Google Stadia will close in 2023


Google Stadia controller on table macro

TL;DR

  • Google is shutting down Google Stadia.
  • You have until January 2023 to continue using the game streaming service.
  • The move isn’t surprising given the service’s low adoption rate and Google’s track record.

Today, Google announced what we all knew was coming: Google Stadia will soon be gone. The service will end on January 18, 2023. Until then, players can continue to have access to their games, but after that date the service will be closed.

The good news here is that Google will send refunds for literally everything:

We will refund all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, as well as all game and add-on purchases made through the Stadia storeā€¦ We expect the majority of refunds to be issued by mid-January 2023.

In other words, even if you only bought one game through Stadia, you should see a refund in early 2023. Players who went all-in on Stadia could get a pretty big refund.

In the blog post, Google also indicates that Stadia’s underlying technology will carry over into other Google products. In other words, the technology that allows you to stream high-resolution game content and interact with it with minimal latency may also apply to other Google services, such as YouTube, Google Play and future services that haven’t even launched yet.

So that’s the end of Google Stadia as a consumer product, but it wasn’t all for nothing.

Google Stadia: Yet another public beta?

This isn’t the first time Google has rushed into a product category with gusto, failed to gain traction immediately, and then retreated. Google Clips is a recent example of Google doing this and the various messaging platforms launched by Google over the years is another.

In the case of Stadia, however, it was particularly glaring. Stadia was shot down to replace mainstream gaming platforms like Steam, a monumental task that few could accomplish. Even though Stadia was never going to make it in its current state, Google was still trying to charge top dollar for hardware and games, thinking the very concept of game streaming was enough to attract gamers. Of course, gamers understood that, which is why Google is coming out right away and admitting that Stadia “didn’t gain the traction with users we expected” in its Stadia shutdown announcement.

Either way, Stadia will live on as a streaming technology in other apps. Google will also white label the technology and license it to other companies. At least Stadia die-hards will get all their money back and be able to say they were there.