As announced last year, Google took its in-house cloud gaming service Stadia offline last night. With a tweet, the US company says goodbye to the failed project.
While Microsoft and Sony Interactive Entertainment are currently still busy intensifying their cloud gaming plans or expanding them to new devices, the US-based search engine giant Google, based in Mountain View, was more than a step ahead of the two console manufacturers.
In October 2018, the company announced a cloud gaming platform called Stadia, which was launched in November 2019. Data centers distributed around the world should ensure less input lag compared to offerings like OnLive or PlayStation Now, while Google wanted to ensure the corresponding game supply with the formation of Stadia Game Studios.
However, this project was not crowned with success, so that Google initially decided in February 2021 to close the internal Stadia studios. In September 2022, the final end of the platform was sealed, which was completed during the course of tonight.
Why did Stadia fail?
In a tweet published to coincide with the shutdown of the servers, those responsible at Google thanked all developers, publishers and users who have supported the cloud gaming service over the years and said goodbye to Stadia. The failure of the streaming service did not come as a surprise, since shortly after the official announcement it became apparent that the business model pursued by Google was criticized by many.
For example, users were unwilling to buy games that could only be played through Stadia at full price. After all, the players were dependent on both a working internet connection and the Stadia servers. The fact that purchased games with the standard Stadia model could only be played in the native 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second also caused criticism.
On the other hand, those who wanted to enjoy their games in 4K and 60FPS were forced to purchase a paid Pro membership in addition to the purchase. Another factor in the failure of the cloud gaming offering was the mixed support from third-party manufacturers. Although Google managed, with a great deal of financial effort, to initiate work on Stadia porting for isolated Triple-A productions, in many cases the service was simply ignored by the developers and publishers.
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For users, the financial damage from the failed platform was at least limited. As early as November, Google began refunding users their money for purchased games and DLCs. At the same time there was an update for the Stadia Controller, which ensures that it can now be used like a classic Bluetooth controller.
To our players and partners, our team, community and fans: thank you, for everything.
As of 11:59pm PT today, we’re signing off from the cloud. Y’all be good to each other, and stay safe out there.
— Stadia ☁️🎮 (@GoogleStadia) January 18, 2023
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