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Google steps away from cloud gaming by shutting Stadia

Google Stadia is no more, as the Search giant walks away from its cloud gaming service in favour of providing others with the streaming technology

Google Stadia cloud gaming controller against an orange and pink blocky background

Google is putting its cloud gaming platform out to pasture and shutting down Stadia at the start of 2023. Fortunately, you won’t be out of pocket if you’re a supporter, as Google says it’s committed to refunding all hardware and game purchases on the platform. Hopefully that lessens the sting a bit.

You’ll have access to your library until January 18, 2023, and then the Search giant is shutting the doors for good. Google expects that it’ll complete refunds for all things Stadia not long after.

It was never quite able to replace the best gaming PC, but Google Stadia was undoubtedly the grandfather of cloud gaming. Its foundations won’t go to waste, though. While this is the end of the dedicated streaming platform as we know it, Google says that the underlying technology will be used to enhance websites like YouTube and Google Play as the company pushes further into augmented reality (AR), and will continue to be available for partners.

This move doesn’t come as a surprise considering Google already axed its first-party game studios last year and exclusive games have already made their way onto Steam. It’s a shame to see such a big player tap out when Logitech and Tencent are moving into the market with their own device, Razer isn’t far behind, and platforms like Xbox Game Pass go from strength to strength. Nvidia told us that it considers Google Stadia a cautionary tale and has done its best to ensure GeForce Now doesn’t make the same mistakes.

Cloud gaming is still some distance away from playing on-the-go without buffering, as it’s highly dependent on connectivity that’s shaky at best in most regions. Still, the Nvidia GeForce Now RTX 3080 subscription is a fantastic Google Stadia alternative if you’re on home broadband.