Google on Thursday said it is shutting down Stadia, the cloud video game service it launched three years ago to let people access console-quality play as easily as they do email.
“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 vice president Phil Harrison said in a blog post. Google said it will refund purchases of Stadia hardware, such as controllers, as well as game content bought through its online store, and that players will have access to the service through January 18 of next year, he added.
“They had a great idea and a bad business model,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said of Stadia.
“They tried to offer the service as a subscription without games.”
Xbox-maker Microsoft, meanwhile, offered a rival Game Pass service “with a ton of games,” making it a more tempting option for players, Pachter said. Game Pass has some 25 million subscribers, while Stadia has fewer than a million, the analyst noted.
Microsoft is considered the streaming video game heavyweight with its Xbox Game Pass service and large community of players who use its consoles and desktop computers.