The Stadia refund process has begun, and the good news is that most of you won't have to do anything: Google said it will attempt to "automatically process refunds for all purchases of games, add-on content and subscriptions fees other than Stadia Pro made through the Stadia Store." You will likely have to wait a bit, though, as Google warned that it'll take until mid-January to get through most of the process.
"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," Google said in the Stadia Refund FAQ. "We still expect the majority of refunds to be processed by January 18th, 2023."
Customers who have made 20 or fewer eligible purchases will receive a separate email notifying them of each individual refund, while those with 21 or more purchases will receive one email summarizing all refund attempts. If refunds cannot be made to the original payment type, an email will be sent explaining how to set up an alternative system. Stadia Pro subscriptions issued prior to September 29 will not be refunded, but Pro charges incurred after that date will be.
Google also confirmed that Stadia hardware owners will not have to return their devices in order to receive a refund "in most cases." It didn't specify what situations might not qualify for a no-return return, but said that "proof of the device may be required to process a refund in some cases."
The Stadia Store is now closed and all commercial options, including subscriptions, have been disabled. Stadia itself will continue to operate until January 18, 2023, although Google warned that some gameplay issues could crop up, "especially for any games requiring commerce." As for getting your Stadia games and saves onto other platforms, Google said players should contact individual developers and publishers for information, and provided a list of several who have already announced either intent or specific plans: Bethesda Softworks, Bungie, CD Projekt, IO Interactive, Rockstar Games, and Ubisoft.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.