🎮 Happy Friday everyone! Or maybe not so lucky if you’re a fan of Google Stadia. I’ve relied heavily on the service in the past (and claim the streaming technology is second to none) but gave up on it for good last year. And it looks like I wasn’t alone.
Google Stadia fills a lot in the Google graveyard
Yesterday, Google announced it was closing the doors of Google Stadia after just over three years of service. This is sad news for me as a Stadia founder (we’re hundreds! hundreds!) but shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone keeping an eye on the cloud gaming service.
- Stadia will be retired on January 18, 2023. Pro subscribers will retain access to their claimed titles for free until then.
- Purchases of Stadia hardware through the Google Store, including Founder’s Edition, controllers, and others, are fully refunded.
- Game purchases are also refunded, but Stadia Pro subscriptions are not. Learn more about the refund process here.
- The blog post blamed the closure on a lack of user adoption, but was also largely a victim of poor management and execution.
- Many have been skeptical since launch, but the writing was really on the wall when Google shut down its first-party studios last year.
- We’ve also written extensively about Google’s commitments when it comes to hardware and services. And lamented the state of Stadia earlier this year.
- Not only does this add another entry to Google’s long list of slain services, it also adds another notch to Stadia VP and GM Phil Harrison’s belt.
- He previously oversaw the disastrous launches of PS3 and Xbox One, and the demise of Atari and Gaikai.
- He is also said to have informed the Stadia team about the closure just minutes before the public announcement.
- This is probably true considering the Stadia communications team claimed the service doesn’t close when he was recently asked on Twitter.
- The team also launched a UI overhaul earlier in the day, and several games should be released in the coming months.
- Even longtime partners like Bungie weren’t privy to the decision ahead of time.
What’s happening now?
- The technology behind Stadia remains the best in the business, and Google’s blog post claims some of it will be adopted by other Google services like YouTube, Google Play, and more.
- There is also an option to white label the service from Google, which is probably the best solution for everyone. Ubisoft is a likely candidate for that, considering its Ubisoft Plus subscription is already on Stadia.
- Until then, there are several other cloud gaming services worth checking out.
- Xbox Cloud Gaming, offered as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, is the closest thing to a “Netflix for gaming” we’ve seen yet, although the streaming technology is noticeably inferior to Stadia.
- Nvidia’s GeForce Now is also a strong contender, although you’ll still have to buy games through Steam or other marketplaces. Game support is also more limited, although the streaming technology is pretty good.
- Amazon Luna could also gain relevance as it expands support, but it could also suffer the same fate as Stadia without a parent company well-versed in the gaming industry.
- Personally, I don’t think Stadia’s failure won’t tarnish cloud gaming overall, as its poor business model and clumsy management have been well documented from the start.
- It’s also hard to fret too much about Stadia’s generous refund policy. You can even download saved games through Google Takeout. That is, if you have something else to play them with.
- Do you think it was the right call to shut down Stadia? Make your voice heard in our poll.
fun on friday
If you’re like me, you grew up playing Pokémon and you’re very fond of the classic games. However, some fans go even further, changing the code of classic games to add new Pokémon, more difficulty, or entirely new gameplay mechanics.
Arstechnica ran a great article yesterday about these “ROM hackers,” and it’s a fascinating look into the world of these hobbyist game designers. Game mods have been a big part of the gaming scene for decades, but the sheer popularity of some of these fan-made Pokémon titles like Pokémon Prism or Pokémon Uranium has led to cease and desist orders from Nintendo. Still, the scene is thriving, with Twitch and YouTube streams introducing new fans every day.
Read the article to learn more about these projects and check out some of our favorite emulators to play while you’re at it.
https://www.androidauthority.com/daily-authority-september-30-2022-3215088/ Daily Authority: 🎮 RIP Google Stadia