Google Stadia is officially shutting down – here’s how to get your refund

The service only went live in November 2019 but Google is pulling the plug (iStock/The Independent)
The service only went live in November 2019 but Google is pulling the plug (iStock/The Independent)

After failing to gain traction in the gaming space, it’s been confirmed Google will be shutting down its Stadia cloud gaming service early next year.

The service, which launched in 2019, enabled users to stream videogames to their TV, laptop or smartphone devices without needing to own a games console, such as the PS5 or Xbox series X.

As a streaming platform, it was seen by some as a Netflix equivalent for games, where users would be able to pay a monthly subscription fee to access a library of different titles.

But every (streaming) cloud has a silver lining. If you happened to have bought a Google Stadia product, you are entitled to a refund on the hardware, as well as any games you may have purchased outside the monthly subscription.

To find out when the service will be discontinued and how you can receive a refund if you purchased a Stadia product, keep reading the rest of this article.

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When will Google Stadia shut down?

According to Google, the cloud gaming service is due to close its doors early next year, with an expected shutdown date of 18 January 2023.

Until that date, customers will be able to play games they already own but they will no longer be able to purchase new titles, as financial transactions have now been paused.

If you’re hoping to continue playing games until Stadia winds down, there may be some technical issues with titles that will no longer receive updates on the service. Games requiring financial in-game transactions will also no longer work, as these have also been paused.

What Google Stadia products are elligible for refunds?

The company has confirmed it will be offering refunds for all Stadia hardware purchases, which will include the Stadia controller, founders edition, premiere edition, and “Play and Watch” with Google TV packages.

Any game purchases made through the Google Store and software transactions made through the Stadia store will also be elligible for a refund.

Unfortunately, subscribers to Stadia Pro (which cost approximately £8.99 a month) are not eligible for a refund, however, they will be able to continue playing games in Pro without further charges until the final wind down date.

How to get a refund on Google Stadia products

According to an FAQ post by Google, the company is currently working through the process of issuing refunds to Google Stadia owners, with the aim of having most refunds processed by the service’s closing date of 18 January 2023.

If a method of payment was used that has since expired, Google has said it will be in touch with customers via email, to receive instructions on how to choose a new form of payment.

Will you need to return Google Stadia hardware to receive a refund?

In short, no. Google has stated if users purchased hardware (such as the controller) from participating retailers, they will not be expected to return these.

For the time being, it’s worth keeping hold of hardware in case updates from the company require product returns in the near future.

You might even want to hang on to it as a keepsake, regardless. After all, it’s a piece of gaming history.

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