Google is shutting down its game streaming service Stadia after just 34 months.
“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 Google Stadia VP and General Manager Phil Harrison.
Google launched cloud-based game streaming service Stadia in November 2019 and also sold hardware.
“Stadia is not shutting down. Rest assured we’re always working on bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia Pro” the service’s official Twitter handle had told customers as recently as July 29, 2022.
“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.
“Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions” said Harrison today.
As Google shuts down Stadia, critics say the experience was subpar, the cost of games similar to ones you could own rather than just stream and the gaming options themselves somewhat anaemic.
“Killed by Google” is by now an industry cliche — the company is merciless with ventures that underperform — and fears linger among some that Google Cloud itself could be killed off at some point given its underperformance. Google cloud losses grew to $858 million in its last quarter, largely on Google’s increased spending on data centres. Among Google’s recent terminations was Google Cloud IoT Core.
“On Cloud, we continue to see strong momentum, substantial market opportunity here and still feels like early stages of this transformation. Constantly in conversations with customers, big and small, who are just undertaking the journey. So it kind of shows you the opportunity ahead,” said Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai during a Q2 earnings call in July.
“The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming” Stadia’s Phil Harrison noted in a short blog post today, adding that Google sees “clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts — as well as make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed.”