Stadia Is Done. Closing in January, But Google To Offer Refunds


The writing was on the wall. The voice of doom was slowly growing louder. Of course, the die-hard fans were decrying it all as fake news. But today, we know when the Stadia will die. We thought that Stadia would close by the end of Summer, but it turns out Google’s online-only video game streaming system will shutter for good on January 18th, 2023.

We came across the news thanks to Niche Gamer. So it’s not surprising that Google has chosen to shut the fledgling games streaming service down. What we did not expect, though, was for Stadia’s VP Phil Harrison to announce that Google would be issuing refunds. Customers who purchased Stadia’s hardware and content from the Stadia store will be issued refunds, according to a post on Google’s Blog.

We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start. We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store. Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions. We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023.

Harrison, also Stadia’s General Manager, admits that the service/system didn’t gain the “traction” Google had expected, which appears to be the reason for the closure. Having Stadia myself, I can say that it was the least reliable of the current streaming services out there. Amazon’s Luna and Microsoft’s Cloud Gaming alternatives managed to run circles around the Stadia from my first-hand experience. Even with the dongle plugged directly into the modem, the Stadia rarely delivered crisp visuals, and the input lag made playing competitive games far too frustrating.

It’s not unusual for Google to kill a project after putting what appears to me at least very little effort into promoting or improving the service or piece of technology. At least, being a YouTube Premium member, I got my Stadia for free. Yeah, they were practically giving these things away not too long ago. That’s always a bad sign.

I am happy to hear that everyone should get their money back, but it is a cautionary tale. Having physical media is always better than relying on a faceless company’s servers.

[Source: Niche Gamer] [Source: Google]

Mike Phalin

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