Cloud gaming: Google discontinues Stadia, all purchases will be refunded

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Three years after its market launch, Google will discontinue the Stadia cloud gaming service on January 18, 2023. Phil Harrison, who is responsible for Stadia at Google, announced this on the company's blog. The reason given is the low number of users. All purchases, software and hardware, will be refunded.

Google failed with Stadia

With Stadia, Google wanted to create its own gaming service in competition with cloud gaming alternatives from Microsoft, Sony or Nvidia and at the same time compete with the game consoles. The Stadia app was available for Android and iOS, but current games should also be played via browser and thus also on Google's cheap Chromebooks. Stadia was available in two versions. Stadia and Stadia Pro.

Stadia Pro Stadia Base Price per month EUR 9.99 probably ad-financed Max. resolution Ultra HD, 60 FPS, HDR Full HD, 60 FPS audio 5.1 Surround Stereo Exclusive games yes no Discounts on games yes no Free games yes no

Games available on Stadia had to be explicitly purchased by customers from Stadia, even if they already owned the titles on Steam, EA Access or Ubisoft Connect. In this, Stadia differed significantly from alternatives like GeForce Now or Shadow, although the approach was the same as with the services from Microsoft or Sony. With campaigns like the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, Google repeatedly tried to attract prominent customers.

Stadia has long been said to have ended. A year and a half ago, Google stopped developing its own titles for the platform – at that time it was said to “concentrate on the future of the platform”.

All purchases will be refunded

In order not to completely alienate users of the platform, Google is announcing that all purchases made for Stadia (games, add-ons and DLCs in the Stadia store and hardware such as controllers in the Play Store), but not the subscription fees, to be reimbursed by mid-January 2023 at the latest. The announcement does not reveal whether a Chromecast type streaming stick purchased for Stadia is also included.

Google is confident that the knowledge gained with Stadia will be shared elsewhere in the companies to use in the future. “Many”, but not all of the employees working on Stadia should also take on other tasks in the group in the future.