Google Stadia Shuts Down Next Year; A Retrospective View on Cloud Gaming

Google recently announced that the Stadia will shut down on January 18, 2023. In case you’ve forgotten, it was the company’s cloud gaming service that was launched in 2018, which essentially allows users to play console/PC games on the go. It does require the user to place a subscription for the games they want to play, although the Stadia Pro removes the need for such, as one purchase lets the buyers keep the games.

Google also clarified that refunds will be available for recent subscribers, and that Stadia’s technology will have some use in other ventures. The Stadia has about 130+ games, a large improvement from its initial library of 20 at launch. It wasn’t exactly great for the service, with initial criticism for its games at launch and the closure of its own developer group. Cloud gaming wasn’t exactly new when Google entered the market, with GeForce Now, PlayStation Plus and its cloud streaming service, and Xbox’s Cloud Gaming. While the idea did spark some discussion at the time of its creation, it almost seems that cloud gaming is almost unheard of nowadays, perhaps owing to the fact that its usage is somewhat situational.

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p class=”MsoNormal”>Playing games is most enjoyable in the comforts of our homes, as everything that is needed is available on the platform. Most game purchases are also permanent and don’t require subscriptions. If gaming-on-the-go was really necessary, Nintendo’s Switch (or the recent Steam Deck) provides all the power and capability to handle lots of new games comfortably (though quality control issues are said to be a problem). Besides, mobile games have developed beyond what it was a decade ago, and could provide enough entertainment. If anything, cloud gaming could’ve had more prominence, but with the existence of devices like the Switch, it almost feels obsolete.

 

(Images sourced from Stadia’s promotional pictures)

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