google stadia is being shutdown after the company admits it “failed to gain traction”

In 2019, Google first unveiled its cloud streaming service, Stadia, spearheading a new venture to muscle its way into the video game industry. Today, though, the company has announced its throwing in the towel — Stadia is destined to become yet another bullet point on the company’s long list of failed projects. The service is due to shut down for good, on Jan. 18, 2023.

The news comes by way of a blog post from Google earlier today in which Stadia vice president and GM Phil Harrison explained:

“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 staff assigned to Stadia are being moved to other parts of the company as Google plans to redistribute its cloud streaming tech to subdivisions like YouTube and Google Play.

The company will be issuing refunds for Google Stadia, which is explained over in an FAQ article published alongside the blog post today. Relevant to refunds, the FAQ states highlights that while hardware purchases can be refunded, Pro subscriptions cannot:

“We will be offering refunds for all Stadia hardware purchases (Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages) made through the Google Store and software transactions (games and add-on purchases) through the Stadia store. Stadia Pro subscriptions are not eligible for refund, however you will be able to continue playing your games in Pro without further charges until the final wind down date.“

Today’s news follows on from a string of rumors last year suggesting Google had plans to shut down Stadia after it admitted to winding down first-party development of new games. That was only three months before its VP and head of product development at the time, John Justice, left the company. Concerns were later allayed with a Tweet that insisted there were no such plans.

Stadia is not shutting down. Rest assured we’re always working on bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia Pro. Let us know if you have other questions.

— Stadia ☁️🎮 (@GoogleStadia) July 29, 2022

We’ll never know how long ago Google was considering closing its Stadia service, but the above Tweet has aged like milk after today’s big announcement.

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