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Google is shutting down Stadia, surprising pretty much no one

You'll have until January 2023 to enjoy the game streaming service. After that, everyone gets refunds for everything.
By
September 29, 2022
Google Stadia controller on table macro
TL;DR
  • Google is shutting down Google Stadia.
  • You have until January 18, 2023, to continue using the game streaming service. After which, all purchases will be refunded.
  • This move is unsurprising given the service’s low adoption rate and Google’s history.

Today, Google announced what we all knew was coming eventually: Google Stadia will soon be no more. The service will end on January 18, 2023. From now until then, players can continue to have access to their games, but after that date, the service will close.

The good news here is that Google will send out refunds for literally everything:

We 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…We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023.

In other words, even if you only bought one game through Stadia, you should see a refund in early 2023. Players who went all-in on Stadia could be getting quite the hefty refund.

In the blog post, Google also says that the underlying technology of Stadia will live on in other Google products. In other words, the technology that allows you to stream high-resolution gaming content and interact with it with minimal latency can also apply to other Google services, such as YouTube, Google Play, and future services that haven’t even launched yet.

So this is the end of Google Stadia as a consumer product, but it all wasn’t for naught.

Google Stadia: Yet another public beta?

This isn’t the first time Google has rushed into a product category with gusto, failed to gain traction immediately, and then folded. Google Clips are a recent example of Google doing this and the various messaging platforms Google’s launched over the years are another.

In the case of Stadia, though, it was particularly egregious. Stadia gunned to replace major gaming platforms like Steam, a monumental task that few could ever achieve. Even though Stadia wasn’t ever going to do that in its current state, Google still tried to charge top-dollar for hardware and games, thinking that the very concept of game streaming was enough to entice players. Of course, players saw right through this, which is why Google comes right out and admits that Stadia “hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected” as the reasoning behind Stadia’s closure.

Regardless, Stadia will live on as streaming technology in other apps. Google will also white-label the tech and license it out to other companies. At least Stadia die-hards will get all their money back and get to say they were there.