Google has begun its process of automatically processing refunds for all purchases of games, add-on content, and subscription fees (other than Stadia Pro) made through the Stadia store, marking the official end to its cloud gaming service, which apparently failed to take off among gamers following its launch just a few years ago in November 2019. Specific details behind the refund process can be found through an updated FAQ on the official Stadia support page, which answers many of the lingering questions that users might have, including when they’ll get their refunds and whether they’ll have to go through the trouble of returning their hardware. Phil Harrison, Vice President and General Manager of Stadia, revealed that Google had given up on Stadia in a blog post shared in September, although the technology that powers it will supposedly live on through other platforms that include YouTube and Google Play.
From the Stadia FAQ:
Q: How will my Stadia store refunds be processed?
A: Starting November 9, 2022, we will attempt to automatically refund each transaction to the form of payment used to make the purchase. If we are unable to issue your refund to the original form of payment, we will email you at the Google account used to make the purchase. The email will include instructions on how to set up an alternate refund method.
Q: When will I receive my refund?
A: As of November 9, 2022, we have begun issuing refunds for purchases made on the Stadia Store. We ask for your patience as we work through each transaction, as we still expect the majority of refunds to be processed by January 18th, 2023. Please refrain from contacting Customer Support as they will not be able to help expedite your refund during this time. Delays may occur if the original form of payment is no longer available and we request additional steps to complete the refund process.
Q: When will I get my Google Store hardware purchase refund?
A: We are working through this process and still anticipate the majority of refunds will be processed by January 18, 2023.
Q: Do I have to return my hardware to get a refund?
A: In most cases, you will not need to return hardware purchased from the Google Store to obtain a refund. The following hardware is eligible for a refund: the Stadia Controller, Founder’s Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages. Proof of the device may be required to process a refund in some cases.
Q: Are you refunding my Stadia Pro subscription?
A: We will not be refunding charges for Stadia Pro subscriptions that were issued prior to September 29, 2022. Players who held an active Stadia Pro subscription as of September 29, 2022 will not be charged for access to their Pro library or other subscription entitlements during the shut-down period.
Phil Harrison on Google’s “long-term streaming strategy”:
The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. We see clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts — as well as make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed. 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.