Google Stadia, Google's gaming streaming service, is officially shutting down nearly three years after its launch. The company, in a blog post, announced that its Stadia services will shut down on January 18, 2023, and gamers on the platform will receive refunds very soon. The refunds are expected to be completed by mid-January 2023.
In a blog post, Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager at Stadia, said the underlying technology platform that powers Stadia will be used to bolster Google services, like YouTube, Google Play, and Augmented Reality (AR). The blog reads, "We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators."
On a separate FAQ page, Google says most hardware purchases (Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages) made directly from Google will not need to be returned. More details on how to obtain a refund for your Stadia hardware purchases will be posted here in the coming weeks.
The fall of Stadia was also inevitable after Google shut down the internal development team SG&E.
When Google introduced Stadia in 2019, the gaming service was anticipated to make a big name in the industry, which is being dominated by giants like Microsoft and Sony. It also promised a simple user experience, but most of its services weren't ready yet. However, its revenue model was perplexing to many as several titles had to be purchased a la carte. In contrast, services like Microsoft Game Pass demand monthly or annual payment and offer a host of titles ready to play. Unlike Microsoft, Stadia also failed to attract amateur or professional players without any big titles.
Google announced the closure of the Stadia department at a time when companies are looking at ways to reduce spending amid rising inflation. Google has also slowed down hiring for the rest of the year.
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