Google announced plans to shut down its cloud gaming service Stadia on January 18, 2023, to shed costs.
Phil Harrison, VP and GM at Stadia, wrote in a post that the service has not “gained the traction with users that we expected.”
When launched in 2019, Stadia represented an opportunity to put its cloud streaming technology to work and compete with other companies like Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, Amazon’s Luna, and Sony’s PlayStation Plus. Now with rising costs, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichar is looking for new ways to consolidate. This could be one way. Google recently canceled the next generation of its Pixelbook laptop, and cut funding to its Area 120 in-house incubator.
The Stadia FAQ page states Google will offer refunds for all Stadia hardware purchases such as Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages made through the Google Store.
The company also said that most hardware purchases such as Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages made directly from Google will not need to be returned to get a refund.
Google also will refund software transactions such as games and add-on purchases through the Stadia store. Stadia Pro subscriptions are not eligible for a refund.
What will become of the underlying technology isn’t clear, but Harrison wrote that the “technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming.”
The company sees opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) projects. It could also be made available to “industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed,” he said.