Google shutting down Stadia video game streaming service; Best Google Stadia alternatives
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After a three-year struggle, Google has decided to wind down the operations of its Stadia video game streaming service. The consumer gaming outlet launched in the fall of 2019 amid fanfare, but its VP and GM, Phil Harrison, conceded in a blog post that “it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected.”

Harrison argued that Google remains a stakeholder in gaming, though primarily as an enabler of game players and creators via YouTube and Google Play. The executive thanked “the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start.”

He said the company would refund all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store.

Players can access their games library and play through January 18, 2023. The company expects most refunds to be complete by mid-January 2023.

Stadia video game service

Google shutting down Stadia video game streaming service

The technology behind Stadia has been “proven at scale and transcends gaming,” Harrison wrote. The company intends to apply the technology to YouTube, Google Play, and augmented reality initiatives. It could also make it available to other companies.

Harison said that “while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation,” the product did not gain sufficient traction with users as had been expected.

“We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators,” Harrison added.

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Many Stadia workers will be reassigned to roles elsewhere at Google, according to the blog post.

Last year, Google said it would stop internal development of games for Stadia, making it entirely dependent on titles from other game developers and publishers.

Gaming companies are facing a slowdown in demand for video games from pandemic highs. The near-term prospects for Stadia also looked dim as high inflation has caused some consumers to reduce their spending on entertainment.

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VB Reporter

Staff news writer for The Venture Brat