Google’s cloud gaming service Stadia is closing after three years of competing with other gaming giants. Stadia vice president and GM, Phil Harrison, says Stadia “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.”
The service will stay open for players until January 18 next year. Google will refund all Stadia hardware purchased through the Google Store as well as all the games and add-on content purchased from the Stadia store, Harrison announced in a blog post:
“We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023.”
“The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. We see clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts — as well as make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed.”
“We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators.”
“Many of the Stadia team members will be carrying this work forward in other parts of the company.”
Predicted strong growth for gaming has earlier this year led to big deals with companies expanding in this area. Sony bought video game developer Bungie for USD 3.6 billion, New York Times acquired Wordl and Microsoft bought gaming company Activision Blizzard for USD 68.7 billion dollars with an eye towards the metaverse saying gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment. Among other Stadia gaming competitors is also Amazon’s Luna.
Online measurement firm App Annie (now called data.ai) in a forecast said “the gaming industry is evolving quickly and player empowerment is at the heart of the next wave of innovation. Play-to-earn models — games that allow players to monetize in an open economy — combined with metaverses which emphasize players’ self-expression will be the biggest drivers of mobile gaming innovation in 2022”.
Games analytics firm Newzoo said cloud gaming market in 2021 more than doubled its revenue compared to 2020.
The company predicted that global games market will reach USD 218 billion in consumer spending by 2024 of which USD 116.4 billion is expected to be from mobile games. Cloud gaming will be USD 6.5 billion and esports USD 1.6 billion.