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Google Stadia shutting down in January and users are getting full refunds

After three years, Google Stadia is coming to an end. The Silicon Valley giant announced that the cloud-streaming platform will be going offline on January 18, 2023.

In a blog post published on Thursday, Phil Harrison, Stadia’s vice president and general manager, said the company made the difficult decision to shut down Stadia because the cloud-streaming service hasn’t “gained the traction with users” that it expected since its launch in 2019. This is despite the developed technology that allowed players to play demos from YouTube videos on their favorite games and then purchase them later, no console required.

“We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start,” Harrison said. “We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store. Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023, so they can complete final play sessions.”

Although Stadia is scheduled to be put to rest, a few pieces of its legacy will live on. Given the wide scope of the platform in terms of making game demos available to everyone, Harrison said that Google sees opportunities to apply some of Stadia’s technology in YouTube, Google Play, and the augmented reality department. The company also plans to make the technology available to its gaming industry partners, which Harrison said “aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed.”

Stadia’s demise shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, though the timing is notable. The news comes close to the announcement of the Logitech G Gaming Handheld and the Razer Edge 5G — both systems that will handle cloud gaming with untold bandwidth. Stadia’s shutdown signals that users may not be as excited about cloud gaming as manufacturers are.

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