Why Google Stadia (streaming gaming platform) failed

Joshua Dance
3 min readOct 1, 2022

Google is shutting down it’s streaming game platform, Stadia. They are refunding all purchases of both hardware and software.

Google kills products so often it is a meme and a site https://killedbygoogle.com/

What was Google Stadia?

Cloud gaming. Sign up and for $10 a month, play all the games you wanted.

You could buy a controller but it wasn’t required.

The hardware and games were housed somewhere else, and your controls were sent to the game, and the results, streamed back to you.

Does the streaming game model make sense?

Yes, the model makes sense. It is just super early.

Cloud gaming is a good idea for consumers because:

  • You don’t need to buy specialized hardware. Having to buy a $400 machine to play the games you want is a big investment.
  • Zero downtime spent downloading or updating games. This has become an interesting problem where games have to download a lot of content.
  • Cloud gaming opens new business models and go-to-market: freemium, subscription, or licensing. You can’t do freemium on a Playstation.
  • Cloud gaming opens new markets: casual gamers, streaming creators, etc.

Polygon says we are early in cloud gaming and I agree. Soon the idea of owning a machine that plays games could be like the idea of owning a machine that plays videos. Cool but you don’t need it.

So why did Stadia fail?

Let’s be honest, if Stadia was raking in the money for Google, they probably would not have canceled it. So people were not buying…

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Joshua Dance

Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.