Google begins issuing refunds for Stadia, says process could take months
Google Stadia doesn't have that much time left; the game streaming service is set to officially shut down on January 18, 2023. Starting today, Google has started issuing refunds for all games and other content purchased through Stadia.
In a blog post today, Google announced that it will begin automatically refunding all purchased "games, add-on content, and subscription fees" attached to Stadia. Any hardware (e.g., Stadia controllers) purchased through the Google store will also be refunded. Unfortunately, Stadia Pro subscriptions will not be refunded. Hardware purchased through a physical store (e.g., Best Buy) is not eligible for a refund, either.
The company will attempt to send the refund via the method of payment used to complete the initial transaction. For example, if a customer used a credit card to purchase a game, the price of that game will be refunded to that credit card. If you purchased something through Stadia on an old credit or debit card, you may want to keep an eye on that account.
If Google is unable to issue the refund (e.g., if the payment method has been closed or is otherwise invalid), the company will send an email to the customer's associated Google account notifying them of the refund. The email will also inform the customer how they can set up an alternative method of getting their refund.
Google has asked that customers refrain from contacting customer support (unless they have deleted their Google account) as the company's support team won't be able to influence the refund process. Google is hoping to get refunds out quickly but stated it expects "the majority of refunds to be processed by January 18th, 2023."
That implies that it may take Google weeks or months to get some customers their refunds. It also implies that some customers may not get a refund until after January 18.
Google has a fairly extensive FAQ attached to the announcement, which can be found here.
Considering the colossal investment Google made in Stadia, the service is ending with a whimper after a troubled 3 years. This refund caps off what may be one of Google's largest missteps in its history. Considering Stadia's user base is likely in the hundreds of thousands to low millions range, the refund costs could easily hit eight digits. For a company like Google, though, that's just a drop in the ocean.
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