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

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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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Grifter Sep 29, 2022
Quoting: CatKillerThey were all ported to Linux

How can we know this for sure? Is there actual evidence for this, or is it just implied, assumed, whispered about? Cause I've never seen any actual evidence of it, and definitely some indication to the contrary (there was something about borderlands3 I believe). Personally I just assume they were all mostly protoned. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, and for the results to end up on steam though.
Termy Sep 29, 2022
As Stadia being Linux based didn't yield the hoped for increase in (released) native versions, it's not much of a loss in my book tbh. But i must say - it's a nice move to refund everything!
fireplace Sep 29, 2022
Sad, they were pushing Vulkan.
F.Ultra Sep 29, 2022
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Quoting: BlackBloodRum
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...)

The age old "how hard can it be". Well quite often: much.
ertuqueque Sep 29, 2022
I'm actually happy Stadia is dead... The whole concept of streaming games is inherently discriminatory to the majority of the world, which doesn't have good Internet connection. At least 2 entire continents are out of this business because of this.

Also, the idea of paying for a videogame that after some time is not going to be available... nope, not for me. That's another reason why I don't like Netflix and all these streaming services. I want to HAVE what I pay for, locally.

Hopefully, the business of truly owning what you pay for is coming back in the future.
jrt Sep 29, 2022
I told u so!

Btw @Liam you might want to add a notice that you can rescue most of the savegames via Google takeout: takeout.google.com

Some savegames will be incompatible because (Stadia exclusive) Linux versions vs. Windows builds, but most will probably work fine.
StalePopcorn Sep 29, 2022
"Google pull the plug on Stadia—no one surprised, except that it wasn't done sooner, news at 11!"
Samsai Sep 29, 2022
So long, hope we never meet again!
BlackBloodRum Sep 29, 2022
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Quoting: F.UltraThe age old "how hard can it be". Well quite often: much.

I think a lot of modern game stores felt that in particular against Steam "How hard could it be knock Valve out the way and bring the money to us instead?"

You only have to look at the numbers to see the answer to that....

If there's one thing you can say about the majority of Steam users; they'll prefer to buy there games on steam, every time instead of using another store and they'll get angry when you say "This game is exclusive to our store now and not on steam!".

or my favourite: "We're pulling all our current and future games off of steam! You must use <store name> instead from now on!"

Though with that said, many steam users might use other stores to buy.. steam activation keys.

In my view Valve have earned this right though, they've done a ton of stuff that benefits gamers in many ways, while keeping the store's own in-house DRM relatively lightweight (in comparison to other game stores, not about what third party DRM games can additionally add, just talking about the standard SteamAPI DRM)

Other examples:
"How hard could it be to get people to ditch their iPods for our Zunes?" - Microsoft
"How hard could it be to get people to use Windows Phone instead of iPhone?" - Microsoft
"How hard could it be to build our own facebook?" - Google (G+)


But it's just business. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

And human nature plays a part, once someone has a favourite it's hard to get them to change their minds. Some people can even become blinkered for their favourite brands to the point of refusing to acknowledge or accept failings/shortcomings of their favourite brand.

Last edited by BlackBloodRum on 29 September 2022 at 8:33 pm UTC
KuJo Sep 29, 2022
Quoting: BlackBloodRumI wonder if they'll do real refunds to your bank account, or just give you credit to your google account so that you have to still use their services to use your refunds?
That would be okay for me. I get back about 280€. Could invest that in a Google Pixel 7, which I want to buy. :)
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