The End of Google’s Stadia

Cristian Garcia, Reporter

Stadia, Google’s video game streaming service, has announced it will shut down its servers by January 2023 due to lack of players.

The Stadia store has already been shut down, but players can still access their game library to continue playing until January. Google will issue refunds for every purchase for hardware and games made through Stadia.

Users gave Stadia negative feedback since its release, citing game lag and blurring from poor internet connection and initially lacking a search bar. Users also noticed Stadia had a smaller library of games than Xbox Cloud Gaming and Playstation Plus and lacked exclusive titles.

Stadia was unique compared to other game streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Playstation Plus in that it had the option to buy games from its store in order to stream them, along with a selection of free-to-play games, where Playstation and Xbox required a subscription to access its library of games. Stadia does not need a renewed subscription to stream your already purchased games on Stadia.

Stadia does however offer a subscription called “Stadia Pro,” which gives you access to play your games at 4k HDR. The subscription would also offer to make certain games free or exclusive discount every month, but the Stadia Pro free games are not accessible when the subscription expires.

Stadia, similar to Xbox Cloud Gaming, was made to be compatible with mobile phones such as iphones and androids, also on any home computer or laptop with internet access. This range of accessibility makes it easier for gamers that want to play almost anywhere. Playstation Plus does not have this feature as it only operates on a Playstation 4, 5 and a PC with the Playstation Plus app.

Game developers such as Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft are offering players who bought their titles from the Stadia store the ability to transfer their game data to other platforms before Stadia shuts down. Rockstar Games, however, has not announced if they will allow game data transfer for Red Dead Online players who use Stadia.

Google’s own cloud game-streaming service had potential, but even with its perks, Stadia wasn’t successful enough for their continued investment. Stadia only had 2 million users as of February 2022, compared to Playstation Plus’ 47.3 million users and Xbox Game Pass’ more than 25 million users.

Google plans to use some of Stadia’s technology in some of the company’s other business areas but did not disclose which platforms or how it will be used.