Google's cloud streaming service Stadia was first revealed in 2019. It is the start of a new venture by Google to enter the videogame industry. Google has now announced that Stadia will be the latest in a long line of failed projects. On January 18, 2023, the service will be shut down.
Google has published the news via a blog post earlier today, in which Stadia vice-president and GM Phil Harrison explained.
"Several years ago, we launched Stadia, a streaming gaming service for consumers. However, the technology behind Stadia was strong and it hasn’t received the popularity we expected. We have made the hard decision to end our Stadia streaming service."
Google employees assigned to Stadia have been moved to other areas of the company in order to redistribute cloud streaming tech to sub-divisions like YouTube or Google Play.
Google Stadia customers will receive refunds, as explained in the FAQ article that was published with this blog post. The FAQ states that hardware purchases can be returned, but subscriptions to Google Stadia cannot.
We will offer refunds on all Stadia hardware purchases (Stadia Controller and Founders Edition, Premiere Edition and Play and Watch With Google TV packages), made through the Google Store and software transactions through the Stadia Store. Stadia Pro subscriptions cannot be returned, but you can continue to play your Stadia Pro games without additional charges until the end of the term.
This news comes after rumors that Google was planning to close Stadia last year, when it acknowledged that it had stopped first-party development for new games. John Justice, the company's VP and head for product development, had already left the company three months earlier. Later, concerns were allayed by a tweet that stated there was no such plan.Stadia will not be shutting down. We are always adding great games to Stadia Pro and the platform. If you have any other questions, please let us know.
-- Stadia (@GoogleStadia), July 29, 2022
Although we won't know the exact date Google considered closing Stadia, we do know that the tweet above has been around since today's announcement.