Google has announced that it will begin winding down services on its cloud gaming platform, Google Stadia next month. Google Stadia will then officially go offline on 18 January 2023 and the company will refund all Stadia purchases to customers for both hardware and software purchases. Meaning everything you have purchased related to Google Stadia, be it hardware, software or even in-game content will be refunded next year. Google expects the refunds to complete by the middle of January.
Google Stadia shutting down doesn’t come as a surprise. The cloud gaming platform has been struggling to remain relevant over the past few years while the user base has grown, it is still not where it is meant to be. Google says they aren’t expecting to retrench any staff members due to the closure of the Stadia platform.
Stadia vice president and GM Phil Harrison said:
“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. Employees on the Stadia team will be distributed to other parts of the company.”
The company says that Stadia technology will be used in other parts of the company like YouTube, Google Play and Google’s AR efforts. They also want to make it available to industry partners to utilise in new gaming efforts.
Google has also published a Stadia FAQ to answer the questions users might have regarding their data and refunds. For example, users won’t need to return any hardware for the refund to take place. However, Google says that Stadia Pro subscribers will not be refunded. Instead, they will not be charged from now until the shutdown takes place.
For the Stadia team, building and supporting Stadia from the ground up has been fueled by the same passion for games that our players have. Many of the Stadia team members will be carrying this work forward in other parts of the company. We’re so grateful for the groundbreaking work of the team and we look forward to continuing to have an impact across gaming and other industries using the foundational Stadia streaming technology.