By Jon Swartz
It’s game over for Stadia.
Alphabet Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -1.91% /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -1.90% Google is shutting down the Stadia cloud-streaming gaming service in mid-January and refunding all Stadia purchases made through the Google Store and the Stadia store, the company said in a blog post Thursday.
Google shares were down 3.6% Thursday.
“[W]hile 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,” Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager of Stadia, wrote in the post.
Harrison said Google intends to apply Stadia’s technology to YouTube, Google Play and its augmented-reality efforts and to make it available to industry partners if it “aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed.”
Despite initial optimism about its potential in the gaming industry, Stadia, which debuted in 2019, faced long odds from the start. Google has few ties in the gaming industry and a history of pulling the plug on projects only a few years after they launch.
Read more: Why there may never be a Netflix of videogames
Read more: Google unveils Stadia streaming-videogame service, but not a price tag
Last year, rumors spread that the service would shut down after the number of games released to the platform slowed and Google shuttered its in-house game-development studios.
The death watch intensified last week after Logitech International /zigman2/quotes/204321690/composite LOGI -1.05% announced its new G Cloud Gaming Handheld and Stadia was not mentioned among the cloud-gaming services it supports.