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RIP Google Stadia: Apple users lose an option to play console games. Photo: Google/Cult of Mac

Google Stadia cloud gaming service is being shut down. It allowed Mac, iPad and iPhone users to play console-quality games, but its developer admits it never found an audience.

Other cloud-gaming services remain, including Microsoft’s online version of Xbox and Amazon Luna.

Google decides to kill Stadia cloud gaming service

Stadia gives Mac, iPhone and iPad access to console-quality titles. Although these often have hefty hardware requirements, Google’s service lets beefy servers handle the heavy lifting and it just streams the action to players. Players have access to titles from Rockstar, Bungie, Square Enix, Ubisoft and many more.

It launched in late 2019, and supported all types of Apple devices by the end of 2020. While the service worked quite well, it did not become successful in its few years of existence.

“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,” said Phil Harrison, who is in charge of Stadia at Google, in a blog post.

The service included an optional game controller and required players to buy premium games, but Google is not leaving players in the lurch. “We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store,” promised Harrison.

Axe will come down on the service on January 18, 2023.

Google gives up fairly easily

Stadia was only around for a couple of years, but Google has the habit of launching projects then killing them. The list of online services it created then shut down is quite lengthy.

Some of the notable entries include Google Hangouts, Google Plus, Picasa, Chromecast Audio, Google Goggles, Google Talk, QuickOffice, Google Reader, Google Sky Map and many, many more. Stadia will soon join the collection.

Other cloud gaming options remain

Even after Stadia closes it doors, Apple users will still have multiple cloud gaming options. That includes Xbox Cloud Gaming. And Nvidia GeForce Now, too. Plus, Amazon Luna is also in there swinging.

Online services like these are necessary because former Apple CEO Steve Jobs screwed up decades ago by neglecting gaming. The result is that top tier titles are released for consoles and PC, not Mac.

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