Google announced the shutdown of Stadia, its cloud gaming service, on Thursday. While platform closures are never great news, there is one bright spot: the search giant will issue reimbursements to players.
That’s correct. If you purchased Stadia hardware or acquired a library of games on the cloud platform, you’ll get practically all of your money back.
“We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store”, Stadia vice president and general manager Phil Harrison writes in a blog post.
However, there are some restrictions on those returns.
For one thing, you had to buy Stadia hardware from the Google Store, such as the Stadia Controller, Founder’s Edition, Premiere Edition, or Play and Watch. Subscriptions to Stadia Pro, a premium service that provided 4K video, discounts, and free games, will also not be refunded. Stadia Pro subscribers, on the other hand, will have their subscriptions extended until January 2023 at no additional cost.
Finally, if you were planning on downloading a number of Stadia games to play until the service is shut down and then claiming your refund…you’re too late. The Stadia Store has been deactivated as of September 29.
According to Google, the majority of qualified refunds should be returned to customers by mid-January 2023.
“A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia,” Harrison writes. “And 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.”
Stadia had great hopes when it originally started in 2019 since it showed promise. However, the service was unable to gain traction. In recent years, it became evident that Google was “deprioritizing” Stadia, and it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened.
While Stadia is no longer available, Google is not abandoning gaming. The technology that powered the cloud service will be employed elsewhere within the organization. Google will also white label the technology and collaborate with third parties who want to use it. The Stadia crew will remain with the company and work in other sectors, the company revealed.
Stadia as we know it will continue to be available to gamers until January 18, 2023. At that point, Google’s cloud gaming service will join Google+, Google Reader, Google Wave, and a slew of other products killed off by the search giant over the years.