Google has announced that it is shutting down its Google Stadia game streaming service on January 18, 2023.
For now, players will be able to access their Google Stadia game libraries, but by mid-January they will lose access to these titles – although the Stadia controller should still function as a wired controller for non-Stadia PC games.
Fortunately, in official blog post (opens in new tab) on the shutdown Phil Harrison, vice president of Google and general manager of Stadia, said that Google “will refund all Stadia hardware purchases made on the Google Store and all game and add-on purchases made on the Stadia store.”
Google says it expects to have “most” refunds completed by mid-January, and has launched a page on its website. help center (opens in new tab) answering questions about how Stadia will work in its final months and some details about the refund process. Full details have yet to be released, but Google said it will provide more information on how players can get refunds in the coming weeks.
An expected shutdown
Google Stadia had what could be generously called a rocky start in November 2019, launching into early access without many of the best features promised in promotional material for the service. This included most of its social and multiplayer features such as achievements, Crowd Play – which would allow viewers to play with the streamers they are watching – and Family Sharing – which would allow families to share games.
However, despite these setbacks, Google promised that it would continue working on Stadia and make it a gaming platform that gamers would love as much as its console.
Also on July 29, 2022, Google told fans in a tweet that “Stadia is not closing”, saying that it would continue working on the platform and bringing great games to it.
Stadia is not shutting down. Rest assured that we are always working to bring more great games to the platform and to Stadia Pro. Let us know if you have any other questions.July 29, 2022
And over time, Google has improved Stadia’s features, adding many of the ones it lacked in its release. Additionally, it added some platform-exclusive games and expanded the Stadia library with third-party titles as well.
But the improvements never went far enough to compete with rivals in the game streaming space like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Nvidia GeForce Now.
The first signs that Stadia was struggling came in February 2021, when Google closed its in-house game development studios. The reasoning behind the move, according to google (opens in new tab)was to release resources that would allow the company to develop its own Google Stadia platform.
Now it looks like the entire platform is being shut down to free up resources for the rest of Google’s projects. Stadia will apparently live on in some sense, though, with Phil Harrison saying on his blog that the underlying technology behind Stadia has clear applications for YouTube, Google Play, and its burgeoning AR efforts.
Exactly what form this technology will take is still unclear, but we do know that it will no longer be used to power Google’s cloud gaming platform on January 18, 2023.