google expects to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023.
“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.”Phil Harrison, Stadia Vice President and General Manager
Harrison says the underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. Google sees other opportunities to apply Stadia’s technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and its Augmented Reality (AR) efforts. The company also plans to make it available to industry partners, which aligns with where they see the future of gaming headed.
Harrison says Google remains deeply committed to gaming, and will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators. Many of the Stadia team members will be allocated to other parts of the company.
This isn’t the first time Google has rushed into a product category, only to shut them down within a few years after launch. Google Clips are a recent example and the various messaging platforms Google’s launched over the years are another. Google has detailed the shutdown in an extensive FAQ.