DURHAM – Google will shut down its digital gaming service, Stadia, which the company had launched in 2019, according to a blog post published by Google on Thursday.

“[W]e’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service,” the statement, authored by Phil Harrison, the vice president and general manager of Stadia, reads.  “[I]t hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected.”

It’s the latest in a series of cuts made by the tech giant following comments made by CEO Sundar Pichai earlier this year about making the company 20% more efficient.

Though Google remains hiring in the Triangle, for positions out of the east coast engineering hub, the company has made cuts in other areas recently.

That includes cuts at an internal innovation lab known as Area 120, which halved the number of active projects and whose workers were directed to find another job within Google by January or risk layoffs.

The shut down of Stadia will be completed by the end of January 2023, with access to games remaining available to users through January 18, 2023, the blog post noted.

Google CEO defends cost-cutting measures even as workers express concerns

Fate of the gaming industry?

But just because Stadia will shut down won’t mean that Google is getting out of the gaming business.

“We remain deeply committed to gaming, and we will continue to invest in new tools, technologies and platforms that power the success of developers, industry partners, cloud customers and creators.”

Earlier this year, Meta announced it would shut down a gaming application.

Other tech companies have recently expanded their focus in gaming, including Netflix, which announced it would open its own in-house gaming studio earlier this week.  And in January, news broke that Microsoft planned to buy Activision Blizzard in a deal worth nearly $69 billion.  Still, there are changes at gaming companies, including new leadership at Red Storm Entertainment, a Cary-based gaming studio owned by Ubisoft.

Netflix foray into gaming market ramps up as it opens own studio