Google is officially shutting down Stadia, its failed game streaming service.
Today Google confirmed that it will shut down its Stadia game streaming platform and storefront in 2023. Google is refunding all purchases of games, subscriptions, and hardware, and users have until January 18, 2023 to access their games. After that, the service will be pulled offline and access will be revoked.
"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," Google's Phil Harrison said in the announcement.
It looks like developers were not notified beforehand and found out with the rest of the internet through Google's announcement post. Devs are expressing their concerns, especially those that have games coming to Stadia soon. No More Robots developer Mike Rose, for example, is worried Google will not pay his studio for the upcoming game that is slated to release on Stadia in November.
"We have a game coming to Stadia in November. Who wants to guess that Google will refuse to pay us the money they owe us for it," Rose said on Twitter.
Harrison says that Google will lease out the Stadia streaming tech to other games publishers and the framework will also be used by other initiatives from Google, including AR, its billion-dollar YouTube advertising system, and its lucrative Google Play market.
Google is said to have spent quite a bit of money on securing games for Stadia, paying sometimes as high as tens of millions of dollars for licensing to court big players like Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft to the service.
Now Microsoft is decidedly unchecked in the cloud game streaming market thanks to its value-oriented Game Pass Ultimate subscription, countered only by the likes of Sony's PS Plus streaming, and NVIDIA's GeForce NOW subscriptions.