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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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F.Ultra 30 Sep
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Quoting: Purple Library GuyReally, it's amazing Google make so much money, because they are obviously pretty terrible at business. Decent at technology, but terrible at business. I guess they just were the people with the right piece of internet tech in the right place at the right time, and it doesn't matter how many other mistakes they make as long as they keep that stranglehold on search + ads.

It's kind of comforting actually, because they clearly jettisoned "don't be evil" a long time ago and want to be bastards like Facebook or early Microsoft, so if they're going to be like that I'm glad they're pretty crap at it.

Or they are actually good at business, just specifically at the search+ads business, then you add in that they make so much money on that one business that people around them constantly tell them how good they are so you start to think that you can take on any other business, and when that fails it's not because you failed (obviously since every one tells you how good you are at your business) but due to some other external factor.

I see this all the time where successful people tries to go into a completely new venture with the "how hard can it be" attitude only to find out that the answer was "more than you thought". This is probably also why most companies survives one major change in their market, but you seldom see any one survive two major changes in the market.

One locally classic example is Facit (Swedish company that could have matched IBM if things hadn't gone to shit) who had a large business in the 1930:ies with office machines such as calculators and type writers (just like IBM), in the 60:ies they even started to build main frames (11 in total if I'm not mistaken) so they both saw the future being the computer, had the money and the experts in house, yet they where basically killed over night in 1971 when the Japanese started to make electronic calculators and Facit was still selling their mechanical ones. And since they had expertise knowledgeable enough to build mainframes they obviously could have built electronic calculators, but they never did.

This is why this business theory is called the Facit trap (Facitfällan) here in Sweden. Not 100% compatible with Google since they are not experiencing a technology shift, but I think that it's the same mechanisms that explains why they keep on failing in their new businesses.

The obvious solution would have been to invest in some smaller existing game streaming service and just support them with money and resources but keep it as a separately managed entity, but they never do.
Mohandevir 30 Sep
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: KlaasBut it requires a lot more power everywhere else, so it should be avoided at all costs.
It's a nice way to think, but like people who argue against capitalistic ways all the time, it's just not grounded in the reality of how we all live our lives. Should I care about how much energy servers on everything I use cost the planet? Yes. Do I? Not really, I'm just trying to survive and keep costs low like everyone else.

Everytime I read this kind of argument, I'm wondering if the environmental impact of the over the seas shipments of the new devices is taken into account... I guenuinely don't know, but I'm wondering if a few shipments to the likes of google, for their servers with the streaming impact is much worse than 25+ millions of units of consoles or pc being shipped to 25+ millions of different adresses, on huge ocean liners/trucks/airplanes that burns lots of unecological fuel... I'm guenuinely curious.

I don't know... but the 25+ million people will still need a device to access their games either way. Maybe less often, though.

Not if you already have the device, because it runs on a potato. Yes there will be new devices to be bought, but streaming will lengthen your device's lifespan, thus less shipments required.

And think about electronics... Even more obvious with DIY PCs... Parts rarely comes from one place... I don't know. I'm wondering.

Edit1: Seriously, let's pretend we are in a 100% streaming world (absolutely not a wish; I like local gaming too much)... I'm probably still running my old i7-3770 from 2012. No Graphics card, one less shipment.

Edit2: And now, I'm thinking about all the upgrades I wouldn't have bought afterward... That much less shipments... Yikes!

Edit3: x25 million users? And one device for all services? No need for a Playstation and/or Xbox and/or Steam Deck and/or PC and/or Nvidia Shield, etc... One device that does it all in the form factor that you prefer? Think about all the shipments that gets avoided... Ok. It's highly theoric, but see where it could lead us?
Yeah, except in a real streaming-only world, since there would be no alternative to the streaming services, and there would be only a few of them, they would cut anti-competitive deals with each other and all start mandating the hardware you use, so you'd have various incompatible-with-each-other consoles all over again that you'd have to spend money on . . . not because there was any valid technical reason for it, but because they could.


Not sure about that. Your reasoning revolves around an hardware centric business... Cloud gaming is a SaaS. What hardware you use, they don't really care. What they care about is the subscriptions and the services you pay for. In many cases, those that supply cloud services don't even supply the hardware. Why would they bother? If what you say is true, I wouldn't be able to use GeForce Now on the same device as Stadia. Sony wouldn't have put their games on PC. There is a paradigm shift caused by SaaS.

Edit: What you will definetly see, though, are exclusive games from service to service.

On top of that, I've always heard that Sony and Microsoft are selling their consoles at a loss, explaining the 30% cut in their stores... Don't you think they'd be happy to get rid of that? This and all the support tickets because of hardware failures? Think about it... I can stream my Steam games using the 60$ Steam Link hardware... My Chromecast with GoogleTV is able to do all that for 50$... Do you think there is a lot of money to be made in this market segment? What they want is sell games, not a piece of tech. The piece of tech they care about is on the server side, at this point.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 30 September 2022 at 7:17 pm UTC
Quoting: CringyBoi42069
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.

This is why I think every anti-cheat MP game should be cloud based. Leave that software trash off of my tech.
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

I spent $0.87 on Zombie Army 4: Dead War with their $10.00 coupon when it was on sale. Destiny 2 was free. Played Super Animal Royale for free too. Great gaming.
Quoting: Arcadius-8606
Quoting: CringyBoi42069
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.

This is why I think every anti-cheat MP game should be cloud based. Leave that software trash off of my tech.

Yeah. That would be interesting!

Split it a bit like Red Dead Redemption, that way they are effectively separate games:

Single Player = No invasive anti-cheat (who cares if someone cheats in single player?)
Multiplayer Components are then cloud streamed, this way cheating is simply not possible.

The major drawback here though would be ping-times and response times with the whole streaming connection going on. All players would have to have pretty good connections to maintain an enjoyable experience in multiplayer.

To build the game from the ground up with this in mind could work well but to try to bootstrap it into an existing game could be difficult.

But then this would benefit customers, and we know how some gaming companies like EPIC would hate that
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: Mohandevir
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: KlaasBut it requires a lot more power everywhere else, so it should be avoided at all costs.
It's a nice way to think, but like people who argue against capitalistic ways all the time, it's just not grounded in the reality of how we all live our lives. Should I care about how much energy servers on everything I use cost the planet? Yes. Do I? Not really, I'm just trying to survive and keep costs low like everyone else.

Everytime I read this kind of argument, I'm wondering if the environmental impact of the over the seas shipments of the new devices is taken into account... I guenuinely don't know, but I'm wondering if a few shipments to the likes of google, for their servers with the streaming impact is much worse than 25+ millions of units of consoles or pc being shipped to 25+ millions of different adresses, on huge ocean liners/trucks/airplanes that burns lots of unecological fuel... I'm guenuinely curious.

I don't know... but the 25+ million people will still need a device to access their games either way. Maybe less often, though.

Not if you already have the device, because it runs on a potato. Yes there will be new devices to be bought, but streaming will lengthen your device's lifespan, thus less shipments required.

And think about electronics... Even more obvious with DIY PCs... Parts rarely comes from one place... I don't know. I'm wondering.

Edit1: Seriously, let's pretend we are in a 100% streaming world (absolutely not a wish; I like local gaming too much)... I'm probably still running my old i7-3770 from 2012. No Graphics card, one less shipment.

Edit2: And now, I'm thinking about all the upgrades I wouldn't have bought afterward... That much less shipments... Yikes!

Edit3: x25 million users? And one device for all services? No need for a Playstation and/or Xbox and/or Steam Deck and/or PC and/or Nvidia Shield, etc... One device that does it all in the form factor that you prefer? Think about all the shipments that gets avoided... Ok. It's highly theoric, but see where it could lead us?
Yeah, except in a real streaming-only world, since there would be no alternative to the streaming services, and there would be only a few of them, they would cut anti-competitive deals with each other and all start mandating the hardware you use, so you'd have various incompatible-with-each-other consoles all over again that you'd have to spend money on . . . not because there was any valid technical reason for it, but because they could.


Not sure about that. Your reasoning revolves around an hardware centric business... Cloud gaming is a SaaS. What hardware you use, they don't really care. What they care about is the subscriptions and the services you pay for. In many cases, those that supply cloud services don't even supply the hardware. Why would they bother? If what you say is true, I wouldn't be able to use GeForce Now on the same device as Stadia. Sony wouldn't have put their games on PC. There is a paradigm shift caused by SaaS.

Edit: What you will definetly see, though, are exclusive games from service to service.

On top of that, I've always heard that Sony and Microsoft are selling their consoles at a loss, explaining the 30% cut in their stores... Don't you think they'd be happy to get rid of that? This and all the support tickets because of hardware failures? Think about it... I can stream my Steam games using the 60$ Steam Link hardware... My Chromecast with GoogleTV is able to do all that for 50$... Do you think there is a lot of money to be made in this market segment? What they want is sell games, not a piece of tech. The piece of tech they care about is on the server side, at this point.
Point. Nonetheless, I think we can be pretty sure they'd come up with some way to end up costing consumers as much as before, or more because the market would be more concentrated.
The main point here is what will happen with all those Linux ports

Will publishers adapt the ports for Steamdeck or just drop all the job to the recycle bin?
Quoting: Comandante ÑoñardoThe main point here is what will happen with all those Linux ports

Will publishers adapt the ports for Steamdeck or just drop all the job to the recycle bin?
They didn't adapt ports for Linux / Steam Deck before, they obviously won't now.
Marlock 1 Oct
Quoting: trumanmothI 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.
You can edit steam achievements with this tool:

SAM - Steam Achievement Manager
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2020/05/steam-achivement-manager-samrewritten-has-a-new-release

Technically cheating, but also technically not since you did earn them somewhere
Marlock 1 Oct
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: Purple Library GuyPeople didn't actually have to pay a monthly fee for Stadia; it's just Google's terrible marketing made it look like they did.

google or a bunch of influencers who lied?
All I know is what I read here, and back when it was significant news Liam regularly noted both (a) that the actual deal did not require subscription, and (b) that figuring this out from anything Google were saying was nigh impossible. He opined repeatedly both that the service itself worked pretty well and was, all concerns about the fundamental nature of streaming game services aside, a decent offer, and that in his opinion Google were doing a perfectly pathetic job of selling it. Not just the bad messaging on subscription, but terrible ads and all kinds of stuff. I'm prepared to take his word.
really? i dont think it was that confusing.
instead of paying 400 dollars upfront for an ps4, and 400 dollars again for an ps4 pro, you pay just for the game, and a montly subscription if you want to play in 4k.
with 10 dollars per month, it would take 40 months to reach the price of an ps4, 3 years and 4 mounths is almost the entire generation.
and while you do that you get exclusive discounts and some games as part of the deal.
dont seems like a bad deal for me, unless they rise the price or shutdown the service and you lose your games without a refund, that is the part that google should make more clear.

google didnt fail to comunicate that as fair as i remember, but a lot of youtubers miss interpret and repeated what they understood.
Multiplayer on the PS4 and PS5 only works if you pay a monthly/yearly subscription to PSN, so Google's pricing is actually not far away from Sony's... but a console may keep running locally if the network goes down, can be hacked into keeping function after officially EOL (eg: I bought a Nintendo Wii after EOL and had a lot of fun transfering games from official media to an SD Card)

Google killed Stadia by not going into it whole-heartedly from the start, which immediately made everyone assume they'd eventually kill it. 50% typical Google Graveyard, 50% self-fulfilling profecy.


Last edited by Marlock on 1 October 2022 at 5:31 pm UTC
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