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Google gives up on Stadia, will offer refunds on games and hardware

By - | Views: 42,246

As expected for some time now, Google has decided to call it quits on their cloud gaming service Stadia. This was announced in a blog post today.

Written up by Phil Harrison, the Vice President and General Manager at Stadia, the post mentions how "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".

The wildest part about this, is that they're going to be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the main Google Store and they will also be refunding all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store. Harrison said they expect to have finished up the majority of refunds by Mid-January, 2023. They will not be refunding any Stadia Pro subscriptions though, only the full purchases. More info on the process here but it seems like it's not ready yet.

Players will still be able to access and play games on Stadia through until January 18, 2023.

In the post Harrison mention how the "underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming" and they see "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" so it seems they will continue to offer it to others to use.

This is a pretty huge defeat for Google to give up and refund wholly like this. With the likes of GeForce NOW, Xbox Cloud and Amazon Luna — the business model that Google had with you needing to buy full-price games was pretty much doomed.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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ridge 29 Sep, 2022
My condolences to the developers who had to spend all their money and effort, on bringing their games to this platform which was slated to die after four years just like most Google products. Really really sucks for them honestly.
CringyBoi42069 29 Sep, 2022
Quoting: MrowlAnd to think Bungie brought Destiny to Stadia, but won't allow Deck users to play it, via Steam OS.
The problem is the anti cheat and because Stadia was cloud based anti cheat was not needed.
Kimyrielle 29 Sep, 2022
Good riddance. Yet another dead product that (almost) nobody asked for, and that got hyped as the future of all things when it clearly wasn't.
NotSoQT 29 Sep, 2022
And Stadia finally joins killedbygoogle.com!

Answering myself, it took about 2 years, 3 months, and 16 days.
BlackBloodRum 29 Sep, 2022
Quoting: Klaas
Quoting: kuhpunktheld seminars
If I recall correctly, they claimed that they were cleverer than the wine developers because they needed so much time.

Anyhow, I'm glad that this scheme is dead.
Sadly, a lot of the large proprietary businesses think like this. It's not overly uncommon for a large business to claim "our product is much better than any free version you can get, it works better yadda yadda".

When they do release the product it can be either:
- Very limited in features
- Buggy / has lots of problems
- Just generally not very good
- Sometimes, rarely, actually a good product

(I'm biased...)
1xok 29 Sep, 2022
They had lost me when they discontinued support for mouse and keyboard.
Kithop 29 Sep, 2022
The saddest part about all of this, to me, was that I don't think it was a technical failing, but a business one.

Sure, I definitely lumped this in with the 'yeah, it's "gaming on Linux" the same way that a PlayStation is "gaming on BSD" or even Android is Linux' - i.e., completely irrelevant except to us nerds who are interested in the inner workings of this sort of thing. But it says a lot when a company like Microsoft can come in and basically eat their lunch with Game Pass. Yes, it's not every game on there, and yes, it's not specifically meant for games in your library, more akin to a Netflix-style subscription where games rotate in and out, but they bolstered it with buying up a bunch of studios and then putting their stuff on 'permanently' - the huge swath of Bethesda and id stuff, potentially Activision/Blizzard if they get their way, etc., without having to re-buy each individual game at full price.

If you want to run a subscription game service, run a subscription service.

If you want to sell games at full price, sell at full price.

But don't double-dip - consumers are wise to that kind of greed, as evidenced here.

In typical Google fashion, you get amazing engineers and minds working on the technical aspects - I'm sure the underlying tech here is nothing short of outstanding - but the beauty of Microsoft's approach, by contrast, is they understand the business side. Reaching out to game publishers, offering them deals to have their games on Game Pass for a set period of time. Sweetening the deal with little addons in their Perks menu (same as Amazon with Twitch Prime). In a world with so many big companies vying for your attention and money, taking a relatively hands off 'build it and they will come' approach like Google did with Stadia just isn't going to cut it.

I'd love to see them open source some of the workings of their stack once it's shut down, but I'm not holding my breath...

...and in the meantime, Valve keeps trucking away delivering real, solid improvements to the gaming experience on Linux with developers working on GPU drivers, in the kernel, on Wine / Proton, and, y'know... releasing the Steam Deck. That's worth spending my hard-earned money on. Stadia... wasn't.
jayc 29 Sep, 2022
I make codyogden, the guy that runs https://killedbygoogle.com/, words mine, lmfao :D
Reference https://github.com/codyogden/killedbygoogle/pull/1287

I kind of hope that Google proved me wrong because it would be a sign of Google improving but since they are still rich, no one cares to course correct.
Mohandevir 29 Sep, 2022
Quoting: KithopThat's worth spending my hard-earned money on. Stadia... wasn't.

And in the end, it won't cost anything to the users who bought games and controllers from Google. I seriously enjoyed using Stadia. Performance and UI wise, It was the most fluid service offering. It was like a real cloud console. Not some patched PC in the cloud with all the UI awkwardness that comes from using a desktop OS in the background. UPlay or EGS games on GeForce Now (Android TV devices) makes you search for a keyboard, more often than not.

This said, I backed out at the minute they shut down SG&E. They spelled Stadia's doom at this precise moment, showing everyone they didn't care enough or didn't know what they were doing in the gaming industry.
gabber 29 Sep, 2022
Good riddance overhyped DRM monster.
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