Key points:

  • The long-anticipated announcement has been made. Google Stadia will shut down in January 2023
  • Google made the announcement just under three years after launching the cloud gaming service
  • Cost-cutting and bleak demand for customers are two key reasons Google Stadia will shut down in January 2023

The news is here (finally). Google has drawn the curtains on its cloud gaming service, Stadia. The announcement by Google states that the service will continue until 18th January 2023. 

Stadia customers need not worry as Google will refund every piece of hardware purchased via the Google Store and add-on content bought from Stadia’s store. All the refunds are likely to be completed by mid-January next year. 

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What led to Stadia’s downfall?

When a new movie or a web series is released, aren’t we all eager to find out what its IMDb rating is before we indulge? Similarly, gamers typically wait for reviews and post-launch feedback before they purchase gaming hardware. Three years after its launch, it appears that Google Stadia was a bad investment and a disappointing experience for thousands of gamers worldwide. 

Stadia did not have the spark right from the offset. It failed to mesmerize customers due to several reasons including poor quality games along with connectivity and input lag issues. Besides, Google also failed to justify the incredibly high subscription fee for a product that has not proved itself in the market.  

What could Google do to mend things? Ideally, Google could turn things around by making infrastructure improvements and making Stadia more accessible to users worldwide. One of the main reasons Stadia received so much flak from users was the never-ending technical problems. In addition, many nations lack the infrastructure to support devices including Stadia. 

Lacklustre customer demand thwarts Google Stadia’s aspirations – what next?

Phil Harrison, GM and vice president said that although Stadia was created on a strong technology foundation, it did not generate the expected levels of curiosity from consumers. Therefore Google has decided to shut down Stadia in January next year. He further added that all Stadia employees will be retained and distributed to other departments of the company. 

Harrison also states that despite Stadia’s failure, there is a lot to learn from this episode. He says that Stadia’s technology can be utilized in other parts of Google including Google Play, YouTube, and its augmented reality (AR) projects. He believes that Stadia’s technology will remain critical in fulfilling the future requirements of the gaming sector. 

Google Stadia will shut down, but what about refunds?

After the Stadia debacle, Google is doing its best to ensure that every user gets a refund on time. Besides, there is no need to return the hardware to the company. 

However, you won’t be charged during the closure period and can still access any games you might have redeemed as a Pro user until everything is shut down. Stadia Pro subscriptions are not eligible for a refund. You can no longer purchase games or use in-game currency because Google shut down the Stadia marketplace.

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Feature Image Source: Photo by Marco Verch used under the license Creative Commons 2.0