Google to shut down its Stadia game-streaming service after just three years – as Netflix reveals plans to set up its own ‘world-class games studio’

  • Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service was launched in 2019
  • It allowed users to stream video games to their TV, laptop or smartphone
  • It was seen by some as having the potential to be a ‘Netflix for video games’
  •  However, Google said it had failed to gain ‘traction’ with users

Google has confirmed it will shut down its Stadia cloud gaming service early next year.

The service, which launched in Match 2019, allowed users to stream video games to their TV, laptop or smartphone without needing to own a games console.

The platform was seen by some as having the potential to be a ‘Netflix for video games’ when it went live, but Google said it had failed to gain ‘traction’ with users and had now made the decision to close it down.

Stadia general manager and vice president Phil Harrison said in a blog post that the service would remain accessible until January 18 2023, and that Google would be offering refunds on all Stadia content and accessories bought since the launch.

‘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,’ he said.

‘We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start.

The service, which launched in 2019, allowed users to stream video games to their TV, laptop or smartphone without needing to own a games console 

Is Netflix’s foray into gaming failing?

Netflix’s ambitious expansion into gaming seems to have got off to a sluggish start, new data suggests. 

According to app tracker Apptopia, Netflix’s games have only 1.7 million daily users – less than one per cent of its 221 million global subscribers. 

They’ve also been downloaded a total of 23.3 million times globally since they were first introduced last November for Android and iOS devices. 

There are now a total of 26 official Netflix games available exclusively to subscribers of the streaming platform, including two ‘Stranger Things’ spinoffs. 

Read more 

‘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.’

Streaming-based video game services have been an area of increasing interest for gaming firms in recent years, with Microsoft most notably investing heavily in the technology through its Xbox Cloud Gaming service.

However, the format is yet to be fully embraced by the public.

Mr Harrison said Google would continue to invest in gaming, and look to apply the technology behind Stadia elsewhere within the company.

The news comes after Netflix announced plans earlier this week to set up its own video game studio, in an effort to establish itself in the gaming industry and address the dramatic fall in subscriber numbers. 

Based in Helsinki, Finland, the studio will be led by former Zynga and Electronic Arts executive Marko Lastikka.

Netflix has previously purchased small gaming companies, such as Night School Studio and Boss Fight Entertainment, but it is now going further and creating its own studio from scratch.

Netflix’s library of self-produced games are included in a Netflix membership and  feature no adverts  

Amir Rahimi, Netflix VP of Game Studios, announced the ‘vision to build a world-class games studio’ in a blog post.

‘[It] will bring a variety of delightful and deeply engaging original games — with no ads and no in-app purchases — to our hundreds of millions of members around the world,’ he said. 

‘It’s still early days, and we have much more work to do to deliver a great games experience on Netflix. 

‘Creating a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how we’re steadily building the foundation of our games studios in our first year, and look forward to sharing what we produce in the coming years.’

A recent analysis by app tracker Apptopia revealed that Netflix’s games have only 1.7 million daily users – less than one per cent of its 221 million global subscribers. 

They have been downloaded a total of 23.3 million times globally since they were first introduced last November for Android and iOS devices. 

There are now a total of 26 official Netflix games available exclusively to subscribers of the streaming platform, including two ‘Stranger Things’ spinoffs. 

The data comes after Netflix announced a loss of 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter of the year. 

Do YOU have what it takes to become a professional gamer? Experts say 9-inches is the optimal handspan 

 

Size really does matter – at least when it comes to gamers’ hands. 

In a new study commissioned by Stakester, Dr Lindsey Migliore, an established e-sports physician, set out to uncover the ideal hand size for professional gamers. 

Dr Migliore examined over 90 gamers aged 18-44, and compared their hand measurements to their gaming success across popular games including Call of Duty, Fifa and Mario Kart. 

The results showed that the ideal size of the fingers varies depending on the game. 

Gamers with small fingers were found to be better at high intensity games like Mario Kart. 

However, those with large fingers were better at longer games that require more stamina, including Call of Duty and Fifa.

 

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