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Google begins refund process for Google Stadia today

Google Stadia goes offline in January 2023, and in most cases, customers will be eligible for a refund or several.

Beginning today, Google will start to issue refunds for Google Stadia. As the service will go offline on January 18, 2023, the tech giant has begun to pay back customers who bought any hardware, along with any other games or add-ons. In-game currency purchased through the Stadia store will also be refunded.

Charges to players' Stadia Pro accounts made before September 29, 2022 will not be refunded. Google has clarified that it is refunding charges for a handful of players who were charged for Stadia Pro after the announcement of the platform's shutdown on September 29.

Importantly, those who signed up for the Stadio Pro subscription tier after September 29, 2022 will be refunded. Those who were members prior to that date aren't eligible. 

It doesn't appear that Google will be passing that refund cost onto any Stadia-associated developers. Game Developer has contacted Google for confirmation and will confirm when a response is given. 

As explained in the Q&A, customers who made 20 or less Stadia purchases will receive one email per purchase (including individual emails for subscription-based refunds). Customers with over 21 purchases will receive a single email that summarizes all their purchases, and further steps to take for refund completion. 

Regarding hardware, such as the Stadia Controller, Google said that it won't need to be returned "in most cases" for customers to get their money back. But some customers may have to provide a proof of purchase to receive their funds.

How do Stadia's game transfers work?

The Q&A for Stadia's refunds briefly touches on the subject of game saves and purchases to other PC platforms. Google stressed that cross-progression won't be available for all titles, and in some cases, a game (or its content) may have to be re-purchased entirely, depending on the developer. 

Shortly following the news of Stadia's cancellation, various developers such as IO Interactive and CD Projekt Red promised they would create processes for Stadia users to transfer saves to different PC platforms. 

However, not all games will be able to be saved, as Splash Damage's Outcasters will go offline when Stadia does. 

Google reiterated that Stadia will be usable until the service's end date. But some gameplay issues may arise during this period, particularly for games that require money, as all store and commerce on the platform have been shut down. 

Update: In a statement to Game Developer, Google confirmed that the Stadia platform would be refunding its users, not developers who provided their games to the service. 

Update: This story has been updated to clarify the nature of refunds to some Stadia Pro subscribers.

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