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Will the New Steam Refund Policy Hurt Indie Developers?

There is no denying that the Steam digital platform is a major force in the video game industry. It distributes everything from hardcore simulations to mmorpg games to shooters and everything in-between. Millions of gamers use the platform to purchase and play their library of games, and the major Steam sales are almost treated like a national gamer holiday. Recently, Valve decided to change the Steam refund policy to allow users to get a full refund for a game if done so within two weeks and if the game had been played less than two hours. Indie developers are split on this new policy and how it will impact their sales. Will the new Steam refund policy hurt indie developers?

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Ashlen892d ago

Not if the games are good.

People need to acknowledge that a lot of the "indie" games on Steam are utter crap and misrepresent or over state what the content is.

A lot of "indie" devs are just people who are using Steam for a quick a cash grab.

People who unfortunately fall into that trap have every right to ask for there money back.

crazychris4124892d ago

Bingo no one is going to ask for a refund if the game is great.

moldybread892d ago

things will settle down afterwards. steam allows them to track purchase histories and can easily see certain trends by gamers. they can revoke this privilege any time they see fit if they think it's being abused.

Tetsujin892d ago

This will also force the indie developers to make good games without all the hype and advertising. The companies hating this policy are the cash grabs while the others aren't as concerned since they know their games are good.

Jdoki892d ago

I don't think it's as black and white as whether or not the game is good.

Take something like The Stanley Parable. That game can be played through extremely quickly multiple times (which is kinda the point of it). By all accounts, I would call this game 'good' - but I have no desire to go back to it, and probably never will.

A more cynical person may buy it, play it, and then get a refund. They could treat Steam like a rental service for smaller, more story driven experimental games. And that's not fair on the developer.

However, overall I don't see a problem with Steam refunds and think the dust will settle on this pretty quickly.

These devs who are throwing around stats about increased refunds are missing the point. They are using the same argument that publishers have used for years - that every pirated copy of a game equals a lost sale. But the truth is, the person pirating the game was never going to pay for it otherwise. Same thing here. Someone who buys a Steam game with the intention of claiming a refund would never have bought the game full price (although they may have bought it during a Steam sale) - however at least this way they MAY love the game enough to keep it.

Hoffmann892d ago

Only a few of them. If a game takes more than 1-2 hours to play through and offers great replayablity features it won't have to fear the refund policy.

Just like it happens offline. If the customer is happy with something he wants to keep it.

Maxor892d ago

Stop releasing trash games then. If Origin can support a return policy then so can Steam.

Antifan892d ago

Wish this policy was made back in 2013 when DayZ standalone hit early access. Maybe that awful game would have been finished by now.

rocketpanda892d ago

It will hurt those indies that put out trash but label their games as "games". The only ones bitching about this would those indie devs. This can only be a good thing. Also if AAA developers put out buggy games this policy would certainly benefit the consumers who otherwise be burnt.