Cloud Gaming is NOT Completely Dead. Stadia Sure Is Though.
Google will officially close its Cloud Gaming service Stadia on January 18, 2023.
Last week, Google announced that it will be shuttering its Cloud Gaming service “Stadia” effective January 18, 2023. This left many players a little confused about what happened. While the service was generally disliked, it still managed to hold onto between 500,000 and 1 million users at a time. Not a whole lot, but I imagine those folks are disappointed in the decision.
On the bright side, users who have purchased Stadia-specific hardware are getting refunds. Players won’t even have to send the hardware back if they bought their units from Google Play, and will see their refunds in their accounts automatically.
However, this leads to more questions about the viability of purchasing digital games and is a stark reminder that players don’t actually own the games they sometimes pay full retail price for. Those games will no longer be playable once the service winds down. What’s more, is that some games were released exclusively on the service. Therefore, they may disappear forever.
Games such as Hello Engineer, which is a multiplayer machine-building game based on the weird universe of Hello Neighbor, and the horror game GYLT where you play as a young person ready to face their fears in search of their cousin.
For the sake of preservation, I hope that the developers of these titles can find it in their hearts to release them on other hardware.
Ultimately, the closure of this Cloud Gaming service leaves a hole in the otherwise filled-to-the-brim sleight of options for gamers. We do still have many options available to us. Such as Amazon Luna, which offers a wide range of subscription options for gamers with a Prime membership, and PlayStation Plus Premium, which allows subscribers to stream a major backlog of amazing PlayStation games, and the same with Microsofts GamePass Cloud service. Each of these offers something a little different, so choosing your service shouldn’t be too difficult based on what your play style or hardware choice might be.
All of that said, with the above examples we see that these Cloud Gaming offerings are subscriptions. Meaning that when the service closes, gamers don’t actually lose anything besides some progress in their favorite games. Additionally, none of these options had exclusive titles or asked players to pony up $69.99 for anything. Unlike Googles Stadia, which had full-priced games and exclusive only-on-stadia offerings that will no longer be playable as of January 18, 2023.
In my opinion, the only way to do Cloud Gaming is the way the other big guys are doing it. Everything or nothing for one price.
So, do you think Cloud Gaming is dead or dying, or will it only get bigger from here?
Let us know in the comments below.