The internet giant is shutting down. Three years after it was launched, the big bet on cloud gaming will cease to exist.
It isn't a complete shock. The company's grand plan always lacked one key element: video games. Instead of releasing any original titles for Stadia, they relied on third-party games to draw in players, which cost them tens of millions of dollars. White-label deals for its streaming tech were approached by companies like Peloton, according to a report.
Stadia was rumored to be finished by the end of summer, when a now-suspended account speculated. The official account of Stadia claimed that the company was not shutting down. That's what's happening two months later.
It was not known how many employees or partners were aware of the demise of Stadia. "We just learned about Stadia shutting down and have begun conversations about next steps for our players," wrote a Bungie Moderator on the Destiny Forum. Those who had learned of the shutdown were confused by a Stadia community manager's response to a post about a new user interface. Many of the Stadia team members will be carrying this work forward in other parts of the company, but no further details were given.
Stadia was launched with the belief that it could change the industry. The company will create its own studio to work on original projects. Jade Raymond was the leader. Raymond was a founder of Electronic Arts' Motive studio as well as a former VP of the company. Roughly 150 people were laid off by February 2021. Raymond started work at Haven after leaving the company. Employees followed her.
Stadia couldn't recover. Harrison said that Stadia wasn'tgained traction with users because it wasn't built on a strong technology foundation. Every piece of hardware and games purchased through the store will be returned, as well as games and add-ons purchased through the store. Most of the refunds should be done by mid-January.
The tech that powered Stadia is the focus of the company now. There are clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of the company. He said that the technology behind Stadia would be made available to industry partners. Harrison announced the demise of Stadia. It is a difficult promise to make. It was once the future of gaming. It's the past now.