Google has confirmed that it will be processing refunds for its failed Stadia game streaming hardware over the next two weeks.
The company has been sending out emails to Stadia customers notifying them of the imminent refund. Assuming the refund processing goes to plan, it will mean that customers receive their refunds just over a month before the Google Stadia service is shut down altogether.
Google announced the abrupt end of its ambitious cloud gaming service back in late September, with a final date set for January 18, 2023. At the time it said that a full refund would be issued for any hardware, game, and add-on content purchases related to Stadia, as the platform will be rendered completely unplayable after this date.
“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,” said Stadia VP and GM Phil Harrison at the time.
Software refunds already started being applied earlier in November, so all that remains is the hardware itself, and Google’s grand gaming experiment will be brought to a conclusion.
Google claims to have learned a lot from its cloud gaming experience, and that it will apply that learning to future AR, YouTube, and Google Play efforts. However, the Google Stadia platform itself was an unmitigated flop.
When we reviewed Stadia in its early iteration back in late 2019, we said that it showed “a lot of promise, and could be a great option for those who want to game without spending a fortune on a console”. However, it was missing a lot of features at launch, and had “a long way to go to become a serious challenger to PlayStation and Xbox” at launch.
Sadly, while the actual game streaming experience was relatively solid, Google never made good on Stadia’s early promise, and failed to build out a proper gaming platform.