Less than three years after its launch in November 2019, Google is shutting down its cloud gaming service Stadia. Despite arriving just in time for the video game boom that was ignited by the Covid-19 pandemic, the service never gained traction with consumers, as cloud gaming has yet to reach its full potential.
According to findings from Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, Stadia trailed other gaming subscription services both in terms of recognition and usage. Among a sample of 1,244 U.S. adults surveyed between March and July 2022, just 29 percent had heard of Stadia, while a meager 3 percent had used the service in the past 12 months. That’s a longshot from the more traditional PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, which 63 percent of respondents were familiar with.
“While Stadia's approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn't gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service,” Google wrote in a blog post. In an applaudable gesture of gratitude towards Stadia’s early adopters and users, Google will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store as well as all game and add-on purchases made through the Stadia store.