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Google to wind down Stadia streaming service three years after launch

Spectators look on during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google said on Thursday it would wind down its consumer gaming service, Stadia, as it failed to attract enough interest from gamers after nearly three years of being launched.

Gaming companies are facing a slowdown in demand for video games from pandemic highs. The near-term prospects for Stadia also looked dim as high inflation has caused some consumers to reduce their spending on entertainment.

"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," Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager of Stadia, said in a blog post.

The company said it would be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store.

However, players will continue to have access to their games library and play through Jan. 18.

Last year, Google said it would stop internal development of games for Stadia, making it entirely dependent on titles from other game developers and publishers. (https://reut.rs/3dQtXCO)

Stadia was launched in 2019 along with an internal game development unit that was expected to make titles for the platform.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta and Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)