Google has announced that its cloud games service, Google Stadia, will be shutting down on January 18, 2023. Those who purchased games (and add-on content) or hardware via the Google Store will be refunded, the tech company confirmed. The refunds are expected to be completed by mid-January.
"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," wrote Stadia VP Phil Harrison.
Stadia launched in late 2019, and allowed players to stream games from their computers via Google Chrome. But Google notably had a lack of understanding about getting into games that harmed Stadia's image early on. Studios opened or acquired by Google to make first-party titles were closed down to pivot the service into a simple platform provider.
The service's future has been uncertain throughout 2022, with reports back in February alleging it would be relaunched as licensed streaming technology for publishers to take advantage of.
Earlier in the week, it was reported that Google CEO Sundar Pichai was enacting cost cutting measures across the entire company as the United States faces a potential recession.
In the same blog post confirming Stadia's end, Harrison disclosed that there are "clear opportunities" to use Stadia's technology towards other avenues of Google's business, including YouTube and Google Play. He also indicated that the aforementioned licensed streaming is in the cards.
"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."