This name may not mean anything to you and yet Stadia corresponds to one of the products of the multinational Google. This is the brand dedicated to cloud gaming. Launched a little less than three years ago, it will soon disappear from the surface of the Earth. While many people announced his death for several months, it is now recorded: Google Stadia will permanently close its doors in January 2023.
Stadia: a story that began at the end of 2019
Almost six months before the launch of the platform, Google gave details on its service which seemed downright nice. Players just needed an internet connection, a controller and a screen to play. This then meant the possibility of being able to enjoy all the titles offered from anywhere.
The service was launched in November 2019 with possible access from a TV equipped with a Chromecast or a compatible smartphone. Google offered two different plans – one free and one paid – and said it had worked on a roadmap of more than 400 games.
Despite the technology used, the launch offers, the promotions, the games offered to Stadia Pro subscribers, this was not enough. For some time now, Stadia has also offered access to free games and playable demos (even without a Stadia Pro account).
Having tried the platform, I admit that I am disgusted. As indicated by Google, access to games is instantaneous, at least if you have a good connection. In addition, we could play it – we still can for the moment – with a controller other than the official one, whether wired or Bluetooth. On the other hand, it is true that the number of titles offered is low and that the prices are a little high when you are not a Stadia Pro subscriber.
If you are sad and even if you think that this will not change anything in this decision, you can always sign the petition circulating on the web.
An end confirmed by Google
An announcement dated September 29
The official announcement came on September 29. Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager of Google published a message on the Google blog. I invite you to read it, but in summary, Google is ending Stadia. The reason put forward is the lack of support from users. There are probably a whole host of reasons for this decision, but it is likely that the number of users and subscribers were among the indicators followed very closely by Google’s management.
To take the pill – although I’m not sure that’s enough, lcompany agrees to refund all purchases made on the Stadia storewhether it is hardware (controllers for example), games or content for the latter.
However, players will be able to continue enjoying this platform for a few more weeks. Everything will stop for good on January 18, 2023. As for refunds, the majority of them will be made by mid-January 2023.
The technology used for Stadia is not thrown away. In his press release, the DG states that the latter can be made available to industry partners and possibly be used in other areas of Google (YouTube, Google Play, AR).
Some warning signs
Closure of the Stadia Games & Entertainment studio
For many months, we read here and there on the web that Stadia was going to disappear. Nevertheless, the service continued to exist, or rather to survive. Indeed, despite Google’s statements indicating that the service was still there, a few changes hinted at a less optimistic turn than we were led to believe.
For example, at the start of 2021, Google has decided to close its “Stadia Games & Entertainment” development offices. This probably put a halt to the development of the platform. Indeed, Google could then only rely on titles from third-party developers. It could have worked. Moreover, Phil Harrison was still confident about the future of Stadia. The concern is that the platform was already suffering from a very limited catalog. This is a point that I often raised when I talked about Stadia.
Stadia almost disappears from the Google store
Finally, more recently, the Google store has moved the gaming part to second place. For more than two years, it was easy to access Stadia products from the American company’s online store. The Stadia brand appeared on the same level as other products. You could then buy one of the controllers or a pack consisting of a controller and a Chromecast very easily.
Recently, Google made the decision to move gaming to second place. You now have to go to the menu, select “Connected Home” then “Video Games” before you can find the term “Stadia”. It is then a question of gaming platform, “unique way to play” or “instant access”. All this is very true, but it will soon be removed from the store.
I hope this is just a goodbye and that we get to see this technology again soon. Regarding the players, I invite you to see what the competition is doing even if the offers are a little different. There is, for example, Shadow, GeForce Now or solutions from Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox.