Google Stadia plans to shut down early next year, offering refunds for certain purchases.
Google Stadia, the struggling cloud gaming service, has finally decided to shut down entirely on January 18th, 2023. Users can play games from their library until then, and Stadia plans to offer refunds for all hardware, game and add-on content purchases made through its store.
Here’s the official announcement, which quietly links to a lengthy blog post and statement from Vice President and General Manager Phil Harrison:
Stadia players, find an important update on Stadia here: https://t.co/IIFRYiIYUu
— Stadia ☁️🎮 (@GoogleStadia) September 29, 2022
After years of offbeat maneuvering, Stadia has folded, admitting in their full post that “it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected”. All commerce, including in-game purchases, have been immediately discontinued.
Fortunately, it’s very classy that they’ll be refunding users. The “majority” of these refunds are expected to roll out by mid-January 2023. Most of their hardware won’t need to be returned for a refund, but Stadia Pro subscriptions will not be refunded at all.
If that kind of headache was considered worthwhile, then there must have been deeply serious performance issues from the service.
Most gamers weren’t very surprised, since it’s clear that Stadia has been playing catch-up since its rocky beginning. Many of the key features that Stadia promised didn’t come to fruition, and as a result, there was no distinguishable element to invite customers.
Still, the cloud service itself functions pretty well, and most have considered this shutdown a massive example of wasted potential.
Additionally, some of the Stadia exclusive games do deserve a port. Some fan responses have hoped for a PC or Steam port. But unless a game supports cross-progression, users won’t have the chance to carry over their Stadia game progression anywhere else.
For now, the big platforms will maintain their dominance in the market. There are a variety of cloud subscription services, each with their own library and features, but newcomers may still attempt to challenge the norm. It’s unclear what the future holds for Google after the Stadia shutdown.
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