Tech giant Google announced on Thursday that it will be phasing out its consumer gaming service Stadia starting in January 2023. Google, which operates under parent company Alphabet, said it made the "difficult decision" to phase out the platform as it did not garner the attention that was expected.

Google said it will refund Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, as well as game and add-on purchases through the Stadia store. Google said it expects to have most refunds completed by mid-January.

Stadia launched in 2019 and was touted as a competitor to Sony's PlayStation Now, Amazon's Luna and Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming. Despite showing promise, it failed to impress consumers.

Earlier this month, as the company was under market pressure, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said he wanted to make the company 20% more efficient, hinting at cost-cutting.

Google's Stadia endeavor had seen signs of trouble before Thursday's announcement. In 2021, the company closed its video games department and laid off 150 employees days after saying it was making "great progress."

In late August, Stadia denied rumors on Twitter of a possible shut down.

"Stadia is not shutting down. We're always working on bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia," the tweet read.

The company said Stadia's existing employees would be shuffled to Google's other services and departments.

Shares of Alphabet have fallen 34% this year. The company recorded dismal revenue and profit figures in its July report.