As everyone is aware, cloud gaming services have gained popularity over the past 15 to 20 years in the global gaming market. There are around 23.7 million players in cloud gaming, according to estimates. Google debuted Stadia in the field of cloud gaming in November 2019 and it received a positive reception from the audience. Stadia was predicted to have more than 2 million active users in February 2022. Google has recently chosen to discontinue the services of Stadia even after having a large number of customers. The Stadia, its closure date, and its reasons for doing so are the focus of this post today.
Google’s Cloud Gaming Platform Stadia: What is it?
As already mentioned, Google developed and runs the cloud gaming platform known as Stadia. The service, formerly known as Project Stream while still under development, had its public debut in November 2019 after beginning as a closed beta in October 2018. Reviewers initially had mixed feelings about Stadia, with the majority of complaints focusing on the lack of promised features and its content collection. In addition to various third-party games, Google had originally expected to create its games, but it started to scale back on these plans in February 2021 by closing its studios. By forming partnerships to use the technology as a white-label product to transmit game material over the cloud, the service kept providing games.
Google’s Cloud Gaming Platform Stadia: When it was started
There was worldwide speculation that Google was entering the field of cloud gaming before the release of Stadia. The service, formerly known as Project Stream while still under development, had its public debut in November 2019 after beginning as a closed beta in October 2018.
Google’s Stadia project is an experiment in redefining how we play video games; instead of being rendered on a console or a powerful local PC, Stadia games are generated in the cloud and delivered instantly to your Chromecast, smartphone, or browser. The program was designed to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, Sony’s PlayStation Plus cloud streaming, and Amazon’s Luna.
Google’s Cloud Gaming Platform Stadia: How does it work?
On personal computers using the Google Chrome web browser and other Chromium-based browsers, Chromebooks, and tablets running ChromeOS, the Stadia mobile app on supported Android smartphones, and Chromecast Ultra and Android TV devices are all ways to access Stadia.  as long as the most recent versions of the Stadia app and the Chrome browser are installed.  All Android devices that can download the Stadia mobile app are supported in an experimental mode.  Google published a Stadia-compatible progressive web application for the iOS browser in December 2020, enabling play in the Safari browser.
Google’s Cloud Gaming Platform Stadia: Games
Stadia offers several completely free-to-play games, but users must buy them to enjoy them on the site. Additionally, Pro subscribers have access to a growing library of free games that, once claimed, are kept available for usage as long as the user is still a subscriber. Google declared that the games Gylt by Tequila Works and Get Packed by Moonshine Studios would be timed exclusives to Stadia at the time of the platform’s official debut in June 2019. The service debuted with 22 games, adding 4 more in December 2019, and had over 130 games by the end of 2020.
Google announced its plans to release over 120 games for Stadia in 2020 in January, with 10 of those games scheduled for timed-exclusive release in the first half of the year. Additionally, Stadia declared that more than 100 games would be released in 2021. Users can access all Ubisoft titles on Stadia through the Ubisoft+ gaming subscription, which launched on the platform in December 2020. At first, the membership included 18 Ubisoft games, with more games being added as they become available.
Google’s Cloud Gaming Platform Stadia: When and why is it shutting down
After almost three years after its launch, Google has announced that the cloud-based gaming service “Google Stadia” will be discontinued. Google announced the closure in a blog post, saying, “We’ve made the painful choice to start shutting down our Stadia streaming service. Players will have access to Google’s game collection and be able to play until January 18, 2023, according to Google, before they are allowed to finish their final play session.
Google claimed that this decision was made as a result of their gaming service not gaining as much traction as anticipated. Google ceased creating internal games for the gaming service last year, which is significant. And now Google Stadia has been permanently terminated.
The majority of games on Google’s platform do not support cross-platform play, so Google confirmed on a support page that any progress you have made in a game on Google Stadia will unavoidably be lost. Google reportedly stated that the program “hasn’t gotten the traction with users” that the business had hoped for. Google decided to shut down its game development division in 2021, the same year that it was expected to release Stadia-only games. However, even though Google kept running Stadia, making it the only platform for other creators to release their games on, many people started forecasting the service’s demise after the change.
Google also introduced “Immersive Stream for Games,” a version of the service that third parties could license, in March of this year. Additionally, Google is said to have stated that it sees “potential to use this technology across other sections of Google,” such as YouTube, Google Play, and the business’s augmented reality (AR) initiatives.
What is Google Stadia Pro Membership and How does it work?
The best of Stadia is accessible through its premium membership option, Stadia Pro. You can enjoy several benefits with an active Stadia Pro subscription, such as no additional fees for games, exclusive game discounts, and superior visual and audio quality. A membership called Stadia Pro grants access to an expanding library of games on Stadia.
What happens to Google Stadia members now?
The Stadia Store and in-game purchases have already been discontinued by Google, thus current Stadia members won’t be able to support the service any longer. The cost of any Stadia hardware will be reimbursed to members as well. However, subscriptions to Stadia Pro will not be refunded. Pro subscribers, however, will continue to have access to the service until Stadia closes its doors in January 2023.
Do the member of Google Stadia Pro will get a refund?
Additionally, Google announced that it would reimburse any Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store as well as all Stadia Store purchases of games and add-on software. Most refunds should be completed by mid-January 2023, according to the business. We are grateful to the devoted Stadia players who have been with us from the start, Google Stadia Vice President and General Manager Phil Spencer stated in a blog post.
Subscriptions to Stadia Pro, however, will not be subject to a refund. The business added that there will be no further fees for players to incur while continuing to play their game in Pro up until the final wind-down date.
The firm stated on its support page that “Players who held an active Stadia Pro subscription as of September 29, 2022, will not be charged for access to their Pro Library or other subscription entitlements.”
Is this the end of cloud gaming?
Probably not. While Stadia is closing, the aforementioned competing cloud gaming services prosper and grow their user bases. According to a Grand View Research analysis, the market for cloud gaming reached $691.6 million in 2021 and is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.8% between 2022 and 2030. This also shouldn’t come as a surprise given the advantages of the service.
The paper also notes that during the early COVID years, both traditional and cloud gaming may have seen growth. While the service has not yet gained traction in many areas because of bottlenecks like slow internet speeds that could increase latency (a problem for gamers generally but a much bigger one for cloud gaming), that may change soon as a result of things like the adoption of 5G and people’s desire for faster connectivity.
Google Stadia Cloud Gaming: What are its replacements?
For a range of platforms, including Windows, Android, Mac, Android Tablet, and Online / Web-based, there are more than ten Stadia substitutes. The most effective free option is Parsec. GeForce NOW, Shadow, Playstation Now, and Xbox Cloud Gaming are all excellent alternatives to Stadia.
With that, we will conclude our blog for today. We sincerely hope you enjoyed it and that all of our players that play in the cloud will find it useful. Aside from that, Google Stadia will join a lengthy list of products that Google has previously discontinued, including Google+, Google Currents, Google Hangouts, Google Auto, and Google Play Music.