Google has announced it will be shutting down its Stadia cloud gaming services and refunding all its players – shocked developers aren’t happy.

The news comes as Netflix announces that it is taking more steps into the gaming world, with a recent shock announcement that they plan to open their own game development studio.

When it was launched in November 2019, Stadia was labelled as a “Netflix for games”, a place where users can play the latest releases without the need for a console.

It was met with mixed responses, with its critics labelling the service as a “gimmick” and slamming its need for ultra-fast internet to remove any input lag.

Now, three years on, Google has announced that it will be ending the service for good on 18 January 2023 due to its lack of “traction” with gamers.

All customers who purchased a Stadia controller, games and content have been promised to be refunded fully.

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But the shock closure has upset its fans as well as developers, some of whom had no clue it was due to be closing.

Mike Rose, the founder of developer No More Robots, expressed his shock of Google shutting down Stadia on Twitter.

“Oh my god,” he wrote, “we have a game coming to Stadia in November. Who wants to guess that Google will refuse to pay us the money they owe us for it.”

He followed up with another tweet: “Hours later and I still have no email from Stadia, and no clarity on what’s happening with our games, deals, anything.

“Really would have been nice if they’d told partners, or even got in contact with us by now?”

Brandon Sheffield, director of Necrosoft Games, was also saddened by the closure of Stadia.

“I know everybody is having a great time laughing at this but Stadia had the best dev revenue of any streaming service, and launching Hyper Gunsport there was going to recoup our dev costs,” said Sheffield. “We were launching there in November and are now in a much tougher situation.”

Phil Harrison, vice-president and general manager of Stadia, wrote in a blog post: “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.”

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.