In brief: If you're one of the people who signed up for Google's now-defunct Stadia game streaming service, expect to receive refunds within the next couple of months. But the company has stressed that contacting customer support will not help you get your money back any faster.
After poking fun at August's rumors that Stadia was about to shutter, Google one month later confirmed that the service would be closing down for good on January 18, 2023. The company has now started the process of issuing refunds for bought games, add-on content, and subscriptions (other than Stadia Pro) made through the Stadia Store.
According to the Google Stadia Announcement FAQ, Stadia will attempt to automatically refund each transaction to the form of payment used to make the purchase. If for some reason this is not possible, customers will be emailed instructions to their Google account on how to set up an alternate refund method.
Those who bought 20 or fewer Stadia games will receive an individual email for each of those transactions. Anyone who bought 21 or more games will get a single email summarizing all refund attempts.
Google said it would not be refunding charges for Stadia Pro subscriptions that were issued before September 29, 2022, though any Pro charges incurred after that date will be refunded. As for Stadia hardware, owners won't have to return it to receive their refunds "in most cases," but proof of the device may be required. Google added that it doesn't have a timeframe for when the hardware refunds will be processed beyond them taking place before January 18.
Those hoping to receive some of their money back in time for the holidays might be tempted to call customer support, but Google said to refrain from doing this as it will not expedite the process. Google said the majority of Stadia refunds will be processed by January 18th, 2023.
If you were a Stadia user who doesn't want to lose their saved games when the service closes, several developers and publishers, including Ubisoft, Bungie, I/O Interactive, CD Projekt Red, Rockstar Games, and Bethesda, have announced plans for exporting the data to other platforms. Ubisoft will move both Stadia progress and purchases of its titles to PC, in addition to customers receiving refunds from Google.