Tech giant Google is shutting down its Stadia game streaming service and refunding purchases including games, hardware, software, and DLC. The Masters of the Universe admitted that the service failed to gain “traction” in the gaming marketplace.
The Verge reports that another Google product has been shut down after a few short years. Google announced its Stadaia game streaming service in 2019, advertising that it would allow users to stream video games from Google servers over the internet, bypassing the need for expensive game consoles.
With just a Chrome Cast Ultra and a Stadia controller, users gained access to the service, but one major difference between Stadia and other game streaming services set it apart — users still had to buy games at full price. Services such as Microsoft’s XCloud or Sony’s PlayStation Now charge a monthly fee that includes access to a large collection of popular games. Stadia, however, offered the primary tier of its service for free but did require users to purchase the games that they play.
Many were extremely skeptical of the service at first, noticing that Google has a long history of abandoning projects, yet a group of dedicated fans calling themselves “Stadians” were quick to pop up, defending the various limitations of the service at every turn and arguing that it was the lowest cost, most convenient way to play modern video games (provided you had a fast internet connection to accommodate streaming and $60 to spend on one of the limited selection of Games on Stadia)
Now, Google has announced that the service is being shut down. Stadia vice president and GM Phil Harrison stated in a blog post: “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.”
Google has stated that employees working at Stadia will be redistributed to other parts of the company and Harrison claims that Google believes it can apply elements of Stadia’s technology to other divisions such as YouTube, Google Play, and its AR efforts.
One positive note for dedicated Stadians is that the company has promised to refund all Google Stadia purchases, including hardware purchases, video games, and DLC. However, those that subscribed to the upgraded Stadia Pro tier of the service will not be receiving a refund.
The service will remain live until January 18, 2023.
Read more at the Verge here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan