As Google’s Stadia platform shuts down, gamers bid farewell to the service.

Are you heartbroken over the news that Google’s Stadia cloud-gaming service is shutting down in the UK? You’re not alone. Gamers everywhere are mourning the loss of this innovative platform, which promised to be the “Netflix of games” when it launched in November 2019. But unfortunately, it seems that Stadia never quite gained the traction with users that Google had hoped for, leading to the decision to shut it down.

Starting at 8:00 am on January 19th, Stadia will no longer be accessible for UK gamers. But don’t worry, Google has promised refunds to anyone who made purchases on the platform, including those who bought controllers, games, or downloadable content. The company previously estimated that these refunds would be completed by mid-January.

In a bittersweet goodbye, Google has also released one final Stadia game, Worm Game, which was originally used by developers to test the service before its public release. And in a nod to the future, the company has also announced plans to make its Stadia controllers capable of using Bluetooth, which would allow them to be used on PCs wirelessly to play any game, even after Stadia’s closure.

But for many gamers, the loss of Stadia is more than just a disappointment – it’s a heartbreak. Some games developed exclusively for Stadia could be lost forever once the service closes. London-based developer Splash Damage, who made the multiplayer game Outcasters, has said that they have no plans to bring the game elsewhere. Q-Games founder and CEO Dylan Cuthbert has expressed a similar sentiment, saying that his team had spent two years developing Stadia exclusive PixelJunk Raiders and that he wants to make sure the game isn’t “gone forever.”

“It’s a real shame when people can’t play a game you’ve spent years making,” says Cuthbert. “We’re hoping to talk to publishers who can help us get it on to a PC or even PS5 [PlayStation 5] or other platforms. The IP is ours, so we’re trying to find a way to do that.”

Despite the sadness and disappointment, many gamers are praising Google for not leaving anyone out of pocket. “The refunds enabled me to get myself a new gaming device and Ubisoft even gave me the games we already purchased, for free,” said one Stadia user. “Even the hardware was refunded, so we essentially got controllers and 4K Chromecasts for free. It is a shame that Stadia had to close but I am happy I was able to experience it.”

For many gamers, Stadia represented a new frontier in gaming – the ability to play anywhere, anytime, without the need for a PC or console. And while the platform may be shutting down, the dream of cloud gaming lives on. Who knows, maybe in the future, we’ll see a new, improved version of Stadia that will capture the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere. But for now, it’s goodbye to a beloved platform, and hello to new possibilities.

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