Steam’s latest refund policy sure got a lot of attention; mainly because it promises that almost any purchase can be refunded for “any reason”. While this is very good news for consumers, it also opens the possibility of abuse; not to mention how it will affect smaller games.
Let’s say you bought a game from Steam and decided that you didn’t like it after playing it for about an hour. In this case, you can request for a refund, which will be given “within a week of approval”. The refund will be issued through your initial payment method for the purchase. If this is not possible, it will be credited to your Steam Wallet instead.
Of course, there are certain circumstances that have to be met in order to be eligible for the refund. The request has to be made within 14 days of purchase, and the total playtime of the title has to be less than two hours. Interestingly, even if you don’t meet these guidelines, you can still request for a refund, although it is up to Steam’s approval.
However, it’s entirely possible for this refund system to be abused. It’s not unheard of to finish certain games within two hours, and more likely than not, smaller games – which are mostly made by indie developers – will be affected the most. That being said, if Steam suspects that an individual is abusing the system, it may stop offering the refund to that person.
Seeing how the Steam Summer Sale will allegedly take place next week, this particular statement by Steam is rather timely:
We do not consider it abuse to request a refund on a title that was purchased just before a sale and then immediately rebuying that title for the sale price.
That should give gamers peace of mind, although the time it takes to issue a refund may be too long. More information on Steam’s refund policy can be found here, and if you’d like to request for a refund, you can do so here.