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.