In November 2019, Google launched Stadia, its online cloud gaming service. Fast forward three years and the company has announced that effective January 18, 2023, Google Stadia will cease to exist.
For those unfamiliar with the service, Stadia allows gamers to stream games through their browser, Chromecast Ultra, Android TV, Chromebooks, tablets, and more without having to invest in high-end graphics cards or computer systems. The service offered game streaming at up to 4K resolutions and 60 frames per second, complete with HDR and 5.1 Surround Sound support at higher subscription tiers.
Google states that the “difficult decision” to shutter Stadia was made because “it hasn’t gained the traction with users” that they expected. The product joins a long list of projects the company has killed off over the years, much to the chagrin of many long-time users.
Cloud gaming is far from dead however and is available from other companies through services like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna. In fact, Logitech G has released the handheld dedicated to cloud gaming. Google also states that the underlying Stadia technology will live on in other products.
“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.”Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager, Stadia
If there is a silver lining here, Google also announced that they will be refunding users for ALL Stadia hardware purchase made through the Google Store, as well as all game and add-on content purchases made through the Google Store. For some, that could be a nice chunk of unexpected change. Google expected the refunds to be completed by mid-January, 2023. For more details, players can visit the Google Help Center for more info.
What do you think about Google shuttering yet another service? Are you a Stadia user and will you miss it once it’s gone? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.