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Valve: No Refunds If Steam Early Access Game Is Cancelled

Steam Early Access lets developers sell games before they've been completed to help fund their development. If these games are never finished, though, you won't be able to get a refund.

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Garethvk1346d ago

Good luck getting that to fly in court. If you charge for a product or service and do not deliver you are liable. The only way around it is if consumers are informed and mark that they agree to those terms.

Hicken1346d ago

Expect exactly that to be in the fine print that nobody reads because it's 26 pages of legal mumbo jumbo.

fossilfern1346d ago

I dont think it matters regardless in the EU but I cant be sure. Say what you want about being the EU but on top of the UK consumer laws we are well looked after.

MoveTheGlow1346d ago (Edited 1346d ago )

Steam gets a cut of the transaction, in that they're the service it's delivered through. However, it's the developer/publisher that's charging for the actual Early Access game. If that developer or publisher suddenly cancels it, it's on them. Their refunds for pre-orders before the release (aka before you get any content), or incorrect transactions, are through them, and they usually do refund. That's the legal ground I think they can stand on. It's on the publisher to keep that game going, not Steam.

Early Access is a really slippery, wibbly-wobbly, weird thing that, just like Kickstarter, puts you at the mercy of a company who hasn't finished stuff yet and may outright fail. That company SHOULD refund you if they fail, but that money might be tough to find. Steam ain't the FDIC - they can't pick up after someone else's snafu, but to me, offering Early Access was the mistake. It's not reliable stuff.

Although... what could you do? Minecraft did that well and ethically-priced for years, and you're not going to reject the next Minecraft because that full experience isn't out of beta yet. It's a rough topic.

NukaCola1346d ago

I thought kickstarter was a pledge until the product passes a certain point, then you pay. If it cancels or fails, do you lose out or get refunds?

Linsolv1345d ago

@NukaCola: But multiple projects have gotten funded (some beyond even their wildest imaginings) and then later had to sheepishly admit that they needed additional funding from private investors, due to running out of money.

What happens when there's no private investor, and you don't see anything at the end?

Nothing happens. You're out of luck.

JohnnyTower1346d ago

You agree to the clause when you sign up to steam. That's how they set the rules. The court would most likely be on their side.

JsonHenry1346d ago

Early access to me implies it isnt a finished product. I've always been under the impression that my early access dollars are basically just kick-starter funds anyway.

aliengmr1346d ago

This is a very complicated concept for people to grasp.

Mr_Writer851345d ago (Edited 1345d ago )

But don't you get your money back if a kickstarter doesn't go ahead?

It's a little bit different a kick starter is to start a product.

EA already have the product but unfinished.

You buy a product that you believe will be finished and that developer takes your money and has the money to finish the product and doesn't then that's wrong.

Deadpoolio1346d ago

This should require a refund more so than the idiot mouth breathers that think they should get refunds if a kickstarter fails....That is investing this is at the very least purchasing an item

Gamer19821345d ago

Lets see how many people try to take them to court..

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1345d ago
Saryk1346d ago

I really hate to say this, but there should be some consumer protection laws for this type of case. Had I known that I was taking a chance, I wouldn't!

Godmars2901346d ago

Been saying the same thing for a while, trouble is if Congress isn't more concerned with shutting down the games industry in support of their own political agenda, they acting in favor of companies.

Giru0171346d ago (Edited 1346d ago )

"Had I known that"
I think EARLY ACCESS is a pretty big hint on it's own just with the name alone. Not all projects are completed, same with Kickstarter. STEAM gives the option to fund these early-betas through EARLY ACCESS, but in no way are you being guaranteed anything.
Wait for the release or take the risk. Why should a company have to carry the burden of a failed project when they are only a platform that carries these devs, many for the greater good.

EDIT: And I agree with what many here say: The devs should have to refund the players IF a full game was promised, but anything in development (!!!) can fall out due to lack of funds or creative differences. If a game cancels and never makes it past Alpha, then you paid for the right to play that Alpha, you gor something for your money. Ideally, games should be completed, but game development just does not work like that.

LeoDDestroyer1346d ago

If you go just by the name EARLY ACCESS then what you would expect is early access to the game. Now it the title was something like Early Access to Alpha then I would agree with you.

aliengmr1346d ago

No there really shouldn't.

Now you know you are taking a chance, though you probably should have from the start, so now you can avoid it.

Those who get it, shouldn't be "Protected" because of the idiots who just don't get it.

Chalk it up to a learning experience and move right along.

LAWSON721346d ago (Edited 1346d ago )

Well it would be pretty f'd up if Valve had to refund a game like DayZ that is $30 (?) with 1 million sales and growing. Smart move, for them at least, though they need to make sure they have it in their terms and clearly state it to the buyer, or big problems could arise.
I really wish early access would stay under the radar, because it could potentially give a game that turns out great a bad name due to early impressions. DayZ and Minecraft (probably some others) prove how effective impressions and discussions can really effect sales.

cyguration1346d ago

Yeah and any game that gets canned and leaves a player's library will also cause a major ruckus like that one game that Square Enix squelched from Steam's library.

NYC_Gamer1346d ago (Edited 1346d ago )

The developers of the project should offer the refunds since the funds are going towards their game

SnakeCQC1346d ago

Exactly this. If they arent doing this they are running away with the money

aliengmr1346d ago (Edited 1346d ago )

And if they use it all developing the game (as intended) then have some sort of catastrophe, what then? Send an already destroyed developer further into debt? We're talking about your $15 and their entire business.

Sorry, I see nothing "fair" about it.

Activemessiah1346d ago

Consumers don't need laws for protection, they need to use their heads and think things through BEFORE spending anything on something, the usual "Shut up and take my money" isn't a smart thing to do anymore... maybe back in the 90s but not now... just think twice who you're giving money to.

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