When Google first launched Stadia in 2019, there were a lot of people who saw its demise as inevitable. While gaming is a big business, Google had no experience with it and nothing special to bring to the industry. Plus, it's Google - a company that many people generally do not trust - asking for a new group of consumers to trust them. And, while the death was seemingly slow and painful, it now appears to be complete and likely permanent.
The Stadia lifecycle
Google Stadia was launched to the public in 2019 to a middle-of-the-road response. Some people were excited to see another big name enter the gaming industry, hoping that it would be like Microsoft when they launched Xbox. Others believed that Google's history of building and abandoning products and services didn't bode well for the future of the product. Others didn't really care because they don't trust Google.
The naysayers ended up being right, as Google announced that they were expanding the service from just a consumer-facing subscription service to include a Google Cloud service where publishers could stream their own games. As the first test of the white labeled service, AT&T (which owned WarnerMedia at the time) made Batman: Arkham Knight free for subscribers. Then Peloton launched a game for its bikes and Capcom launched a version of Resident Evil Village for web. The products went well, proving that the white labeling could potentially succeed.
After the expanded offering was announced, the original service was said to be sunsetting. The company agreed to return the purchase price of any owned games, as well as hardware purchased through Google. This shutdown left the white labeled service as the only remaining part of Stadia, though the company said it was committed to the technology.
The end is here
Despite the statement of commitment to the technology, Google has shuttered the white labeled service. Any public projects running on the platform have either been redirected or are showing as a 404 at this point. AT&T has redirected the former Stadia page to a trial for GeForce Now where the game has moved, Capcom has a broken link, and Peloton removed the option form its devices.
In addition, Google has pulled the option of "Immersive Stream for Games" from Google Cloud services and references to the service from documentation. With this move, all versions of the service appears to be dead. Google had said that they hoped to integrate the technology into other properties like Augmented REality, Google Play, and YouTube, but that has mostly not materialized.
The one remaining instance appears to be "Immersive Stream for XR" which renders augmented reality video content in the cloud and streams it to AR hardware. The service runs exclusively within the environment of Unreal Engine, making it a very niche product. But, with the death of the Stadia technology, it is possible that it could also spell the end of this offering as well.
We'll have to wait to see if Google abandons the last remnants of the once important product in Google's lineup.