In context: In what is more evidence that you shouldn't believe anonymous online rumors, Google has confirmed it is not planning on shutting down its Stadia game streaming service this summer. The tech giant says it is working on bringing more "great games" to the platform, though it's understandable why reports of Stadia's death were so convincing.
The rumor stems from a couple of posts by the same user on a Stadia fan group on Facebook. They were reprinted by Cody Ogden from the Killed by Google Twitter account, part of the website, also called Killed by Google, which lists the 267 apps, services, and pieces of hardware the company has shuttered over the years.
The messages claim an old friend of the poster who is now a Google regional manager was informed about Stadia's upcoming demise at a seminar in California over the weekend. "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," they read.
The posts also allege that Stadia members would be informed of the service's closure 30 to 60 days before it shutters, and the last month of usage would be refunded, as would any remaining months.
Google soon responded to a question about Stadia's rumored closure with, "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."
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.— Stadia ☁️🎮 (@GoogleStadia) July 29, 2022
Android Police reports that the moderator of the Facebook group where the posts originated tweeted that the user who wrote them, who uses the name Donny Jepp, had been "making snide posts about Stadia for months" and was banned.
Google used the attention to its advantage, promoting a free-to-play weekend for adventure platformer Wavetale by repeating the same "old co-worker of mine" line.
Just a heads up— Stadia ☁️🎮 (@GoogleStadia) July 29, 2022
Old coworker of mine is now one of the social managers for Google. They had a pretty large seminar in California this past weekend, and long story short you now can play Wavetale at no additional cost on Stadia Pro until August 1: https://t.co/2O6P0Kd8Kd pic.twitter.com/Hjo0pvARKx
Some Twitter users aren't buying Google's claims that none of the rumors are true, and you can see why. When Stadia was announced in 2019, Google believed it could reshape the gaming industry and even replace consoles and gaming PCs altogether, despite so many previous cloud-based gaming services failing to make a huge impact or eventually disappearing.
From day one, developers talked about fears that Google could cancel Stadia. Initial reviews were less than glowing, there were missing features and performance issues, and some devs believed Google simply overpromised. But the most ominous sign came in February last year when Google closed down its first-party Stadia game studio and product head John Justice left a few months later.
This isn't the first time Google has had to assure people Stadia is alive and well. With tech companies struggling in the face of economic uncertainty and demand for games and products falling, one has to wonder how long the service will stick around.