Is Stadia shutting down?

Google Stadia
Google Stadia (Image credit: Google)

Best answer: No. At the time of this writing Google is not shutting down the Stadia platform. It is, however, closing its internal development and publishing studios that were working on exclusive first-party Stadia games to instead focus efforts on third-party deals and supporting the platform as a whole.

So, Google isn't shutting down Stadia?

No, on Feb. 1, 2021 Google announced that it's closing its internal Stadia development studios that were working on exclusive Stadia projects, not that it was shutting down Stadia as a whole. This means the platform will continue to exist as it does today, but in the future, Google is focusing on third-party projects and supporting the Stadia platform rather than investing resources into developing exclusive first-party games.

Will new games continue to release on Stadia?

As of right now there is no reason to assume new games will stop releasing on Stadia. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of the best Stadia games were third-party releases and most of the first-party content has been subpar so far. According to today's statement, Google is committed to continuing Stadia. We don't personally think it's in trouble just yet.

What happens to my game data if Stadia shuts down?

Right now, Google allows you to download all of your Stadia player profile information, game history, achievements, game stats, social data, captures, and game saves using Google Takeout. If Stadia shuts down completely, you will likely lose access to all of that and all of your games, but you should get a warning to give you time to grab your data.

Just because you can download this data doesn't mean you'll be able to access your game save on another platform. Some publishers, such as Ubisoft, support cross-saves between consoles, but most don't. Division 2 and Elder Scrolls Online have cross-saves between Stadia and PC, for example, but in all cases you'd need to rebuy the game on another platform before you can access any save data.

What happens to my games if Stadia shuts down?

In all likelihood you will lose all access to your games if Stadia shuts down. There is no option to download a game from Stadia to play it locally since it's a cloud-based gaming platform, and, technically speaking, you don't actually own any of the games on the service.

Back in the summer of 2019 before Stadia launched, Andrey Doronichev, director of product for Stadia, gave a very carefully-worded non-answer to this same question during a Reddit AMA. The gist of it is that Google doesn't want you to worry because lots of stuff is in the cloud these days. The closest he gets to an actual answer is, "the games you buy on Stadia are yours to play," which is a fancy way of saying nothing.

There is no explicit confirmation at this time, but if the day comes that Google does actually shut down Stadia completely then you will likely lose all access to your games on Stadia, including the ones you've purchased outright.

David Jagneaux