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Gaming still a ‘huge opportunity’ for Google despite Stadia shutdown

Google Stadia.jpg

Gaming remains a huge opportunity that players like Google cannot ignore, despite its recent shutdown of its Stadia streaming service according to Paolo Pescatore, TMT analyst at PP Foresight.

Google announced it would close its Stadia cloud gaming service and has announced it will refund gamers who bought its Stadia controller and other add-on content.

Pescatore says the shutdown is disappointing for a service that “promised so much”.

“Stadia is arguably ahead of its time and clearly shows that a lot of work is still needed for true cloud gaming services to fly,” he says.

He added that the popularity of consoles and other portable devices during the pandemic contributed to its demise.

“I still believe the future of gaming lies in the cloud but it will take time to generate consumer appetite and core gamers still prefer the console-based experience.”

After its announcement in 2019, Google planned a “cloud gaming” revolution similar to Netflix’s approach to movies. That is, a monthly subscription fee for gamers allowing them to stream games without owning a console.

However, in a blog post, Google conceded defeat.

The company said: “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.”

Stadia had struggled since its inception, given producers have held back from making their top titles available and users were unwilling to pay a monthly subscription fee.

Google said players will continue to have access to their games library and can play through January 18, 2023, so they can complete final play seasons, adding that it expects to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January.