Google has announced it is winding down its Stadia video game streaming service and will shut it down on January 18. 2023.

In a new blog, the search engine company revealed that Stadia “hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected,” and as a result, the company has made the “difficult” decision to begin winding down the service. Google will be refunding users who purchased either hardware or games from Google and Stadia.

“We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start. We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia Store.”

Players will still be able to access their game library and play until January 18.

Stadia is Google’s cloud gaming service where users are able to stream video games, including AAA titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Cyberpunk 2077, directly through Google cloud service. Meaning there was no need to purchase physical hardware so long as someone had access to Google Chrome. There was a dedicated controller players could purchase, however.

Google says that the underlying technology that powers Stadia has proven to be powerful, and Google has already started offering Stadia as a white-label product, meaning other companies can use the technology without becoming a part of Stadia’s ecosystem.

AT&T for example used Stadia technology to offer Batman: Arkham Knight to users for free, and Google says the tech will be used to power other parts of Google including YouTube, Google Play, and Augmented Reality.

Stadia’s closure is not a death-knell for video game streaming. Xbox and Nvidia offer cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and GeForce Now respectively. And Logitgech is making a dedicated cloud gaming handheld called the Logitech G.

While booting up a game instantly on Chrome or Chromecast could feel like magic, and Stadia’s tech lowering latency and other streaming-based issues, the main issue with Stadia was always its catalog and promised features that never materialized. For our full impressions, read our Stadia review.

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