While arguing against the idea of giving gamers more protection from unscrupulous developers who are happy to take their money in exchange for a broken game, may seem distasteful, the implementation of such a system is never easy. Valve has taken a stab at it lately, offering those that feel unhappy about their game purchase the chance to receive a refund if they’ve had it less than two weeks and have played for less than two hours. That’s causing problems for developers with titles that can be finished in less than that time.
It isn’t just short game makers that are having a tough time though, as it seems that just by putting the option for a Steam refund within easy reach, a lot of people are simply changing their mind after a purchase. While many indie developers have been happy to offer refunds if their fans get in touch with them, they were rarely taken up on it. Now though it’s a much more common place.
@PuppyGames, the developer behind Revenge of the titans said that they’d had a 55 per cent refund rate in recent days, compared with five refunds in the 10 years of operation before then.
For many though, it’s not even the fact that they are losing out on sales, but that they have no idea why anyone is refunding anything. As PCG points out, the developer of RPG Tycoon had one person buy the game seven times, only to demand five refunds. Is that a scam? Or was the guy having some technical issues?
No one will ever know it seems.
Bloody hell steam refund rate has gone from 0.09% to 17%. Methinks people are taking the piss. Here comes DRM again sadly…
— cliffski (@cliffski) June 7, 2015
Even Cliffski, a relatively well known Indie developer has run into problems and suspects foul play. He went on to say that refund systems like this makes a F2P model more useful and DRM more of a necessity, despite his dislike for it.
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KitGuru Says: Hopefully Steam refunds don’t send people into the waiting arms of DRM, as that really is doing a deal with devil. Games that are shorter should perhaps have a shorter time period for refunds to counter them being finished and refunded.