Google is shutting down its cloud gaming service Stadia after 3 years of unsuccessful attempts to attract players. The servers will be live for players until January 18, 2023, and Google will refund all Stadia hardware purchased from the Google Store, as well as all games and additional content purchased from the Stadia Store. The Company expects this reimbursement to be completed in mid-January 2023.
Google management announced that it has decided to close service due to its low popularity. The company admitted that they never managed to attract a large audience to Stadia. One of the reasons that players and the media have repeatedly pointed out to Google is the lack of interesting games and exclusives.
Google plans to continue using Stadia technologies in its other products and services, and will also provide these technologies to partners.
The Google Stadia service was officially launched in selected countries on November 19, 2019 and has been actively developing for the first two years, hiring outstanding game designers and creating new studios. But, according to employees quoted by Bloomberg, Google did not understand the game business and were just wasting time and money. Therefore, from the beginning of 2021, the company began to curtail the development of its own games, closed the Stadia Games and Entertainment division and the Typhoon studio.
According to the The Verge, decision on the cancellation of the service was taken after the failed launch of Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia. Kotaku believes that the trigger was the announcement of the acquisition of ZeniMax Media by Microsoft.
A total of 281 games were released on Google Stadia. Almost all of them are available on any other platforms.