Google retires cloud gaming service Stadia, offers refunds

Fariha Bhatti • September 29, 2022 11:54 am

Google is ceasing activities on its cloud gaming Service, Stadia, after an underwhelming response from the gaming community. 

In 2019, Google unveiled its streaming service in Stadia, which looked promising initially. The new player in the cloud gaming services allowed users to play video games on compatible screens with minimal lag instantly. However, the tech giant’s gaming products failed to hold out against the likes of PlayStation Plus cloud streaming, Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, and similar. 

Mere three years after the launch, Google has decided to unwind the product to shed costs

Google shuts down Stadia 

Stadia will be turned off for good on January 2023, which means players still have plenty of time to wrap up their unfinished missions. Those who spent big bucks on the products will get their refunds by the middle of January 2023, Google has announced. 

“Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions. We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January 2023,” Google said

Google is now offering refunds for all Stadia hardware purchases, including Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages. Unfortunately, Stadia Pro subscriptions are not eligible for a refund. However, users will be able to continue playing their games in Pro without further charges until the final wind down date.

Why is Stadia shutting down?

Stadia was Google’s take on cloud gaming services to help modern gamers tap into their saved progress without downloading a game. While the idea was tempting, the release product didn’t differ much from existing products. In fact, Stadia was surprisingly underwhelming.

Stadia Pro membership cost $9.99 per month in the US, giving users up to 4K HDR gameplay. However, players still had to buy the majority of games on top. Google later loosened the restrictions, making Stadia available for all Gmail users for the first two months. 

Stadia shutting down isn’t precisely a shocker. Google’s gaming product has been in hot waters for a year now. In 2021, the company retracted its internal game development studios to focus more on bringing third-party games to the gaming cloud service.

Later, the project staff shed like leaves after vice president Jade Raymond left Stadia. All of this pointed at an imminent failure. However, Google is still making the best out of the collapse. Stadia’s underlying technology will now be applied across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and Augmented Reality.

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