Google Stadia, its game streaming service, will end on January 18, 2023, the company has stated.

While customers will still be able to use the Stadia controller as a wired controller for PC games that aren’t on Google Stadia, gamers will no longer be able to access their Google Stadia game libraries by mid-January.

Fortunately, Phil Harrison, Google’s Vice President and General Manager of Stadia, announced in the company’s official blog post(opens in new tab) about the shutdown that the company will “refund all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store.”

In addition to releasing a page on its help center(opens in new tab) that addresses inquiries about how Stadia will operate in its last months as well as some specifics on the refund process, Google states that it anticipates having the “majority” of refunds finished by mid-January. Although complete information is still pending, Google has promised to release further specifics regarding how players may request refunds in the upcoming weeks.

An expected shutdown

In November 2019, Google Stadia launched in early access without many of the better features that had been promised in marketing materials for the service, which is a kind way to put it. The majority of its social and multiplayer functions, such as achievements, Crowd Play, which enables viewers to play alongside streams they are watching, and Family Sharing, which enables families to share games, were among these.

In spite of these obstacles, Google vowed to keep working on Stadia and turn it into a platform that gamers would adore as much as their console.

In addition, Google added many of the features that were lacking at the time of Stadia’s introduction. Additionally, it included a few platform-specific games and also brought third-party games to the Stadia catalog.

However, the advancements were never quite sufficient to match up with its competitors in the game streaming market, such as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Nvidia GeForce Now.

Google shut down its own game production facilities in February 2021, which was one of the earliest indications that Stadia was having trouble. According to Google(opens in new tab), the decision was made in order to free up resources so that the business could focus on developing the Google Stadia platform itself.

Currently, it appears like the entire platform is being shut down to make room for the remaining Google projects. However, it appears like Stadia will continue to exist in some capacity, since Phil Harrison claims in his blog post that the underlying technology of Stadia has obvious uses for YouTube, Google Play, and its developing augmented reality initiatives.

Although it’s unknown exactly what shape this technology will take, we do know that, as of January 18, 2023, it won’t be utilized to power Google’s cloud gaming platform.