Google pulls the plug on its Stadia gaming service

30 Sep 2022

Image: © Eric BVD/

The cloud-based streaming service is shutting down in January due to lack of demand, but Google said the tech could be used for YouTube, Google Play and AR projects.

After nearly three years, Google is winding down its Stadia game streaming service.

The tech giant said the gaming service will remain active until 18 January 2023. Google plans to refund all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, along with all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store.

Stadia VP and general manager Phil Harrison said the decision was made due to a lack of demand for the service.

“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,” Harrison said in a blogpost yesterday (29 September)

Despite the shutdown, Harrison praised the technology behind Stadia and said it has been “proven at scale and transcends gaming”. He said the tech could be applied to other Google projects, such as YouTube, Google Play or the company’s AR efforts.

“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.

Google first revealed the cloud-based streaming service in March 2019, allowing gamers to play at 60 frames per second across multiple devices, without the need for a console.

Despite the initial hype, problems arose shortly after the service’s launch. Early into Stadia’s release, users expressed frustration about the lack of games available on the platform.

Google attempted to boost player numbers in 2020 by offering a free two-month trial of Stadia for anyone with a Gmail account in 14 countries.

Rumours spread last year that the service would shut down after Google closed its in-house Stadia game development studios.

When a Twitter user asked in July of this year if the service would shut down, Stadia responded that it wasn’t shutting and that it was “working on bringing more great games to the platform”.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic