Shutting down Google Stadia makes me trust Google less

Google Stadia Review plays on controller 1

Yesterday, Google sent a shockwave through the gaming world with the announcement of the shutdown of Google Stadia. The cloud gaming company, only three years old, will shut down its service on January 18, 2023.

Apparently, Google made this decision very quickly. Industry reports suggest that Google only notified Stadia employees minutes before the public announcement. To make matters worse, we’ve heard that Google hasn’t notified third-party developers working on future Stadia titles at all. These people found out at the same time as all of us.

The silver lining, however, is that Google is giving refunds to consumers. If you purchased Stadia gaming content or controllers through Google, you’ll get a refund for all of them. Your monthly subscription to Stadia Pro is non-refundable, but you have the next four months to use the service for free.

I’ve never been part of the Stadia customer base myself. In fact, before Stadia launched, I wrote an opinion here Android authority about why I had canceled my pre-order. While I’m not personally affected by the Google Stadia shutdown, it has shaken my faith in Google. Frankly, it’s going to be difficult to trust Google going forward — at least when it comes to its new products — because the company has been particularly bad at them.

Has the Stadia closure shaken your confidence in future Google products?

71 votes

Google Stadia shutdown: We all saw it coming, but…

Google Stadia logo at gdc 2019

It’s no secret that Google has a terrible habit of plunging headlong into new product categories, throwing as much as it can against the wall, and then backing out if none of it sticks right away. We have written about this problem many times; We even called for more consistency from Google just a few days before this Stadia message.

At Stadia, the writing has been hanging on the wall for a long time. The product line left in 2021. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Stadia employees spend little time on the customer-facing aspects of the product. Google weathered I/O 2022 with barely a mention of Stadia. When we finally heard that Google CEO Sundar Pichai was on a mission to streamline the company, freeze hiring and generally cut costs, it was obvious and inevitable that Stadia would get the axe.

Stadia’s fate was sealed a long time ago. But this shutdown is a disaster.

However, nobody expected that Google would implement all this so quickly. The company has barely notified those involved with the service and will be wiping out everything Stadia-related in just four months. Stadia’s YouTube channel, for example, is already down. By February 2023, it will be like Stadia never happened.

It’s amazing how overly fast this shutdown really is. The lack of tact and care is outrageous. It makes me feel like Google is an indifferent monster that just does what it wants with no regard for how it affects its customers. “Stadia isn’t worth it, so let’s literally level it tomorrow.” It would be almost comical if it weren’t so sad. The example this shutdown sets for future Google products makes me question whether or not I should trust Google going forward.

What will be torn to pieces next?

Google IO 2022 Pixel Clock Theme

Google is trying again with a new product category: a smartwatch. The Pixel Watch will launch alongside the Pixel 7 series next week. This will be Google’s first attempt at a wearable with its own logo.

So far, rumors suggest that the Pixel Watch has a lot going for it. The chipset is said to be very old and its battery is said to be too small to provide more than 24 hours of power. Rumors also suggest that the Pixel Watch could be more expensive than its closest competitor, namely the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

Will Google kill the Pixel Watch with the same blunt hand it used on Stadia?

If the Pixel Watch doesn’t catch on with consumers the first time, will Google just kill it? Why would I ever give Google a shot with a new product when this threat is always lurking in the background?

Google is in a vicious circle. The company will kill a product if it doesn’t gain traction quickly. Customers know this, so they don’t bother with new Google products, which of course results in the products not gaining traction and then getting the axe. We’ve known it works this way for years, but the shutdown of Google Stadia only cemented it.

Google is caught in a vicious circle that threatens to alienate more customers.

If Google wants to end this cycle, it needs to prove it can stay engaged. It has to launch new products and stick with them through thick and thin. If it still doesn’t work after several generations, mercifully (and slowly) shut down the product. Essentially, it needs to do the exact opposite of what it did with Stadia — or people just won’t give future endeavors a shot.

Is shutting down Stadia the right move for Google?

491 votes Shutting down Google Stadia makes me trust Google less

Chris Barrese

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