Google conceded defeat in its attempt to grab a slice of the consumer cloud gaming sector with Stadia, announcing it would stop supporting the troubled service in January 2023, and provide refunds for hardware and software.
In a statement, Google explained although it believed the game streaming platform was built on a strong technology foundation, it had failed to gain the expected traction with users.
Despite the failure of its own service, Google pointed to the success of its other investments for the gaming industry, including helping developers distribute games for Android devices and its cloud infrastructure used by third parties.
It intends to use the technology platform developed for Stadia in other parts of the business including YouTube and AR offerings, along with opening it up for other industry players.
“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,” Google VP and GM for Stadia Phil Harrison said.
The technology giant launched Stadia in 2019 alongside claims its cloud-based streaming service would “free players from the limitations of traditional consoles and PCs”. In addition to games, it sold a controller for use with the system.
Users will be able to access their games library until mid-January 2023. Google anticipates by then most refunds, which are being given for hardware and software bought through its channels, will have also been completed.