What Happens If Google Stadia Shuts Down? Developer Answers

"Moving to the cloud is scary," Google Stadia developer says.

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Now Playing: Google Stadia Dev Talks "Netflix For Games" - GS News Update

Google's new game-streaming service, Google Stadia, is launching in November. Unlike traditional consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, Stadia is a streaming service with no local hardware beyond the controller. This means everything happens in the cloud. Naturally, people want to know what happens if Stadia shuts down, as numerous other Google products have in the past.

During a Reddit AMA today, Stadia's director of product, Andrey Doronichev, said this is a question that the team gets a lot. And he understands how people might be afraid to move to the cloud.

"I hear you. Moving to the cloud is scary," he said. "I felt the same way when music was transitioning from files to streaming. I still have all my old CDs in the garage… although it's hard to find a CD player these days :)"

Doronichev went on to say that movies, photos, and documents have all generally moved to the cloud, and that has generally gone well. The same can be true for games, he said.

"The same happened to Movies and Photos and my Docs and other files… And it’s great! Games are no different. Eventually all of our games will be safely in the cloud too and we'll feel great about it," Doronichev said. "We've been investing a ton in tech, infrastructure and partnerships over the past few years. Nothing in life is certain, but we’re committed to making Stadia a success."

Doronichev added that Google Stadia will support the "Takeout" feature from day one. This allows players to download the metadata of their games, including game saves. However, games themselves cannot be downloaded, so if Stadia shuts down, players may not be able to access their games.

"Of course, it’s OK to doubt my words," Doronichev said. "There's nothing I can say now to make you believe if you don't. But what we can do is to launch the service and continue investing in it for years to come. Exactly how we've been doing with gMail, Docs, Music, Movies and Photos. That’s exactly what we’re committed to."

Concerns about game ownership and ongoing support for games is not exclusive to Stadia. The servers for older console and PC games are often shut down over time as developers shift their focus to newer titles. While physical media remains important in the gaming industry, digital is taking up a bigger piece of the pie as time goes on.

Stadia launches in November in some parts of the world, including the United States. A $10 USD/month subscription gets you access to a growing library of games. A $130 USD Stadia Founder's Edition comes with the Google controller, a Chromecast Ultra, 3 months of Stadia Pro, a copy of Destiny 2 (and all the expansions), and other extras.

Microsoft's game-streaming service, xCloud, is attempting to steal some of Stadia's thunder, as the first public trials will begin in October.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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trust2112

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Moving too the cloud is NOT scary. Having your 60 dollar video game shut off, is the scary part. That is why I do NOT buy a game without a physical copy. I OWN that motherfucker, not the developer and certainly not Google.

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mcnichoj

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@trust2112: A lot of good my copies of MAG and SOCOM: CONFRONTATION do me.

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uberDave

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" I still have all my old CDs in the garage… although it's hard to find a CD player these days :)"

That's because we use mp3 players, which literally everyone owns. It is not inspiring that whenever someone brings up an issue with Stadia, Google's official response is either a transparent deflection, or something to the effect of "we bet things will workout on their own."

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DEATHWlSH

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I'll be sticking to disc/cart-based gaming for as long as I possibly can.

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DataMeister

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I think if they could agree on a MoviesAnywhere type of license portability so a game bought on Stadia would work on other platforms and vice-versa, that would instill a lot more confidence in customers.

XBox, PlayStation, Nintendo, Stadia, the desktop PC group (Steam, Microsoft, Origin, Epic, Gog, Apple, etc) need to all work together from a licensing point of view. If the game is ported to the platform and you buy a license to play the game, it shouldn't matter which piece of hardware you play it on.

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mcnichoj

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@datameister: The publishers wouldn't want that. They would rather you double dip on game purchases as much as possible. Which in their defense, in costs money to create a specific version of the game for each different piece of hardware and this is why you see some games skip some hardware.

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DataMeister

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Edited By DataMeister

@mcnichoj: I'm sure the movie industry thought the same way about MoviesAnywhere too.

The price for multiple movie masters might not be as expensive as porting to multiple game platforms, but porting isn't quite like building a new game from scratch either. Also we are talking about $60 games too, not $25.

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sweet_jcs

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Can we talk about the fact that @mcnichoj: is a damn troll who obviously works for google

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mcnichoj

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@sweet_jcs: Do you even know what the words you're using mean?

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mattcake

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Someone tell the dude he can play CDs in a DVD or Bluray player. Apparently it'll blow his mind.

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DEATHWlSH

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@mattcake: CD players often have speakers built right into them so you can listen to music. DVD and blu ray players do not, and even the few that do, such as a portable DVD player, will have really shitty speakers.

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Xylymphydyte

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Hey guys, remember that time Telltale Games shut down and a ton of stuff you owned on multiple platforms literally disappeared out of your library, this is totally not anywhere near as firm as that digital library format so it'll be fine, really! Hahaha! Nothing to worry about, open your wallets!

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Jinzo_111887

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@Xylymphydyte: Sarcasm?

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Xylymphydyte

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@Jinzo_111887: Uh, yes. Quite a bit.

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Jinzo_111887

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Edited By Jinzo_111887

@Xylymphydyte: There's actually a lot wrong with this idea. Another was how Lizard Squad did a number on Sony's network through a DDOS attack, which in turn affected their streaming service for a few days.

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Xylymphydyte

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@Jinzo_111887: Anything where you don't have the physical thing in your hand is anti-consumer so far as I'm concerned. The closest to good digital we get is GoG.

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UrbanMessiah

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Why is anyone asking what happens if Stadia shuts down? We've already seen what happens when OnLive shut down.

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darkelf83

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@UrbanMessiah: To get Google to openly admit that they will screw you. There are a lot of oblivious people out there that don't get it.

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mcnichoj

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@darkelf83: Can you actually name one person that believes they'll keep a cloud copy of a game forever and ever?

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darkelf83

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@mcnichoj: Can you name one person who believes they'll live forever? This isn't about the super long term. It's about what happens when this flops in two years.

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mcnichoj

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@darkelf83: Nice deflection. No one is getting screwed because no one believes their Stadia purchases will last their entire life.

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blink-jfg

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...And here I am still buying vinyl’s, CD’s, cassettes (Rick & Morty album), Blu-Ray’s and physical games instead ?

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BigFeef

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Edited By BigFeef

The whole concept of Stadia's pricing model seems downright stupid. Paying a subscription for a cloud-based gaming service is dodgy already; but being charged full price for new games on a cloud-based service? Seriously? Are people that stupid?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes; people are that stupid. Many in the video games industry are getting very rich off the stupidy of gamers; so why not Google, right?

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mcnichoj

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Edited By mcnichoj

@BigFeef: Paying an OPTIONAL subscription fee just to enable 4k and getting free games. I don't own 4k anything but I'll take the free games.

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sweet_jcs

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@mcnichoj: So you have to pay to get a non-downgraded version of a game you already pay for, but don't own and can't play offline...

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mcnichoj

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@sweet_jcs: I already only buy digital because it grants me access to two copies of the game for the current time. I already don't own my games. While I could play them offline, I never am. I have an Xbox One X and a PS4 Pro but I don't own a 4k TV. Stadia really isn't much different from how I play other current gen consoles minus I won't need a giant specific branded device and I will get minuet input lag.

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Xylymphydyte

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@mcnichoj: But you just paid for them.

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mcnichoj

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@Xylymphydyte: Just paid for what? I don't know why people upvote vague incomplete sentences.

-You can pay a monthly fee and get to play Destiny 2 at 4k. You'll keep getting new games that you can play at 4k.
OR
-Don't pay the monthly fee and just buy Destiny 2 and whatever other games you want to play at 1080p.

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Xylymphydyte

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@mcnichoj: The 'free games'. If you're paying a monthly fee they're not free.

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mcnichoj

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@Xylymphydyte: I guess PS+ and Xbox Live Gold don't give free games either.

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Xylymphydyte

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@mcnichoj: This is correct. You don't have them anymore when your subscription lapses either, with the exception of 360 titles from XBLG.

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mcnichoj

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@Xylymphydyte: Better go tell GameSpot:

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/dont-miss-xbox-ones-free-games-with-gold-for-july-/1100-6468150/
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/july-2019-grab-free-ps-plus-ps4-games-while-theyre/1100-6468052/

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Xylymphydyte

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@mcnichoj: It's a long term debate over the semantics of it, I would argue that if you pay for it, even tangentially, it's not free. Even if you do feel that it's free despite the monthly fee, the fact that you lose it when you STOP paying the free further indicates that it's not free. Free means you don't pay for it and you get to keep it.

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mcnichoj

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@Xylymphydyte: Have you ever sued someone over the fraudulent term "buy one get one free"?

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Xylymphydyte

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@mcnichoj: Do you have to being paying and continue to pay in perpetuity a subscription fee to maintain the free thing?

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doremonhg9x

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Edited By doremonhg9x

This can only work if you are not required to pay for the game on top of the subscription a.k.a Xbox Game Pass but on the cloud. Anyone with half a brain will see that a console or a PC will last you for years to come, but buying into this means that just about 3 years of subscription will run you more than the price of a specialize gaming console/pc, not to mention you can do so much more with consoles and especially PC in general, while if you pay for this you can only game.

That's just one of the many problem of this and it's enough to make me not wanting to buy into it.

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mcnichoj

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@doremonhg9x: This can only work if you are not required to pay for the game on top of the subscription

You're already not required. They stated this from the first reveal of cost, release date, etc. The subscription gets you the ability to play in 4k and free games. You just want to play one specific game and don't care about 4k? Then just buy the one game and pay no extra cost to Google.

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BigBlueBUSTN

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its dead already, first pay for stadia, then pay for the game LICENSE not the game. you pay full price to rent the game. there will be people who do it, we call them useless sheep

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mcnichoj

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@bigbluebustn: First the subscription fee is OPTIONAL. You can buy whatever you want without the monthly fee. You technically right now already only buy licenses for your current hardware machines. Sure they can't do anything to your physical games but will you always be able to redownload your digital content from them?

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thedarklinglord

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How was there not a follow-up of, "Yeah, it was scary with movies and music, and even though we've mostly been lulled in a false sense of security regarding those things, it still remains that way. But, back to Stadia, how about you answer the f***ing question?"

Seriously, I would've had a lot more respect for this asshat and Google in general if he'd just been direct and said, "Well, obviously, you'd lose all your purchases. I mean, maybe we could work out some sort of deal with Steam, Epic, Microsoft, and/or Sony where you could transfer your digital license to a platform of your choice, but...look, let's be honest. Google will have your money. The publishers will have your money. And, at that point, nobody is really going to give a good golly damn about your consumer rights. But we'll have covered our ass in the fine print, in that user agreement that nobody reads. What I'm saying is, you'll be f***ed. Now you want to play some games in the cloud or what?"

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Jinzo_111887

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@thedarklinglord: Keep reading. The answer is right around when the takeout feature is mentioned.

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sweet_jcs

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@Jinzo_111887: That's just the metadata. So any characters you created, save games, etc, but not the license. You can't transfer the game to another platform like xbox or steam or playstation.

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Jinzo_111887

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@sweet_jcs: It's just below the takeout feature, but still in the same paragraph is what I'm getting at.

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Masato_Indou

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Edited By Masato_Indou

I like how he dodges the question by essentially saying "What are you talking about? Haha forget about it! Our team is hard at work to make sure launch goes smoothlly! Oh and here's some other things to talk about!"

Since the stadia team are clearly not gonna answer it, here it it is, if stadia shuts down, you obviously wont be able to play your stadia games that you payed full price for despite them saying we're like netflix subscription except you still pay full price for game ON TOP of the stadia subscription fee... SMFH

edit of an edit: this is in no way good for the consumers, good for the companies because they get more money from you and google gets a subscription fee so win win... except the gamers of course

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mcnichoj

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@masato_indou: They answered the question, you can copy your saved data. Yes you lose the ability to play them on the cloud but you could resume your game on a regular PC version which yes you'll need to rebuy but it will probably be $5 on Steam at that point.

The subscription is OPTIONAL as it just gets you 4k and free games.

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Masato_Indou

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Edited By Masato_Indou

@mcnichoj: I'll give you the subscription, but copying your save data doesn't, mean that that game you bought on stadia can still be played if stadia goes down.. you'll have to re-buy it on another platform (in this case you also need to consider compatibility of the save file on another platform)...

that's IF the industry doesnt decide to just shift to full streaming after this

Edit: And no they didn't answer the topic question "What Happens If Google Stadia Shuts Down?", they danced around it sure, answered? no, it was about as clear as "no, maybe, i dunno, sure, why not, whatevs" They clearly know the answer (you lose the game you bought, save files, which is not the game but a save file which is useless without you buying the game again on another platform, be damned) but also know that people are gonna yell at them so they decided to dodge the question

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mcnichoj

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Edited By mcnichoj

@masato_indou: but copying your save data doesn't, mean that that game you bought on stadia can still be played if stadia goes down..

You're 100% right but at least any progress you do on a Stadia game won't be a complete wash. You actually get the added benefit of being able to jump back and forth between playing it natively on your computer via a Steam copy and then via Stadia on a another machine away from home.

you'll have to re-buy it on another platform (in this case you also need to consider compatibility of the save file on another platform)...

Yeah you'll have to rebuy a game and that sucks but we live in the age of remasters now so it's not like no one has ever rebought a game before. Save file compatibility will probably will be a non-issue. Stadia versions of games will probably be the same as the Steam version minus any mention of Steam on menus. Just as a fun fact, you could use a PC Mass Effect save file on an Xbox 360 and vice-versa, I think you just needed to change the format.

that's IF the industry doesnt decide to just shift to full streaming after this

Even though I support Stadia I think we're still a ways off from that. Capcom did their streaming experiment with the Switch for Residentl Evil 7 and that proved not to be a success. This experiment was conducted in Japan where high speed internet is very plentiful. Plus a huge need for physical games still exist. Although if it did happen any tiem remotely soon, it would make all the current complaining pretty moot.

And no they didn't answer the topic question

They didn't put it in a direct quote but it's there:

so if Stadia shuts down, players may not be able to access their games.