Goodbye, Google Stadia

Devina Aurelia . January 10, 2023

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Techspace - Patrick Seybold, Google spokesperson, confirmed that they are officially shutting down Stadia on January 18, 2023 at 11:59PM PT. After nearly three years of operation, according to a statement by the company, Google Stadia did not generate enough traction that they first anticipated. Google Vice President and Stadia General Manager Phil Harrison had only informed employees of Stadia's closure minutes before the publication of the decision.

Google released excessive statements in the Stadia Announcement FAQ regarding Stadia products refund process. 

Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023, so they can complete final play sessions as the server will still be up until then. Google will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases (Stadia Controller, Founder's Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages) made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store starting November 9, 2022. The majority of refunds are expected to be completed by mid-January, 2023

Additionally, Google will not refund Stadia Pro subscription fees. This means that if you were an active Stadia Pro member when today's announcement was made, you can continue to use your Stadia Pro benefits for free until the final closing date.

While the shutdown means you will soon lose access to all of your games and saves on Stadia, many publishers have provided strategies for transferring your purchases and game progress to other platforms so you may continue playing your games. 

One example is Ubisoft. Players of Google Stadia who purchased any of the 37 Ubisoft games on the now defunct service will receive a free PC edition of those games by linking their Stadia account to Ubisoft Connect. Players of Ubisoft Plus Multi-Access on Stadia will get a bonus. They will receive email instructions on how to renew their subscription through the Ubisoft Plus website, along with a coupon for a free month of service. Ubisoft Plus Multi-Access is the publisher's collection of downloaded and streamable games.

By the time of writing this article, four more big game devs had followed the footsteps of Ubisoft. 

Players of the award winning mythic science fiction RPG developed by Bungie, Destiny 2, are able to bring their characters over from Stadia to other desired platforms. All they need to do is turn on cross-save and select their Stadia characters as their active Guardians before January 18, 2023. Though this comes with a warning, after the Stadia server shut down date, players with Google Stadia as their primary account should not deactivate cross save for any reason. Doing so will result in players completely losing access to their characters. 

From CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077 developer, the studio has a guide on its website spelling out the complete process. You will be able to bring your data to PC by manually downloading it using Google Takeout.

The Hitman trilogy developer, IO Interactive, is letting players do a one-time “Stadia Progression Carryover” to bring their progress to PC (Windows, Steam, or Epic), Xbox, or PlayStation. The process is expected to be enabled at least a week before the Stadia shuts down, according to the support page. Players have to link their IOI account to their Stadia account. Due to some items being only distributed specifically to Stadia’s Hitman 3 players, those items will not be able to be transferred to the other platforms and will not be part of the Stadia Progression Carryover. However, the company said they will commit to making all those platform exclusive Hitman 3 items available to all players on all platforms in a future patch update.

The Elder Scrolls Online players have it easy. Bethesda stated on their support website that players only need to log in to their account on the official website with their player credentials and download the game client. Done! Pick up your latest adventures without any loss in progression.

The fact that Stadia was/is one of the best-looking game streaming services available showed that Google had developed valuable streaming technology. However, despite this, loose claims during Stadia's launch about 4K and even 8K games seemed to follow the service around until it was announced to be closing down three years later. Slow motion sight of Google's refusal to invest the additional funds necessary to launch Stadia was excruciatingly difficult to see. Gaming takes commitment, and Google apparently has none.

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