Google starts refunding Stadia hardware

Google Stadia

Last month Google Stadia announced it would be shutting down and that all purchases of Stadia hardware and software would be refunded. The process has now started with refunds for games, add-on content and subscriptions made through the Stadia store.

Yesterday, Google announced on Twitter that it has started processing refunds for all Stadia hardware purchased from the Google Store. The company says it will process the refunds automatically and is expected all the refunds to be completed by January 18, 2023, the time when the cloud-gaming service shuts down.

“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,” the company wrote in an updated support article.

Most Stadia hardware will be refunded, including the Stadia controller, bundles that included a Chromecast Ultra with WiFi-connected gamepad; however, subscription fees for Stadia Pro and Stadia hardware bought from retail stores won’t be reimbursed.

Stadia, launched publicly in November 2019, is a cloud gaming service developed and operated by Google “that lets you play your favorite video games instantly across compatible TVs, computers, and mobile devices, with no waiting to download games, patches, or platform updates.”

Phil Harrison, Stadia’s vice president stated in a blog post: “while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.”

He added that Google will continue to support gaming and help developers build and distribute gaming apps on Google Play and Google Play Games, while its technology will not be wasted. “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.”

„For the Stadia team, building and supporting Stadia from the ground up has been fueled by the same passion for games that our players have. Many of the Stadia team members will be carrying this work forward in other parts of the company. We’re so grateful for the groundbreaking work of the team and we look forward to continuing to have an impact across gaming and other industries using the foundational Stadia streaming technology,” wrote Harrison.