Google suspends game service Stadia and offers refunds

Google has announced that it will shut down its gaming service, Google Stadia, on January 18, 2023.

The announcement was long overdue, as Stadia had failed to achieve any sort of mass adoption in the gaming community.

Google Stadia was a unique entry point to gaming, as it was a service built around streaming games through the Stadia platform without actually downloading the game in question. Users could access a library of games and play them instantly without waiting for a long download. However, due to the way data streaming works, players would often encounter lag spikes and hiccups in their experience.

“We are grateful to the dedicated Stadia players who have been with us from the start. We will refund all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia Store,” said Phil Harrison, Stadia general manager and vice president.

Google discussed the details of the shutdown and subsequent refunds in a Q&A, but did not provide details on the amount of money or the number of users that would be refunded.

The refunds are unexpected but welcome – Stadia was a gamble for many, as game streaming technology is still in its infancy.

However, the technology that made Stadia possible is not going to be thrown away. “We see clear opportunities to apply this technology in other parts of Google, such as YouTube, Google Play and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts – and to make it available to our industry partners as well, which aligns with where we look in the future. of gaming. at the head,” Harrison says.

Stadia was first announced in 2019 and launched in November of that year. Many of the core features people expect from a game console, such as High Dynamic Range (HDR), were missing at the console’s launch. In the beginning, the console was the only way to enjoy Stadia games, but after poor initial sales, Stadia was opened up to anyone with a Gmail account.

An internal Google game development studio closed in 2021, leading many to believe that Stadia was well on its way out the door. Stadia will be closed permanently on January 18, 2023, and Google also expects to have full refunds for all donors and customers by mid-January.

Written by Junior Miyai on behalf of GLHF.

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