Google To Shutter Gaming Service Stadia


No surprise there. Google admits Stadia gaming service has not gained traction and will closed down on 18 January

Alphabet’s Google division is closing down another service, as CEO Pichai continues cost-cutting measures at the search engine giant.

Google confirmed it is shuttering its cloud gaming service Stadia that it launched in November 2019 – with Stadia servers to be turned off on Wednesday 18 January 2023.

The gaming service was an ambitious Google project, that offered the chance to run computer games, including high end 4K games, on mobile phones via the Stadia mobile app, as well as Android TV devices and the Chrome browser.

Sundar Pichai Google Android

Stadia closure

The demise of Stadia was confirmed on Thursday in a blog post by Phil Harrison, VP and general manager of Stadia.

“A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia,” wrote Harrison. “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.”

Harrison said that Google would be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store.

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

Harrison said the underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. Indeed, Google sees clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google such as YouTube, Google Play, and its Augmented Reality (AR) efforts.

“For the Stadia team, building and supporting Stadia from the ground up has been fuelled by the same passion for games that our players have,” said Harrison.

“Many of the Stadia team members will be carrying this work forward in other parts of the company. We’re so grateful for the groundbreaking work of the team and we look forward to continuing to have an impact across gaming and other industries using the foundational Stadia streaming technology.”

Cost cutting

The fate of Google Stadia stands in marked contrast to Microsoft Xbox, and the ongoing investment and expansion of the tech giant’s gaming credentials with the acquisition of Blizzard Activision for $69 billion.

Call of Duty Mobile

Google had also hoped Stadia would compete with Sony’s PlayStation Plus cloud streaming, and Amazon’s Luna.

But the shuttering of Stadia has been predicted for a while within the gaming industry after two years of virtual radio silence from Google about the future of the service.

In 2021 it became clear that Stadia was not long for the world when Google announced it was disbanding the Stadia Games and Entertainment team, which developed its own original games for the service.

The shuttering of Stadia comes as Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai seeks to cut costs.

In July Pichai warned that Alphabet planned to slow down hiring and consolidate investments through 2023.

Pichai also said that he wants to make the company 20 percent more efficient.

It has also been reported that Google recently cancelled the next generation of its Pixelbook laptop and cut funding to its Area 120 in-house incubator.