Google Stadia Is Shutting Down

Google has finally announced its cloud-gaming platform, Google Stadia, is getting shuttered.

By Jason Collins | Published

Compared to other gaming platforms like Xbox Cloud Gaming and PlayStation Now, the Google Stadia underperformed so drastically that Google has finally decided to put it out of its misery and pull the plug on its life-support. This was to be expected, considering that Google initially tried to salvage the service by offering it as a white-label platform, which was followed by subsequent rumors regarding Google’s plans to shut it down. Now, it would seem those rumors are becoming a reality.

According to Gamespot, Google announced that it will officially shut down Google Stadia on January 18, 2023. And though this is sad news for the fans of the cloud gaming platform, the good news is that Google plans to refund all hardware purchases made through Google Store, including games and add-on content (DLCs) that were purchased from that storefront. This is fantastic news and quite possibly unprecedented action by any game-selling or game-streaming company in the gaming sphere.

So far, we got bad games, canceled games, and a few ugly ducklings that have turned into swans — like Cyberpunk 2077, which broke another record. There’s also Ubisoft, which recently removed their games and DLCs from Steam, even for those that have bought their digital content. So, Google’s move to issue refunds, while unexpected, is actually quite welcome.

cyberpunk 2077
Unlike Google Stadia, Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the few gaming stories of recent memory that started out disappointing but wound up making a hard left turn to success.

It shows accountability without issuing belittling statements about how its gaming service is so ahead of its time that the gaming community simply doesn’t understand it.

Google Stadia was initially launched as a consumer gaming service, which was actually built on pretty strong technological foundations, which isn’t all that surprising. It even featured an impressive number of third-party games in its library, and Google planned on developing exclusives for the platform and even began investing in its own game studios. Unfortunately, the service never gained traction with the gamers since it couldn’t really compete with what other gaming services, like Steam, Epic Store, Xbox Cloud Gaming, PSNow, and even Amazon Prime Gaming, had to offer.

Considering just how strong the competition among subscription services actually is and the fact that you can’t easily topple giants like Microsoft, PlayStation, and Amazon — at least in terms of game streaming — Google Stadia quickly became nothing else but a costly curiosity, which ultimately severely underperformed compared to its competitors. So, Google decided to cut its expenses and finally shut down its failed gaming service.

But that’s not actually the end of Google Stadia. The technology that was pioneered by Google’s failed gaming platform will be used in other Google services such as YouTube, Google Play, and various AR projects. Of course, Google also plans to make the technology available to industry partners who believe in the future of cloud gaming. This future is becoming more apparent by the day, considering the sheer number of companies that are entering the cloud gaming playing field.

Microsoft is actively working with Smart TV manufacturers to bring its cloud gaming service to as many devices as possible, and Logitech just announced their cloud-gaming handheld that would allow gamers to play Xbox Cloud Games.