Google to Shut Down Stadia, Refund Related Purchases
Citing its inability to gain traction with players, Google is shutting down its cloud gaming service, Stadia, the company announced Thursday.
Stadia's consumer-facing app and storefront will be closed entirely on Jan. 18, 2023, a time in which players will lose access to their game libraries. By mid-January 2023, Google expects to have refunded the majority of Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store.
"While Stadia's approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation," Stadia VP and general manager Phil Harrision wrote in a blog post, "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.
"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."
Stadia's struggles have long been detailed in reports since its initial 2018 announcement, as the service has failed to attract consumers during its protracted rollout.
In 2021, Google officially shut down its internal game development studios and refocused on third-party developers Peloton, Capcom and Bungie.
In February, Google reportedly shifted its focus to selling the underlying Stadia tech to third parties.
In June, Axios reported that The Quarry and High On Life were both originally being developed as "signature" Stadia titles to draw players to the streaming service before Google scaled back first-party development for Stadia.