Google Killing Stadia, Cashback on All Purchases

A Stadia executive shows off the controller on stage at Google's big rollout.

image: Justin Sullivan (beautiful pictures)

Google is shutting down video game streaming service, Stadia, on January 18, 2023, the company announced today. All purchases will be refunded and the technology will still be used for YouTube and other parts of YouTube’s business, but consumers-face-to-face apps and storefronts will close in less than 5 years after launch, join graveyard of other projects Google has given up.

“And while Stadia’s approach to game streaming for consumers is built on a strong foundation of technology, it hasn’t achieved the traction with users as we expected, so we made the difficult decision to start cutting back on its Stadia streaming service,” Stadia VP Phil Harrison Written in a blog post. “We are grateful to the dedicated Stadia players who have been with us from the beginning. We will issue refunds for all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store as well as all game and additional content purchases made through the Stadia store. Players will continue to have access to their game library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete the final sessions. “

The game industry veteran went on to say that the refund is expected to be completed by mid-January and noted that while Stadia is dyingThe technology behind it will still be made available to “industry partners” for other ventures, like AT&T’s recent attempt to bring Batman: Knight Arkham to smartphones via streaming. The signs Google is ready to bail have been coming for a while, but one of the more noticeable signs-advanced is when Ubisoft announced Assassin’s Creed Mirage will come to Amazon’s Luna service but not Stadia, the first game in the blockbuster franchise to do so.

Google was talking about a big game when Stadia was first announced at Game Developers Conference 2019, but it was clear by the time the service launched later that year that it wasn’t ready for prime time. The technology is impressive but the promised features are missing and the launch library is not very impressive. While Stadia continues to add new games, most have to be purchased à la carte, making it a great investment for the casual audience it targets. Then Xbox Game Pass comes along and marries a huge library for a single monthly fee. Meanwhile, Stadia is said to have struggled to get big games on its platform, spend tens of millions to attract headlines like The journey to atone for mistakes 2.

Of course, there’s nothing to say that Stadia had to die in the first place. Google’s track record and Stadia’s own past raise questions about whether it will ever be properly committed to the ambitious endeavor. Stadia’s first-party studios closed last year, rattling projects that were still in pre-production and leaving some developers who had moved across the country to the company feeling betrayed. At that time, Kotaku report Harrison told Stadia employees that Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda was one of the reasons for the closure, convincing Google that the cost of competing in first-party development was higher than it was willing to pay.

“We remain deeply committed to the game, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies, and platforms that support the success of our developers, industry partners, and cloud customers.” and creators,” wrote Harrison in today’s blog post.

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