After months of rumors and denials, Google is officially “winding down” its Stadia game service.
Google launched Stadia in 2019 with lofty aspirations that were never realized. In late July, rumors surfaced that Google was planning on shuttering the service toward the end of summer. Google quickly denied the rumor, even poking fun at the source of the rumor.
Despite the denials, Google announced it is shutting Stadia down. Phil Harrison, Stadia Vice President and General Manager broke the news in a blog post.
A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia. And while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.
Harrison says the service will remain active through January 18, 2023, to give players time to finish their open games. That will also give Google time to issue refunds to eligible players.
In the meantime, Google plans to use the technologies that helped create Stadia across other platforms and services.
The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. We see clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts — as well as make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed. We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators.
Whatever the reason for Stadia’s cancellation, it isn’t going to help Google’s overall image. The company is known for launching and then unceremoniously killing off dozens of products. The company’s reputation for abandoning products is so well-established that it recently had to work to convince its cloud customers that it could be depended on long-term.
With yet another terminated product, it leaves one to wonder if Google is failing to properly investigate markets before deciding to enter them, or simply lacks the commitment to see an investment through.