Google’s big gaming platform bet hasn’t paid off, with customers being refunded and the service closing in January 2023.
Google Stadia. On paper, a potentially revolutionary game service that threatened entrenched industry leaders, but in reality, over three years it barely scratched the surface.
As is a tradition for the Mountain View-based search engine and mobile operating system giant, if things don’t trend in a positive direction quickly, there’s an instant axe.
Within 24 hours of the platform’s closure, the online store to purchase games for the streaming service is shuttered.
“For many years, Google has invested across multiple aspects of the gaming industry. We help developers build and distribute gaming apps on Google Play and Google Play Games. Gaming creators are reaching audiences around the world on YouTube through videos, live streaming and Shorts. And our cloud streaming technology delivers immersive gameplay at massive scale,” read a statement.
“A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia. And while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, 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 service will no longer be functional for those who did buy games, or added to their library via the Stadia Pro subscription service, on 18th January 2023.
The service acted like a traditional video game store, with users signing up for an account – or using an existing Google account – to purchase contemporary games. However, instead of downloading, the gameplay was streamed via the internet, with the promise of patches installed at Google’s end and not the player’s.
In a bold move, those who purchased games or the Stadia Controller will be receiving a refund. The company was present even as recently as Gamescom in August trying to lure developers to the service.
Some of the racing titles available included 2019’s GRID reboot, Monster Jam Steel Titans 2, MotoGP 21 and Wreckfest. Hot Wheels Unleashed’s Game of the Year Edition was added to the Pro tier as recently as this week. Trackmania was set to join in next year.