Indie Developers Report Steam Refund Abuse From PC Gamers, Show Graphs To Back Their Claims

It appears that Steam’s new refund policy will hurt indie developers more than they initially thought. Today, Qwiboo and Puppygames shared some graphs, showing declined sales due to Steam’s new policy. It’s still to early to speak, but from the looks of it, Steam’s new refund policy allows gamers to play and test a lot of games for free.

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bunt-custardly2206d ago (Edited 2206d ago )

We all knew this news was coming sadly.

I think the refund rules need to be revised for indie games.

vega2752206d ago

Sorry I disagree. If you do this for indie,then it should be for all devs. They shouldn't get special treatment because their indie. This is why developers need to make demos of the games. This way you know what your getting before you buy it.

XBLSkull2206d ago (Edited 2206d ago )

Reporting abuse? Maybe just showing a game sucks, publicly. I'm not a game pirate by any means but I never could complain about those people because if something sucks, you should get your money back and that hasn't been an option in the entertainment industry. Vacuum sucks? Here is your money back... Table sucks? Here is your money back... TV sucks? Here is your money back... Movie/Game/Music sucks? Sorry, you own it now, can't give you your money back... Not going to feel sorry for you, if your product is worthy people will pay for it, and everyone has the right to test things before they shell out money for it.

The whole "piracy is not a victimless crime" campaign is BS. It's completely based on the premiss that if someone pirated your media, they would have bought it at your price point if they could not have pirated it, and that is just grossly false. If I acquire something that I really like, I pay for it. If I acquire something that I don't like, I don't pay for it, I don't use it, and that is how it is supposed to work. I understand the abuse that can happen, but it is more important to please your customers then try to fight the people that aren't.

DragonKnight2206d ago

"Vacuum sucks? Here is your money back."

Why in the hell would you want your money back if your vacuum sucks? It's supposed to suck.

nix2205d ago

i've stopped pirating games since i picked up PS3... that's like 7+ years. buying games also means i do thorough quality check of the games i want want to buy. in other words, the devs have to make amazing games to win my money. average games don't get my money at all.

i do buy indie games every time if it is amazing. but most are really average games and i really don't bother with such games.

if devs make great games people will buy it and keep it.. if the game is terrible then of course gamers are going to demand their money back. that is why i try the demo first whenever i am on the fence about certain game.

donthate2205d ago

I think this is good for gamers, and I therefore needed and should apply to all devs.

What I am surprised about is that people are refunding a $2 game!

Anyone here know how the process on Steam is to get a refund? Is it completely automated?

subtenko2205d ago

Then everybody will start making things that 'sucks' are things that are broken on purpose. You are lowering the bar for them xblskull..... Every thing you buy now will be broken and I hope you wont complain bought with it.

Despite the scams, lazy work put in to a product and just simple something like an unnecessary markup in a should not be complaining at all with that logic....

Apollosupreme2205d ago (Edited 2205d ago )

Exactly, this policy is for the gamers and it's great. If devs want higher sales then they should make better games. Gamers aren't going to return games they enjoy. Gamers play games for enjoyment. They're paying for enjoyment. They should get what they're paying for.

BattleAxe2205d ago (Edited 2205d ago )

You have to have played a game for no more than 2 hours, and within the first 14 days of purchase. If your game is that bad that people are asking for refunds within that period of time, then that's just too bad.

NatureOfLogic_2205d ago

This new policy is extremely gamer friendly, but it's flawed and will probably cause more indie devs to move away from steam. This new policy is basically reserving any game free for 2 hours and 14 days. I'm thinking of moving to steam just to exploit this feature.

When it was first announced, I already knew that this would be easily exploited by some gamers. Also does anyone know if there's a limit to how many times you can re buy a game after you have received a refund? A loop?

_-EDMIX-_2205d ago

I agree it should not be special treatment for indies, but it should be for shorter games over all.

Some of those titles can be beaten rather quickly. Also consider, one can just rebuy the same game, use the same save to finish it all while sending it back free of charge. (Unless you can't do that lol)

I agree with the article as many, many games can be beaten within 2 hours. Whats sad, is this means many steam games that are under those hours will lose sales if its abused.

I don't really know if they let you refund only a certain number of times for a certain title, ie you can't just refund a game 3 times.

In retail you actually can't do that, you ID gets set to some company and they block you from returning items.

I fine with refunds for those that actually need it, as the sales of said game can't be known if they really like it, other then the reviews. Clearly if many are bringing it back, it wasn't that liked to begin with, they were merely stuck with a bad game.

But I don't believe it should be abused.

A limit based on how long the game is, a limit on returning a certain game more then once and a limit based on price I feel is fair.

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lelo2play2206d ago (Edited 2206d ago )

"Indie Developers Report Steam Refund Abuse From PC Gamers, Show Graphs To Back Their Claims"


Most indie games are crap, so it's natural that after a hour, lot of people will ask for a refund. Solution... make better games.
If it's a good game, people will want to continue playing after 2 hours.

Steam refunds is a excellent idea for the consumer. Thank you European Union.
Consoles and mobile should follow...

JamesBroski2206d ago

Yea I agree, I don't really know about those specific indie devs, but I know that Steam is full of shitty indie games that are made only for quick bucks.

BillytheBarbarian2205d ago

Agreed. You have to cut down shovel ware somehow. Punch the indie cash grabber in the nuts with a full refund.

Force some quality control.

Kryptonite42O2205d ago

Agreed. Too many times have I purchased a small indie game, only to immediately regret it and wish I could get a refund. This is one of the best policies to be implemented in recent history. Hopefully other platforms follow.

Maxor2205d ago

Good!! I hope this will stop the flood of shit and forever unfinished early access garbage on Steam. These ripoffs along with the blight of remasters on consoles should be done away with, the sooner the better.

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Somebody2206d ago

Let's not give them any more special treatment. As much as I love indie games I'm really not a big fan with their devs' attitude and how some people revered them so highly.

The much reviled(for some reason) AAA game devs are adapting, albeit slowly, to the changing market while indie devs think they are the untouchable messiah of gaming.

The Steam refund is for everyone involved so the indie devs have to adapt accordingly. If they are complaining about people abusing the system with their games just imagine the higher stakes involved with AAA titles that depended heavily on pre-orders- a day before launch a AAA game dev/publisher would boast the millions of pre-orders they received, the next morning could see millions of refunds thanks to a game-breaking, buggy launch.

AndrewLB2206d ago

Funny how PC gamers are criticized utilizing the demo system they themselves created and how that takes away sales to developers, yet I can't recall the last time I read an article going after Console gamers for the used game market because last I checked, developers don't get a dime off someone reselling a game.

Personally, I think this "Try before you buy" idea is just dumb. If someone can't make up their mind on whether or not they should purchase a game after seeing all the reviews, youtube video, and articles... I can guarantee that they're the kind of person who will abuse the system to the fullest extent.

vega2752206d ago (Edited 2206d ago )

"Personally, I think this "Try before you buy" idea is just dumb. If someone can't make up their mind on whether or not they should purchase a game after seeing all the reviews, youtube video, and articles... I can guarantee that they're the kind of person who will abuse the system to the fullest extent"

Really so your saying because they didn't watch a YouTube clip or review (which we all know aren't to be trusted at times with the amount of broken games this gen) then it's the gamers fault and they will likely abuse the system. What about devs who release trash games or game with no replay something YouTube can't tell you.

Why is it I can try on sneakers before I buy them, test drive a car before I buy it. Hell women buy dresses,skirt wear them for a night out and then return them for whatever reason. But because gamers may feel ripped off because they feel they are wasting their hard earned money on something they don't like they are wrong.

A demo give a person a idea if they will like the game and want to put that money down. They won't say hey I didn't know it was like this. I have watch many people comment in many other thread where gamers say you have to play it for yourself not go by someone else's opinion. The demo help you form your own.

Maybe some will abuse it. Maybe a lot have a good reason they want their money back. But saying a demo is a dumb idea and telling someone to watch it on YouTube to see if its a good buy is just dumb.

Honestly I wish consoles did this. Maybe these AAA dev would take note not to release broken,half finished,buggy crap games that need day one patches to fix the problem that should have been iron out before release. But that's just me

Articuno762206d ago

Try before you buy has a place on the PC because you might find out your configuration is the one exception (despite being identical on paper to another persons) that doesn't run the game well or at all.

Bigpappy2206d ago

@AndrewLB: "Personally, I think this "Try before you buy" idea is just dumb. If someone can't make up their mind on whether or not they should purchase a game after seeing all the reviews, youtube video, and articles... I can guarantee that they're the kind of person who will abuse the system to the fullest extent."

WTF! This is just plain crazy talk. You mean I a gamer gets to try the game before he spends his money on it, that is bad for the gamer? He should watch others play and tell him if it's good? I really hope you are a developer with that mind set. If you are, let me know the name of your company so I can watch you games on youtube and not buy any of them. Because obviously that is the same as playing them.

DragonKnight2206d ago

"Personally, I think this "Try before you buy" idea is just dumb."

And I find your comment to be dumber. WATCHING a game is never the same as playing it. Never. Everyone's experience is always different. You can look at a game and think to yourself "damn, this game looks really good." You can look at reviews and see the same thing. Then you play it and you absolutely hate the game.

I experienced this with Lords of the Fallen. That game looked amazing to me, people seemed to enjoy it too, I bought it and loathed the hell out of it. I never made it to the second boss because I just couldn't be bothered to keep going. That's $70 I won't get back.

Had I been able to demo the game, I'd have never bought it. That's why devs don't make demos anymore. They don't want you to hate the game before plopping down your $70.

Basically what you're advocating against is due diligence, and what you're advocating for is sales based on PR that's unrepresentative of the true experience you'll have.

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morganfell2206d ago

"Fans Report Steam Sales Abuse From Indie Developers, Show Turds Passed Off As Games To Back Their Claims"

None of these developers are interested in why fans are asking for refunds. Maybe if they didn't produce games that feel more like "Aha. I got your money" then this wouldn't be an issue. The fact here is these indie 'artists' do not like what the graphs are showing them and I do not mean refunds. I mean the tallest bar that says your game sucks.

It doesn't matter if you are a one man team or EA. A good game is the best insurance against refinds or resales.

Bigpappy2206d ago

Back in the 90's gaming stores used to let you return game with-in 48 hours of purchase. Gamestop saw how many gamers were retuning games a few days after buying them, and getting nothing for it. That was how they got into the buy back business.

moegooner882206d ago (Edited 2206d ago )

Except in this case. The game is actually really good but rather short. It has a 9 overrall rating on steam and costs 2 dollars. If someone buys it and finishes it, is it valid for him/her to request the refund. I mean that person got what they paid for.

morganfell2205d ago (Edited 2205d ago )


The game must have been played less than two hours. How many of the complainers have titles that can be completed under the limit?

andibandit2206d ago (Edited 2206d ago )

I dont see the issue here, the refund policy is like 2hours, and that "Beyond Gravity" looks like it could hold my attention about 10 minutes. Indie devs need to stop tring to hit that next Angry Birds/Candy Crush, game, if they want to avoid issues like this.

Hoffmann2205d ago

Maybe there should be a slightly different refund policy for games that are only 1-2 hours long.

Or the developers should more focus on games that need more time to play through.

Qrphe2205d ago

What shaenoide below me says is true, if s game is less than 2hrs long, then you probably shouldn't be selling it. The most I'd find negotiable is making games worth less than $1 be in refundable that way all these crybaby Indies stop overcharging for ephemeral experiences.

shaenoide2205d ago

Or maybe a game with less than two hours of lifespan you should not have to pay for it in the first place.

The Greelight/indie policy on steam is garbage even the worst game can be sold on steam :/

Dekonega2205d ago (Edited 2205d ago )

I disagree. Majority of the indie stuff in Steam is garbage. This is market doing its job. This will force commercial indie developers to take better care of the quality of their products.

Steam's rules are fair and prevent developers from abusing their customers which has been happening in a large scale. Especially indie developers like to start a project, make few pennies out of it, and then completely abandon it in a completely broken state.

gamernova2205d ago

I think that devs need to get used to this idea. It's pretty much demoing the game. If you don't like it, return it. It's an awesome idea.

Takwin2205d ago

These rules can only be slightly modified. These changes are based on EU law and THERE WILL BE A REFUND POLICY IN PLACE NO MATTER WHAT.

TheRealTedCruz2205d ago (Edited 2205d ago )

I don't understand this.

One. If people constantly use the refund system, it is taken away from them.

Two. They claim that this doesn't hurt bigger, longer games, but it does indie. But they never explain how so. Unless your game, literally, can't entertain for over the two hour limit, then you have nothing to worry about. And the abuse, as I said in point one, will eventually end with the service terminated for those taking part.

You simply aren't providing a worthwhile experience for the price, and now people have a chance to know that ahead of time. Both games in question also do not have a demo available, which helps support my claim in however a small way it may be.

TheOnlyMastrx2205d ago

Your first sentence is exactly what I came into the article to post. Figured people would abuse this, didn't expect it to be so bad that Indie Developers would have to take action.

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Jadenkorr0212206d ago

Nope. Needs to stay exactly the way it is. 2 hours is not long. If i like the game and enjoy it chances are ill play longer than 2 hours. But people need to get a grip. First no refunds. Now we have refunds and people still whine and moan.
This refund policy is PRO consumer. Its the companys that dont like this.

grailly2206d ago

While the refund is really cool and pro-consumer, it can have a negative effect on the long run. It is easily imaginable that games with a lower than 2 hour playtime will suffer enormously from this, and that could mean not getting those on steam anymore, which would be sad.

some of my favorite games can be finished in less than 2 hours on the first playthrough: antichamber, besiege, 30 flights of loving, stanley parable, gone home, world of goo. 2 of my top-ever games are short, even though not affected by this: Portal and Journey.

There should be some king of length factor taken into account.

iSuperSaiyanGod2206d ago (Edited 2206d ago )

I can put 2 hours into candy crush easy . If it's not as fun as candy crush it doesn't deserve my money at the least . Refunds are great for gamers . Can they be abused yes . but id rather be able buy a game & return it then buy a game & not be able to. Watch dogs is a great example bought it day one & traded it in for $40 the next week . Didn't even put 2 hours into it .

vega2752206d ago

I agree that the length of the game could play a factor in gamers asking for their money back. But that falls on the dev. They should tell you the length of the game and price it accordingly. No one wants to pay $15 -$30 for a 2 hour game (not saying this is the case) but if you explain the length or give a demo no gamer would feel ripped off

DragonKnight2205d ago

Gone Home can be finished in 5 minutes. It's not a game and everyone should be refunded for that walking simulator.

shaenoide2205d ago

Yeah but you don't find the key so easilly in the first playthrough :p

SilentNegotiator2205d ago (Edited 2205d ago )


"Thirty Flights of Loving" should be refunded to everyone that wants it, too. Back when indie devs and journalists were still...stroking each others' egos, unchecked, that game got a bunch of ridiculously high scores considering that it was a $5+ "game" for <10 minutes of "gameplay". ~25 minutes with the prequel that they added on.

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iistuii2206d ago

I bought Gone home, lucky for me in the sale. I finished it in under 20 mins & felt completely ripped off. Id have jumped at the chance of a refund back then.

kurruptor2206d ago

Sorry but if you played the full game, you aren't entitled to a refund. Think if that was allowed for movies or TV episode purchases.

iistuii2206d ago

Agree. But I wish there was more about the times of these games. I mean they were selling that game for £39 at one stage, absolute joke, it can be done if you accidentally explore the bookshelf in 4 mins. Films have the times on the back of the box & if I knew that I could finish it in 20 mins by playing it at an average speed, I'd never have bought it.

MWH2206d ago

"Abuse From PC Gamers" yeah those people, the worst kind./s

ninjahunter2206d ago

I like their refund policy, but if this is the result, then it is not to be.