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Google Is Shutting Down Stadia Games Service After It Failed to ‘Gain Traction’

Google Stadia
Courtesy of Google

After three years, Google Stadia is exiting the arena.

The internet search giant, which launched the streaming games service in November 2019, announced that Google Stadia will be winding down over the next few months. Players will continue to have access to their games library and be able to play through Jan. 18, 2023. Google said it will refund all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, as well as all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store.

While Stadia’s approach to streaming games “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,” Phil Harrison, VP and GM of Stadia, wrote in a blog post Thursday about the decision.

Even with the shutdown of Stadia, Google sees the opportunity to apply the underlying streaming technology that powered the service “across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts,” Harrison wrote. The company also plans to make the Stadia streaming tech available to industry partners, “which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed,” he added.

Many employees who have worked on Google Stadia “will be carrying this work forward in other parts of the company,” according to Harrison. “We’re so grateful for the groundbreaking work of the team and we look forward to continuing to have an impact across gaming and other industries using the foundational Stadia streaming technology.”

Stadia, which can stream video games to players in up to 4K resolution and support for HDR, has offered a catalog of nearly 300 games available via Chromecast devices, PCs, Android TVs and Android mobile phones. Titles on Stadia include “Cyberpunk 2077,” “Destiny 2,” “FIFA 22,” “Red Dead Redemption 2,” “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege,” “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, aka “PUBG.”

Google also sold a games controller for Stadia and offered Stadia Pro, a $9.99/month subscription service with perks including access to games for no extra charge, exclusive game discounts, and premium visual and audio quality.

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