Stadia Is Dead

Perhaps unsurprisingly given Google's history with its services and products launched into the public space, Stadia will be discontinued on the 18th of January 2023 (with refunds going out).

Phil Harrison, the vice president and general manager of Stadia stated:

For many years, Google has invested across multiple aspects of the gaming industry. We help developers build and distribute gaming apps on Google Play and Google Play Games. Gaming creators are reaching audiences around the world on YouTube through videos, live streaming and Shorts. And our cloud streaming technology delivers immersive gameplay at massive scale.
A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia. And 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.

We’re grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start. 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. We have more details for players on this process on our Help Center.  

The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. We see clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts — as well as make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed. We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators.

For the Stadia team, building and supporting Stadia from the ground up has been fueled by the same passion for games that our players have. Many of the Stadia team members will be carrying this work forward in other parts of the company. We’re so grateful for the groundbreaking work of the team and we look forward to continuing to have an impact across gaming and other industries using the foundational Stadia streaming technology.

The Fallout

Surprisingly however, it seems that Stadia didn't even let other developer studios know which probably disproves prior speculation that Zenimax Online Studios delayed its quarterly updates by a week knowing Stadia would shut down.

Unknown error during media loading

Some developers also took to Reddit to complain about their work and investment of precious time in trying to make their games work through Stadia.

Even more surprisingly, even Stadia's engineers were rumored to not have been given a headsup on the day of the announcement as well.

People who play other games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 are at risk of losing all of their progress made through Stadia as well:

Unknown error during media loading

ESO Players

ESO players who played through Stadia will most likely not lose any progress made on their accounts as their accounts are basically on the PC megaserver structure of The Elder Scrolls Online.

ESO Stadia players were not given a separate server from PC or console players but were instead introduced into PC NA and EU. The only restriction on ESO Stadia/PC players was that they could not use any addons.

If ESO Stadia players want to continue playing ESO without any lost progress, most likely they will have to play from their computers instead through the official launcher or Steam as indicated by a recent tweet by The Elder Scrolls Online official account.

For ESO players who were not playing Stadia, they may also still be affected as Zenimax Online Studios had to take Stadia into heavy consideration for their incremental patch cadence and even Public Test Server cycles.

As stated by community manager Gina Bruno in 2020:

Hello everyone!

As you may have seen in our recent article on the website, we’re really excited to launch ESO on Stadia on June 16. Because PC and Stadia players will share the PC megaservers, there are a few minor changes to the PC patch cadence that we’d like to bring to your attention.

Scheduled PC maintenances will continue to occur on Mondays, with the exception of next week’s incremental (6.0.6) which is currently scheduled for next Wednesday, June 3. Normally this would be on Monday, but we need a bit of extra time to get fixes done and into the patch.

After that first incremental, there will be no new patches until after Stadia launches on June 16 – we need some time to get it ready and go through the Stadia certification process. We are scheduling the second incremental patch (6.0.7) for June 29, and moving forward, subsequent incremental patches will occur every other week. If an emergency arises, we’ll of course work with Stadia to get a patch published ASAP. So in general, PC incrementals will now occur bi-weekly, but if needed, we can update quickly.

Note this will not affect our ability to perform hotfixes, or affect any PTS patches or updates.

Thanks for all your ongoing support!  

It remains to be seen if the 6-week PTS cycle will stay (as it changed from 5 weeks to 6 weeks as the 6th week was for Stadia certification) or if it will be reverted back to a 5-week PTS cycle and if incremental patch cadence - at least for PC - can return to a consistent weekly basis rather than a bi-weekly basis.