Google is shutting down Stadia and offering refunds
Google announced today that it will end support for its game streaming service Stadia by January 2023. The company will refund Stadia hardware purchases and all content purchases made through the Stadia store.
Stadia was Google's attempt to get a share of the growing gaming sector. When Google announced Stadia in 2019, it had big plans for the service. Designed to work with nearly any device capable of establishing an Internet connection and having a display, it had little requirements other than a decent Internet connection of at least 10 Mbps.
Google promised that Stadia would deliver game streams up to 4K in resolution at 60 fps, would support 5.1 surround sound and HDR.
A Stadia subscription cost $9.99 at the time and it gave gamers access to some free games and all features of the service. Users had to buy games through Stadia, an option to bring a library of games to the service did not exist.
Back in 2019, I noted that Stadia had a few advantages but also disadvantages. The main advantage was that it required no hardware, like a gaming PC or console. Downsides were that Stadia did not support offline play, had a fairly limited selection of games available, and that customers could only purchase games through the Stadia store.
In 2021, Google announced the shutting down of its game development studio, which was created in 2019 to produce games for the streaming gaming service. The studio did not produce a single game in that time, and Google referred to time and money as the reasons for shutting it down.
Many saw the shutting down of the studio as the beginning of the end for the service.
Now, a year later, Google announced that it is shutting down Stadia.
Here are the essentials that you need to known:
- Stadia game servers and the platform will shut down on January 18, 2023. Stadia customers may continue to play games up to that date.
- Google will refund all Stadia hardware and software purchases made through the Google Store.
- Stadia Pro subscriptions and Stadia hardware purchases made elsewhere won't be refunded.
Google is still seeing potential in the Stadia technology and considers using it for some of its other services and making it available to partners.
There will probably lots of "I told you so" posts on social media in the coming days. Stadia was an attempt by Google to get a foot in gaming. Google's efforts fell short for a number of reason, including the company's track record of shutting down new services if they did not deliver expected returns quickly.
While Google is refunding some Stadia customers, it is not refunding all of them. If you bought Stadia hardware at Best Buy, another Store or second hand, you won't be able to get a refund. Similarly, gamers may not be able to transfer save games or progress to other services to continue playing their games there.
Google has yet to update the Stadia website with the information.
Now You: surprised or did you see it coming?Advertisement