video games

Google to shut down gaming service Stadia

Gelo Gonzales
Google to shut down gaming service Stadia

STADIA. Spectators look on during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company's cloud technology and global network of data centers, at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, US, March 19, 2019

Stephen Lam/Reuters

Stadia is saying goodbye just 3 years after its launch

MANILA, Philippines – Google on Thursday, September 29 (US time), announced on its blog that it would be winding down and eventually shuttering its streaming gaming service Stadia.

Google launched the service in November 2019.

Stadia customers will have until January 18, 2023 to access their games library, so “they can complete final play sessions,” Google said.

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. It expects to complete all refunds by mid-January 2023. A support page can be accessed here for details on making refunds.

The Stadia store has already been closed, and new purchases can’t be made.

Stadia, priced at $9.99 monthly, allowed video games to be played on any internet-connected device in an attempt to entice players away from console gaming.

Sony with PlayStation Now, and Nvidia with GeForce Now, are similar game streaming services. Non-streaming games subscription services that allow players to download and play games from a set library include Sony’s PlayStation Plus, Microsoft’s Game Pass, and Apple Arcade.

“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, vice president and general manager of Stadia, wrote on the blog.

Harrison also called Stadia’s technology as “foundational” and hints at its potential application for other Google properties or even third-party use.

“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,” Harrison said.

The Verge noted, “Google has a habit of killing projects only a few years after they launch, and Stadia, a cloud gaming service from a company with few ties in the gaming industry, seemed like a prime candidate for an early demise.”

Stadia’s team members are expected to be reassigned to other parts of the company. – Rappler.com

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.