Google Stadia, the cloud-based gaming service, will be shutting down on 18 January 2023. The service, launched in 2019, promised instantaneous gaming on the go and aimed to eliminate the need for expensive consoles and updates. However, despite the promise, the service struggled due to the high cost of games, lack of features, small library, and internet costs. As a result, in a September 2020 blog post, Google announced the end of the service.
As the service's end draws near, it was expected that no new games would be released on the platform. However, Google recently surprised fans by releasing one final game, Worm Game, an internally developed title used to test Stadia before it became a public service. The game, described as Snake-like and sports rudimentary graphics, is available for free and is a way for the Stadia team to give a final "humble thanks" to its players.
In a tweet via the official Google Stadia Twitter account on 13 January, the developers wrote, "You might have seen one last game arrive on Stadia today. It's a humble thanks for playing from our team." The game is currently available to play for free via Google's Chrome browser, albeit only for a limited time.
While Worm Game may not be the most impressive game, it does provide a glimpse into the development process and will be a reminder of the short-lived service. With the shutdown of Stadia, Google is ending its venture into the gaming industry, at least for the foreseeable future.
Worm Game's official description reads: "Play the game that came to Stadia before Stadia came to the world. “Worm Game” is a humble title we used to test many of Stadia’s features, starting well before our 2019 public launch, right through 2022. It won’t win Game of the Year, but the Stadia team spent a LOT of time playing it, and we thought we’d share it with you. Thanks for playing, and for everything."
Google Stadia will officially shut down its servers on 18 January 2023.