Google Stadia is Finally Dead

If you still have the Bluetooth controller, you can unlock it for use with other devices.

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A photo of the Stadia logo on an Android device
Goodbye, Stadia.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Now is an appropriate time to but out your trumpet for the long-awaited demise of Google’s cloud-gaming service, Stadia. The shuttered service’s website makes it clear: Stadia officially shut down on Jan. 18, 2023.

Granted, we all knew it was coming. It’s been about three months since we learned Google was planning to shut things down. Stadia didn’t perform relative to other cloud gaming services, nor did it have the backing of its parent company the way Microsoft is pushing Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia is plugging GeForce Now. Both of those services live on and keep adding games to their library and better tech to their repertoire.

Stadia did manage to get through one last hurrah before shutting it all down, with a reprise of the classic Snake game called Worm. It was used internally by Google’s Stadia team to test the cloud functionality. The credits memorialized the staff that worked on the service through the years.

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If you were paying attention to your inbox over the last few months, you might have seen a flurry of emails from Google directing you to a refund for any purchased Stadia games. Google started refunding (to your original payment method) beginning Nov. 9, 2022, though the majority should have been processed by now. The official support page can help guide you toward a solution if you have additional questions.

A photo of the Stadia controller
Don’t forget to “unlock” your Stadia controller to work with other devices.
Photo: Alex Cranz / Gizmodo
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If you were one of the original bandwagoners when Google launched Stadia, you might wonder if you can use the branded Bluetooth controller with other devices. Yes, you can plug it into any device that will accept it as a wired USB-connected gamepad. But you can also head to this page to unlock the Stadia controller’s Bluetooth connection to pair it with any mobile device or computer. You can also peek at this support page for additional information.

Stadia was among the first in the flurry of cloud gaming services to sprout up over the past few years, and now there are more options than ever. Stadia also introduced impressive technology that lets you jump into a game through the browser without any initial setup. It remains to be seen what Google will do with the underlying technology developed with Stadia. But from now on, the cloud gaming service remains a memory.