Everything Big Tech Killed Off in 2023

Google Stadia finally met its end in January this year, but it was just a drop in the bucket for the number of products and services the company killed in 2023.
Image: Colleen Michaels (Shutterstock)

Big Tech went on a murder spree in 2023. We saw the end of many once-loved products and services, all swallowed up into the great dark pit of corporate consolidation. Few companies kept their knives sheathed, and if this year taught us anything, 2024 is likely to be just as bloody.

This was a bad year to be a tech worker, and probably just as bad to be tech itself. The great tech layoff spree continued on from 2022 as Silicon Valley tried to cut costs by tossing staff to the curb and killing any products or services deemed too extraneous. As the industry’s latest fascination with artificial intelligence becomes an outright obsession, one can expect we’ll find even more shallow graves dug around the campuses of Google, Apple, TikTok, Microsoft, and Amazon.

This happens every year, but in 2023 we saw more than the usual amount of fat trimming. Big Tech didn’t just murder products people were using, it shuttered services that people depended on. As streaming has continued to refute its initial promise by forcing ads on users who can’t pay a premium, numerous services such as Apple Music and Netflix have cut off lower-cost subscription tiers.

If there were a most wanted board hanging up in the Silicon Valley sheriff’s office, then Google would have the biggest bounty on its head. The Mountain View giant has refocused its entire apparatus on pushing AI products, and that means other projects gotta go. At the top of the list is Google Stadia, the company’s cloud gaming platform that took a full six months before the coroner could file their full report. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We saw the impacts that mega-mergers like the multi-billion Warner Bros. Discovery had on user-end products and content. Not to put too fine a point on it, everything got worse. Next year, we’ll start to see the real impact of the $69 billion Microsoft merger with Activision Blizzard. Despite exec’s assurances that everything will be just fine, we have a feeling we’ll just end up with fewer apps and less competition, all while paying more for degraded experiences.

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