Google has formally denied a rumor that its Stadia (opens in new tab) gaming service will soon be closed down, saying that it is still "working on bringing more great games to the platform."
Stadia, Google's cloud-based gaming service, has been under one form of deathwatch or another almost from the start, thanks to confused marketing (opens in new tab) campaigns, reports of technical problems (opens in new tab), and the absence of some very basic functionality (opens in new tab) at launch. The situation grew more overtly dire in early 2021, when Stadia's Jade Raymond-led internal development studio was shuttered (opens in new tab).
That may at least partially explain why a rumor posted yesterday on the Killed by Google (opens in new tab) Twitter feed, attributed to an anonymous friend of a regional Google manager, attracted so much attention.
"Long story short Google is beginning their exit plan," the message says. "They did not have an exact date that end of service will happen, but they did say by the end of summer. He also mentioned that they will not be transferring their services or servers to any other competition per se, and it will be much like they did with Google Play Music, same exit approach and strategy."
"He also mentioned that all members would be informed 30-60 days before, and that the last month of service will be refunded and no charge for its usage. Also, any available subscription months will be refunded fully to your linked bank account."
Like all good rumors, it's thin and untraceable, but contains just enough detail and connection to on-the-ground reality to be believable. Naturally it sparked plenty of conversations: Many in the Gaming Leaks and Rumors (opens in new tab) subreddit accepted the report as true (and inevitable), while the official Stadia subreddit (opens in new tab) was understandably more dubious. But Stadia said on Twitter that it just isn't so.
Stadia is not shutting down. Rest assured we're always working on bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia Pro. Let us know if you have other questions.July 29, 2022
"Stadia is not shutting down," the official Stadia account said in reply to a user who asked if it is closing soon. "Rest assured we're always working on bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia Pro."
That makes it official, and plenty of people who I have to assume are Stadia owners expressed their relief in the replies. But not everyone was convinced:
The doubt is understandable: A Kotaku (opens in new tab) report from earlier this year said that just one week before closing the Stadia Games and Entertainment development studio, Stadia general manager Phil Harrison had sent an email to its staff praising the "great progress" they were making.