If you've ever bought a game on Stadia, Google's soon-to-be-defunct cloud gaming service, it's worth keeping an eye on your bank balance and credit card statements. As of today, Google is starting to process refunds for Stadia purchases. The first wave of refunds will include those for purchases of games, add-on content and subscriptions made through the Stadia store. However, the company is not refunding Stadia Pro subscription fees.
Google says it will process the refunds automatically. It expects to issue most of them (including those for hardware purchases) by the time it shuts down the Stadia servers on January 18th. "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," the company wrote in an updated support article.
If Google can't issue a refund automatically to your original form of payment, it will email you via the Google account through which you made your purchase(s). Folks who have deleted their Google account and no longer have access to the original form of payment may have to get in touch with Stadia's customer support team.
If you've made 20 or fewer Stadia store transactions on your account, you'll get one email for each successful refund, which will likely prove a bit annoying. If you've bought 21 or more games or addons, you'll get one email summarizing all the successful refunds.
Elsewhere in the updated FAQ, Google notes that players will be able to transfer their save data from Stadia to other platforms in some cases, but it's up to developers and publishers to support that. Ubisoft, Bungie, I/O Interactive, CD Projekt Red, Rockstar Games and Bethesda are working on ways to help players move their game progress to other platforms. Cyberpunk 2077 players can already export their save data to the PC version and sync it to consoles. Meanwhile, Ubisoft has said it will offer players who bought its products on Stadia PC versions of those games on top of the refunds they'll get from Google (though you'll of course need a powerful enough rig to run them).
Elsewhere, there was a disappointing update for those hoping that Google will unlock the Bluetooth functions on the Stadia Controller so it can more easily be used on other platforms. For now, the company hasn't committed to doing so. It says you'll still be able to use the peripheral by connecting it to another device via USB-A or USB-C.