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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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trumanmoth 29 Sep
I have successfully transferred save data (at least for Octopath Traveler) by exporting from Google Takeout, downloading to my Steam Deck and renaming the save files to match the local file names. Achievements are lost, but at least 60hrs of progress isn’t.
Lofty 29 Sep
With Google stadia they wanted to become barons of gaming. Rent your games forever and own nothing, kick you out and lose everything when you cant afford the admission fee or have opinions they don't like.

Glad it's finally gone. And if the financially successful Steam Deck is proving anything, it's that people actually like to OWN PHYSICAL THINGS they can touch.


Last edited by Lofty on 11 October 2022 at 3:11 pm UTC
elmapul 29 Sep
so what happens to exclusives like guilty?
ShabbyX 29 Sep
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.

I hope you do realize that a lot of Stadia people worked on Vulkan tools, or funding for such work was provided by Stadia.

You may not care about Stadia itself, but this is terrible news for Vulkan.
Oh no all three people that thought it was gonna take off are gonna be devisated still they will get that one game back they bought when it launched

I am guessing those people also thought onlive was the future


Last edited by Whitewolfe80 on 29 September 2022 at 10:10 pm UTC
pb 29 Sep
I got to play games like *and* get a refund afterwards? How not to love Stadia, really?
There's also a TAKEAWAY option to download your saves and (hopefully) use them in the versions purchased from steam etc. Won't always work (I don't have much hopes for Hitman 3 as it uses online sync and cross-platform is not supported), but Cyberpunk should work and many others as well. It's bittersweet as I liked Stadia but it is what it is.

PS. I've actually been using more stadia than ever recently, thanks to a free month of Ubisoft+, playing Far Cry 6. I don't know how well it runs on Linux otherwise and I'm glad I didn't have to find out, on Stadia it runs perfect, and I'll miss that.


Last edited by pb on 29 September 2022 at 10:18 pm UTC
Quoting: pbI got to play games like *and* get a refund afterwards? How not to love Stadia, really?
There's also a TAKEAWAY option to download your saves and (hopefully) use them in the versions purchased from steam etc. Won't always work (I don't have much hopes for Hitman 3 as it uses online sync and cross-platform is not supported), but Cyberpunk should work and many others as well. It's bittersweet as I liked Stadia but it is what it is.

Okay help me out here not being douchy why did you like a service where you have to pay to get the hardware pay to be a member then actually buy the game with craptastic prices
pb 29 Sep
Quoting: Whitewolfe80Okay help me out here not being douchy why did you like a service where you have to pay to get the hardware pay to be a member then actually buy the game with craptastic prices

Oh wow, so many misconceptions here!

1. I didn't have to pay for the hardware, I play it in Chrome browser. Keyboard+mouse or any controller. I have also configured it on SteamDeck and it works seamlessly.

2. I didn't have to pay for the subscription. I could play all the games I purchased and then some free ones like Destiny 2. I could also subscribe to get 4k and whatnot, plus lots of free games. But since I prefer a certain set of games and don't really play on a 4k tv, it didn't appeal to me

3. If you treat it as just another platform, it's obvious that you need to buy games to play on it. That said, I mostly bought games that I did not have on other platforms and/or were not released on Steam, so I wasn't doublespending.

4. What about the prices? The games went for pennies on sales, you can check the price history here: https://stadiadb.app/ (bad interface, but hopefully doable) and there were even deeper discounts for pro members. Anecdotally, when Stadia launched I got a free month of Pro which also gave me a $10 dollar coupon and at the same time they had Borderlands 3 Ultimate for $10,49 or something like that, so I got it basically for free. To keep.
lectrode 29 Sep
That's a shame. I never used it myself, as I stick to games I can run directly on Linux, but stadia has definitely been a help when easing the transition from windows to linux when the game they wanted wasn't playable directly on linux.

Specifically crap games like destiny 2 that they just can't live without because their friends play it. IMHO they need new friends, but that's a hard sell to anyone who tries to have a social life.
Quotebusiness model that Google had with you needing to buy full-price games was pretty much doomed.
The only thing wrong with the "business model" was that they completely failed to communicate what the buisness modal actually was.

Xbox Cloud and Luma require a subscription to use and you lose access to them completely if you ever cancel your subscription. Playstation Plus requires to to pay a subscription and buy an expensive piece of hardware. Geforce Now requires you to pay a subscription and buy games individually.

Stadia gave you a choice: either subscribe and get games as part of a subscription (but lose them if you cancel your subscription), or buy games individually and never have to pay a subscription. But that didn't matter, because potential customers couldn't figure out what it actually required (many people mistakenly thought it required both individual purchases and subscriptions.)

For example, exhibit A:

Quoting: Whitewolfe80Okay help me out here not being douchy why did you like a service where you have to pay to get the hardware pay to be a member then actually buy the game with craptastic prices
None of those were true. You didn't need to pay for hardware, and you had to either pay a subscription or buy the game on it's own, not both.
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