With Google Stadia’s impending demise, Google is now acting on its promise to refund its users. As of yesterday, 9th November, refunds are automatically being processed, and they expect to have most of the refunds processed by 18th January 2023 – the date when Stadia shuts down.
Refunds are being handed out for all purchases of games, add-ons, in-game currency and game subscription fees that were made through the Stadia Store – the exception here is that Stadia Pro is not refundable. Purchases of Google Stadia hardware will also be refunded to users, so long as they were bought through Google.
Because this is a platform-wide refund scheme, Google note that you will not be able to cut the queue. “We ask for your patience as we work through each transaction and ask that you refrain from contacting Customer Support as they will not be able to expedite your refund during this time.”
There’s a full FAQ that digs into all of the ifs, ands or buts of the process, but one of the main things to be aware of is that Google has partnered with Payoneer to facilitate refunds that could not be processed automatically. If you find yourself in an edge case scenario like this, then you should keep an eye out for an email from Google themselves connecting you with Payoneer – obviously you want to beware of scammers.
You should also note that some developers and publishers are offering a way to take your saved games and accounts off Stadia before it closes. Ubisoft, Bungie, I/O Interactive, CD Projekt Red, Rockstar Games, and Bethesda all have programmes to enable this.
In a move that surprised pretty much nobody – OK, so developers relying on its continued existence for game releases and pay cheques got a nasty surprise – Google announced the shutdown of Stadia after just shy of three years, underperforming expectations. Google Cemetery has the average lifespan of a Google project at 4 years, so Stadia is going to bring that average down a bit… While an innovator in the field of game streaming, they cited an inability to attract enough users to their burgeoning platform, failing to compete with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S that launched a year later.
The writing had been on the wall for a long time, shutting down their internal studios in early 2021, proclaiming that everything was fine, then deciding to “deprioritise” the platform, before just giving up on it. The game streaming tech itself will remain relevant as an option for third parties to provide custom streaming options for their game releases in future.