It looks like Google has decided that their cloud gaming service has no more future, as the service is set to shut down on January 18th, 2023. Not all is doom and gloom, as it seems they have decided to refund owners of Google Stadia for all games and add-on content that was purchased through its store, which will be completed by mid-January.
Stadia Vice President Phil Harrison released the following statement on the official blog announcing the service’s being shut down:
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
It’s definitely curious how much was invested into this project. Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier has hinted that the investment is quite substantial, especially for massive IPs like Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed, and many more. While they are taking the positive spin highlighting they can re-use the technology in other markets, it definitely is a heavy hit for the company.
It’s not too surprising, as many expected the fact that Stadia is likely going to end sooner rather than later. Not a lot of games support Stadia and its player base has seemingly never truly grown beyond its baseline from the launch. There’s a lot we don’t know about how they handled this project, as they may have just hoped it could pick up again or mapped out a way to sundown the project some time ago. At least players are given a refund for their investment.