Google Stadia shuts down January 2023, try out 5 exclusive titles before they’re gone

Google Stadia shuts down January 2023, try out 5 exclusive titles before they’re gone

Google’s bid for the always-connected, streaming future of gaming will come to an end on January 18th, 2023 with the closure of the Stadia service. Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager of Stadia posted the news earlier today on the Google blog.

For many years, Google has invested across multiple aspects of the gaming industry. We help developers build and distribute gaming apps on Google Play and Google Play Games. Gaming creators are reaching audiences around the world on YouTube through videos, live streaming and Shorts. And our cloud streaming technology delivers immersive gameplay at massive scale.

A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia. And while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, 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.

We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start. We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store. Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions. We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023. We have more details for players on this process on our Help Center.

The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. We see clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts — as well as make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed. We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators.

For the Stadia team, building and supporting Stadia from the ground up has been fueled by the same passion for games that our players have. Many of the Stadia team members will be carrying this work forward in other parts of the company. We’re so grateful for the groundbreaking work of the team and we look forward to continuing to have an impact across gaming and other industries using the foundational Stadia streaming technology.

Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager of Stadia –  September 29, 2022

Already the Stadia homepage has been updated to remove access to the service’s library of titles and in-game purchases. The accompanying Help Center page answers a few more questions, with more details promised in the future but here are some of the most relevant ones:

Q:  Will all games work as expected during this time?
A:  We anticipate that there will be some gameplay issues during this period, especially any games requiring commerce, but the majority of games should continue to work normally.

Q: What about my game progress?  Can I take my game progress to another platform?
A:  While that may be possible for some games that support cross-progression play on other platforms, unfortunately, for the majority of games, that won’t be possible. 

Q: Will I get a refund?  What is available for a refund?
A:  We will be offering refunds for all Stadia hardware purchases (Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages) made through the Google Store and software transactions (games and add-on purchases) through the Stadia store. Stadia Pro subscriptions are not eligible for refund, however you will be able to continue playing your games in Pro without further charges until the final wind down date.

Q:  Why can I no longer purchase games?  Can I purchase in-game transactions?
A:  We have now closed the Stadia Store and disabled all commerce on the Stadia platform, including in-game transactions.

It’s an honorable make-good to see refunds automatically offered to anyone who purchased Stadia hardware over the last three years. But a closure is still a closure and that means nearly 300 titles will soon become inaccessible including five games that never made it off of the platform. Thankfully the nine other exclusives only debuted early on Stadia or have since made the jump to PC and consoles.

Although the Stadia store has shut down, direct links to each game still allow you to launch and play them for 30 to 60 minutes. Below is a handy list from the Stadia subreddit for anyone interested in these ethereal offerings. Hopefully they turn up on other platforms in 2023.

Current Stadia Exclusives

Former Stadia Exclusives

  • Submerged: Hidden Depths
  • Super Bomberman R Online
  • Gunsport
  • Orcs Must Die! 3
  • Crayta
  • Wave Break
  • Get Packed
  • Lost Words
  • Spitlings
  • Young Souls

I’ve added the date to the Watch List calendar and will have a page for the platform up on the site later.