Introduced just three years ago, Google’s cloud gaming platform Stadia is shuttering. Not going to lie. I am pretty shocked. Official words were out today in the form of a blog post by Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager of Stadia, on blog.google.com.
As part of the winding up, Google is refunding all Stadia purchases for hardware bought from the Google store, as well as software and DLC purchased from the Stadia store. Refunds will be automatic and there’s no need to return the hardware. Google expects the majority of refunds to be completed by mid-January 2023.
Speaking of the Stadia store, it is closed with immediate effect. You cannot buy games or any content anymore. However, I just checked. News of the service has stopped is not on Stadia’s page. In fact, it is still inviting visitors to get on the free trial. I am not sure what gives. The cloud gaming service will remain LIVE for players until January 18, 2023.
TBH, three years is a little short to be a judge if a platform will take off or not but I am sure the pros over at Google have done the math, and so I guess it was as good as it lasted. Google cited less than favorable traction with users for the difficult decision to wind up the service.
This news may come as a surprise to many because just a couple of months ago, Google dismissed rumors that Stadia was at its end of the road. That was in July. How things can flip in just two months…
I guess it has been long brewing but something triggered an abrupt decision. It is definitely an abrupt decision because just last week when Google announced the new Chromecast with Google TV (HD), it clearly mention support for Stadia.
If this is a rude shock to the hardware team of Chromecast and I cannot imagine what it was like for companies like Samsung who also said its upcoming Odyssey gaming monitor will let you discover and play games from partners’ various cloud gaming platforms which include Stadia. The same goes for LG which just welcomed Stadia to its TV just late last year.