Google Stadia is officially being shut down early next year. Google's cloud gaming service, which was often criticized for its expensive cost and lackluster game selection, will no longer be available for players on January 18th, 2023.
It's never a great feeling when something you've invested in becomes abruptly obsolete. However, if you're someone who bought into the hardware and purchased games through the service, Google will be refunding you in mid-January. Additionally, the Stadia Store has been closed and all transactions (including in-game ones) are no longer available to players.
Vice President of Stadia, Phil Harrison, discusses the service's shutdown and claims Stadia "was built on a strong technology foundation" but "hasn't gained the traction with users" that the company expected. He says the decision was difficult, and the team is grateful to the players who have supported the service since it first launched in 2019. He also suggests that Stadia's technology will be repurposed through the company's other services.
For more information, there's a Stadia FAQ that goes over the situation in-depth. Google Stadia hardware purchases will be refunded through the Google Store, so if you've purchased the Stadia Controller, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages, you will get your money back.
Many users won't have to worry about returning their hardware, as "most" will not need to. We're still unsure which will, but we will learn more "in the coming weeks." Unfortunately, Stadia Pro subscriptions will not be refunded. Software refunds will be done through the Stadia store itself.
It's also planned that most refunds will be back in consumers' pockets by January 18, 2023. For players concerned about game progress, it appears Google won't be able to help on their end. If the game itself supports cross-progression, you will be able to take that to another platform, but this is not the case for a majority of games.