Google has started issuing refunds to former customers for games, add-on content, and subscription feeds purchased through Stadia. I just got my email about what’s happening with my dead games library.
“We’re getting in touch to let you know what to expect over the next couple of weeks,” Google writes. The company says it will attempt to refund the money to the original form of payment used to make a purchase. But if the refund isn’t successful—say, you changed debit cards since Stadia launched—you will receive an email with a link to choose another form of payment. It seems simple enough.
The refund policy also applies to folks who may have deleted their Google accounts. If you receive an email from Google that it ran into issues giving your money back and there’s no follow-up email with instructions, you’ll have to reach out to your bank for help. Annoying!
Refunds will roll out through Jan. 18, 2023, and the company asks that you do not call customer support asking for an expedited refund. Google encourages you to check your list of transactions after logging in at pay.google.com and then clicking on the Alerts icon to see if there’s a refund waiting.
If you made fewer than 20 purchases in the Stadia store, expect an email for each transaction. I only bought a Pac-Man game and Elder Scrolls Online, so I imagine receiving two emails with refund details. If you went ham on Stadia and bought over 21 games—curious where Google got this figure—you’ll get an email summary of the transactions with additional instructions.
Stadia Pro subscriptions will not be refunded, though you can keep playing it until the service’s last day. The Stadia controller, Founder’s Edition, Premier Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV bundles will be refunded if the purchase was made through the Google Store. But don’t go to Best Buy asking for a refund on anything you bought there. Also, if you have the Stadia controller, you can’t use it with a third party via Bluetooth. It requires tethering via USB-C to control games on your computer or another console.
There are more nitty-gritty refund details listed on Google’s support page. If there’s a game you hope to keep playing in the cloud, publishers like Bethesda and Ubisoft have already started reaching out to folks about the switchover. I actually received an email right after the Stadia closure was announced for my Elder Scrolls Online account. Don’t worry, Bethesda. I’ve already moved my playtime back over to my PC.