Google plans to shut down its Stadia cloud gaming service in January, a little more than three years after it launched, citing lackluster customer demand.
Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager of Stadia, said in a blog post on Thursday that the consumer gaming service “hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected.”
Google plans to refund customers “all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia Store,” according to Harrison.
Google launched Stadia in 2019, making it one of several tech giants investing in the gaming market. Described by some at the time as the Netflix of gaming, Stadia allows users to stream and play games through smartphones, web browsers, and other devices using Google’s Chromecast streaming device. It provided a console-quality experience without the space-consuming hardware.
But there were earlier signs that Stadia was having trouble. Google said in 2021 that it would stop making video games for its Stadia platform. Some other tech companies have also had to rethink their gaming strategies. Facebook said last month that it would shut down its standalone gaming app this fall.
The move also comes as Google and other tech companies reconsider hiring and investments amid a market downturn and fears of an impending global recession.
Despite shutting down the service, Harrison said Google remains “deeply committed to gaming.” Google hopes to use some of the technology behind Stadia for other products, according to Harrison.
Players will continue to have access to their Stadia game library and will be able to play until January 18, 2023, “so they can complete final game sessions,” Harrison added. Most of the repayments are expected to be completed “by mid-January 2023,” he said, and additional details of this process will be available on his website. Help Center.