(Pocket-lint) – Google is closing down its Stadia cloud gaming service.
Launched two years ago, in Novermber 2019, the service has struggled to gain the member numbers needed to make it a success, especially in the face of fierce competition from Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now.
Its general manager at Google, Phil Harrison, announced in a blog post that Stadia is to officially finish in January 2023: “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.”
Existing users will have the chance to play their games until 18 January 2023, after which time the service will no longer be available.
In an unprecedented move though, Google will refund all Stadia hardware and game purchases made through the Google Store. That will include DLC and paid-for in-game add-ons.
It says that the majority of refunds will be completed by mid-January.
Google will continue to look for other opportunities to use the streaming technologies created for Stadia, not least because it managed to reduce latency greatly, but it’s unlike to result in another cloud gaming platform anytime soon.
Writing by Rik Henderson.