Shocker: Google Is Shutting Down Stadia

Jay Peters and Alex Cranz, writing for The Verge:

Google is shutting down Stadia, its cloud gaming service. The service will remain live for players until January 18th, 2023. Google will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchased through the Google Store as well as all the games and add-on content purchased from the Stadia store. Google expects those refunds will be completed in mid-January.

“A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia,” Stadia vice president and GM Phil Harrison said in a blog post. “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.” Employees on the Stadia team will be distributed to other parts of the company.

A lot of the speculation around Stadia was focused on the technology — streaming. But put that aside, and what to me has seemed clear all along is that Google was never particularly invested in making Stadia a serious platform. If you’re committed to the platform, the underlying technology doesn’t matter.

And there’s a “Boy Who Cried Wolf” factor — except instead of a little boy who lacks credibility, it’s one of the five largest corporations in the world. When Google next launches a platform, how much does this affect their credibility? Frankly, their credibility was already shit on this front. Here’s Jason Scott tweeting back in November 2019 when Stadia launched:

To celebrate the official launch of Google Stadia (@GoogleStadia) tomorrow, I have created a single-purpose website: STADIACOUNTDOWN.COM. It is a countdown timer set for the average lifespan of any Google service/product, which is 4 years.

This “4 years” statistic comes from the Google Cemetery (, a maintained list of Google services and products that have shut down over the years, over 150 of them and counting (20+ have shut down in 2019 alone).

The joke’s on Scott, because Stadia Countdown still has 413 days remaining.

At this point you’d be a damn fool to get excited about a new Google platform and think, “This is something great that I’ll be able to count on.”

Friday, 30 September 2022