Say goodbye to Stadia, Google’s gaming service

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3 years after its launch, Google has decided to kill its gaming service, Stadia, with its final day of operation being 18 January 2023.

Google launched Stadia in November 2019 with an aim to make gaming more convenient. They wanted to create a platform that ensured that gamers did not need to splurge on multiple consoles to access their favourite games. All they would need was a screen, whether that be a television, mobile phone, desktop, laptop or a tablet. It would all work with Stadia and anyone would be able to access any game they wanted.

Despite having high hopes for the service when it was launched, it just never took off like they expected.

Why? Mainly because it had too strong of competitors, like Geforce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming, in an industry that they were not very prominent in. They were the underdogs that did not have a persuasive enough package to lure consumers to them.

But more than just competition, some critics believe it is a matter of trust, especially among gamers. According to Devin Coldeway on TechCrunch, “no one trusts Google. It has exhibited such poor understanding of what people want, need and will pay for that at this point, people are wary of investing in even its more popular products.

“Stadia was doomed, pointless and destined for an undignified death.”

Ron Amadeo, a writer for Ars Technica, echoed similar sentiments in a tweet. 

But here’s the thing, Google will be refunding all Stadia hardware, game and add-on content purchases made through the Google and Stadia stores. That’s right. They are completely refunding every single cent you may have spent on the service. Crazy customer service; mad respect. They expect the majority of refunds to be completed by the final day of operation.

As much as this was not the result that he hoped for, Phil Harrison, the Vice President and General Manager of Stadia, said in a Google blog post: “We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start. 

“We’re so grateful for the groundbreaking work of the team and we look forward to continuing to have an impact across gaming and other industries using the foundational Stadia streaming technology.”

With the announcement of the shutdown being made on 29 September 2022, many have flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts and reactions.

For now, other gaming services continue to exist even as Google bows out. Was Stadia an experiment that went wrong, or does its ring the death knell for its competitors too?

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