Google has announced it’s shutting down Stadia early next year. The news come mere months after the company stated it wasn’t going to end its cloud-gaming service, saying it was “always working on bringing more great games to the platform.” Today, however, Phil Harrison, VP and general manager of Stadia, has confirmed otherwise.
In a message to the community, Harrison wrote that shutting down Google Stadia was a “difficult decision,” saying it “hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected.” Google Stadia will be shut down officially on January 18, 2023. Users will still have access to games and DLC purchased through the Stadia store until that date. Harrison urges any Stadia users to finish their games before the plug gets pulled.
Afterwards, Harrison writes that all users will see refunds in the following days. Refunds will cover Stadia hardware, as well as games and DLC. It also doesn’t appear you’ll need to return any hardware to receive a refund for your purchase.
“We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store,” Harrison writes. “Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions. We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023.”
In July, swirling rumors claimed that Google was shutting down Stadia. Those rumors were denied by its official Twitter account. However, there were already growing reasons for concern over Stadia’s life. Ahead of the reply, then-Stadia VP and head of product, John Justice, departed the company. Google had also shut down internal game development in February 2021, even after it acquired the former producer of Assassin’s Creed, Jade Raymond.
The company had attempted to bolster its offerings. In 2020, Stadia included a Ubisoft-plus premium subscription service. According to reporter Jason Schreier, Google had spent “tens of millions of dollars PER GAME for Red Dead 2, Assassin’s Creed, etc.”
Clearly, this wasn’t enough to attract players to the flailing service. Stadia will join its siblings in the long list of products ended by Google. Harrison also wrote that many members of the Stadia team will be routed to “other parts of the company.” Hopefully they will find better success in other Google projects.
“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,” Harrison wrote. “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.”