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Google's shutdown of Stadia is not unexpected, but how do we preserve the games?

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Well, it’s happened, in a move practically everybody expected: Google has announced they are shutting down their cloud gaming service, Stadia.

The idea behind Stadia was that all you would need is a controller, and then you could play top-tier video games on any PC, cell phone, or TV with a Chromecast—no expensive console required. It’s similar to Xbox Cloud Gaming or PlayStation Now, but without being tied to those bigger gaming brands. It worked fairly well, but was expensive, and few people wanted to invest in a service they thought might not be around long.

Google shutting down projects initially touted as revolutionary is practically a meme at this point—I’m still sore from the shutdown of Google Inbox. And Google Allo. And Google Wave. Heck, I’ll probably never forgive them for killing Google Reader. I have trust issues with Google at this point, and I’m not the only one.

In Google’s defense, they’re proceeding with the shutdown in just about the best way they could do so—they’re refunding all Stadia hardware and software purchases ever made through their store. That’s about the most gracious I’ve ever seen a company be in a situation like this.

Still, the shutdown of the service is another reminder that many modern games have a preservation problem—there are a small number of games that were exclusive to the Stadia service, they aren’t available to play anywhere else. I’m hoping these games will be republished on PC or other consoles, because it would be a sad end to these games to die on this service that was doomed from the start.

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.