You owe Google, not the other way around
Whatever your opinion is on Google Stadia’s demise, one thing is clear — the company going the extra mile and providing users with refunds is a very decent move. If you were a Stadia player committed enough to spend money on it, you will soon see a refund hit your original payment method. You might even already have it on your bank account. However, some users are noticing a nasty side effect apparently related to the Stadia refund — their Play Points balances are in the negatives.
As per user reports on platforms like Reddit, Stadia users are seeing refunds hit their account, but at the same time, Google seems to be subtracting Play Points from their accounts in doing so. Many folks are reporting negative balances on their Google Play accounts as a result of this. Some users are seeing negative balances in the thousands, effectively preventing them from claiming discounts on Play Store purchases until the negative balance is resolved.
Stadia purchases were eligible for Play Points accrual based on the user’s Play Points tier with a minimum of 1 point per dollar spent. With triple-A titles retailing for $70 apiece, it’d be easy to see how those points got racked up, got spent on apps and movies (every point is one cent off a purchase), and are now being taken away, leaving users in the red.
Some users think of it as a punishment by Google and while it’s not clear if the company thought this move through, it sure does seem shady, unfair, and, frankly, a bit sanctimonious in nature — after all, no one’s to blame for Stadia’s shutdown but Google. Whether the result was intentional or not, Google should definitely speak out about it in order to assuage user concerns.
For now, if you’re affected, all you can do is complain online together with everyone else in the hopes that Google will at least address the problem, much less get to fixing it soon. Who knows? The company may even land itself in legal trouble from all of this.