Two months after denying a rumor (opens in new tab) that Stadia is shutting down, Google has announced that Stadia is shutting down (opens in new tab).
“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,” Stadia general manager Phil Harrison wrote.
Stadia owners will continue to have access to their libraries until January 18, 2023, and all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store, will be refunded. Most refunds are expected to be completed by mid-January.
Despite Stadia’s failure to catch on with gamers, Harrison said the technology behind it “has been proven at scale and transcends gaming.”
“We see 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,” he wrote. “We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators.”
Harrison first indicated that Google was looking at licensing Stadia technology (opens in new tab) to other organizations in February 2021, saying that Google was looking toward an “increased focus on using our technology platform for industry partners.” A job listing (opens in new tab) that appeared in August 2021 seemed to solidify that changed approach to the system.
It’s undoubtedly sad for fans of Stadia, but the system never lived up to its promise. Stadia on PC lacked a number of basic features (opens in new tab) at launch, and the game selection was anemic (opens in new tab) at best. Google threw in the towel on its internal development plans in early 2021, which seemed to put the proverbial writing on the wall, although it continued to insist that Stadia was “alive and well (opens in new tab)” until today.
Stadia joins a long list of cancelled Google projects, some—like Hangouts, Picasa, Google Play Music, and YouTube Gaming—well known and widely used, and others more niche or behind-the-scenes. If you’re curious, you find the full list of what lives in the Google graveyard at killedbygoogle.com (opens in new tab).