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Google Is Shutting Down Stadia In January 2023; Refunds For Hardware And Game Purchases Coming

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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Google has announced today it is shutting down its Stadia streaming service, with the last day the servers will be available being January 18th. Google is giving refunds for hardware and games bought from Google, which they expect will be completed by mid-January 2023.

Stadia has struggled to find its footing in the gaming cloud service landscape, especially as rivals have risen up since the initial 2019 launch. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Nvidia and more offer their own cloud service packages, giving Stadia plenty of competition to work against.

Phil Harrison, the VP and GM of Stadia, made the announcement today in the Google blog, stating that while the underlying tech powering Stadia has been proven, the service itself failed to gain the traction they were hoping for.

"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 Stadia offered the promise of being able to play triple-A titles on the go, regardless of screen. The draw was instead of buying a bulky and expensive console, players could simply open a Chrome browser window, or launch an app on their cell phone and start gaming with some of the most high-profile titles.

However, when Stadia launched, many of those features, including rolling out to more than just specific Chromecast Ultras or playing on phones other than Google's own Pixel platform made Stadia feel unfinished. Since then it never really seemed to take off, with Stadia shuttering its own game development division and opting to use Stadia as a platform to release games instead.

Stadia also offered a Pro subscription to get the most out of the experience, but that didn't seem to draw in players, especially when competing services like Xbox Cloud Gaming were bundled with existing subs as a value-add, or in the case of Nvidia's GeForce Now, free to use if you own the games on a connected platform.

As such, Stadia is shutting down in January 2023, and thankfully players who locked into the platform are seeing something back from Google for their support. Google is refunding all hardware sales and game sales made through them, and aim to have this done by mid-January 2023. There isn't a word on refunds for Stadia game and hardware purchases through other vendors, but if you grabbed games like Cyberpunk 2077 or a Stadia controller from Google, you should be seeing that money come back to you in the near future.

Harrison says in his post that Google is still committed to gaming, and that many of the employees working on Stadia right now will be working with Google to further its investments in tools and more to further that commitment.

You can read more on the Google Stadia blog.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore