Relitigating Steam Refunds (The Jimquisition)



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Steam refunds have been a source of low-key controversy over the years since their institution, especially when it comes to smaller indie games.

One such game is Summer of ’58, which kicked off the old refund debate yet again. Games on Steam can be returned within two hours of purchase, and Summer of ’58 is about 90 minutes long.

You can guess what happened. So once again let’s into this issue, and see if we can’t find something useful to say.

20 Comments:

  1. I think “C’mon folks” is actually pretty fair. The heart of this is the abuse of a fair policy. So yeah, go ahead with c’mon folks, you sexy spurge.

  2. alternatively, there are also some games where you’d likely need more than 2 hours to even get into them enough to get a feel of if the game would be for you in the long run. There should honestly be a better system in place that protects smaller devs of shorter games but also customers from longer games that take exceedingly long to let you out of forced tutorials and the like to actually see the game is shit

  3. On the game length issue, I think part of the problem is that it’s lead to massively bloated AAA games which explore nothing. For every Planescape: Torment or Disco Elysium which fill over twenty hours with exploring of ideas and potential answers to the questions they all you get ten games with 200+ hours of ‘content’ meant to create engagement instead of thinking.

  4. It’s quite a change for this series having a very murky issue with no solution. making sure people can refund a game that was too short for the price whilst making sure developers of very short games are protected is like having a cake and eating it too. I think we’ll get UBI long before an objective measure of game value so might as well go campaigning for that.

  5. You have done a great job with weight loss. As someone struggling myself with it, mad respect.

  6. What if a developer can flag their game for being under two hours long, and pay a fee for valve to check its length (this would prevent developers from abusing this system). Valve can then verify the length of the game and allocate a shorter refund window that would need to be clearly indicated on the store page.

  7. The only way I could see one circumvent this glaring exploit is for indie developers to avoid publishing their shorter experiences on Steam until they can release a compilation bundle that puts the overall playtime over the two hour limit but that’s asking a lot of indie developers to hold off on the biggest digital market for their work…

  8. My rule that I impose on myself for refunds is, that I will only refund broken games that are not fit for purpose, which basically means that if I got through a game to the end with no bugs or clear game breaking antics, then I wont refund it, whether I liked the game or not.

  9. It’s amazing just how many problems could be solved if the barest essentials of life weren’t held ransom. If people actually had the freedom, real honest to god freedom, to work for their own betterment rather than having to take whatever they can just to survive from one day to the next.

    Food, shelter, and health care should all be basic human rights. A society that can’t provide those at a minimum for all of its citizens shouldn’t be able to brag about prosperity.

  10. you quitting halfway through that self-deprecating joke and being kind to yourself made me so damn happy! You are a sexy um jammie lammy!!!!!

  11. Wolf’s milk leafy spurge sounds like another trademarked Jimquisition character. Let’s see if that happens 😅

  12. Oh man I was waiting for this show to be the first I disagreed with in a looong time and then halfway through you basically turned it around. “Yeah c’mon” is exactly right. We must have games in a shape where they can be enjoyed, archived, and where customers hold some sort of power to get out of scams, but we’re also a community, and we need to, at a community level, support smaller devs like this. I’m actually pretty heartened by the fact that after the media attention the dev was able to make a lot of money. Onya James.

  13. The issue is that there’s no catch all policy that can be used without it being abused in some way. It currently does favor longer games and those with replay value, but those are two very important factors that kind of outrank everything else when it comes to value.

  14. This development reminds me of the music industry, where track length were first very long, because thats how the band played it. Then with the CD, tracks got shorter, to fit “more” tracks. Now with Spotify the band is paid after 30s of listening. So you can hear a lot cramped into the first 30 seconds of popular Pop music, just so that no one skips it.

  15. Imagine refunding a game that you enjoyed and completed. I don’t have much to spend on games but I would never be so cheap.

  16. “No, I’m not doing self-deprecating anymore” really struck a chord. It’s great to see you finding more comfort with yourself. Good for you, Steph.

  17. I like how you were able to identify the contraction within the market but instead throwing your hands up, you looked at solutions outside of the market.
    Thinking markets can solve all your problems is a mind prison we all need to escape.

  18. As a player, I had the opposite problem. I bought Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous and spent 2 hours in character creation, the choices are insane, but once I got into the game I realized my laptop couldn’t run the game properly and am unable to get a refund. I also had a weird glitch where the game said it was still playing even though it wasn’t open, so it shows I have 44 hours in-game, and I bought the game 44 hours ago, trust me I didn’t play nearly 2 days without stopping, haha, but that’s a separate issue.

  19. I remember buying Battle Born and liking the first chapter that happened to be long enough to make the game unreturnable. The rest of the game was extremely boring and went on sale at a deep discount literally the next day, and now the game doesn’t exist, that money is gone forever for nothing.

  20. I honestly feel bad for the dev, but giving out exceptions would be such a slippery slope. Remember when Steam randomly decided that adult content was okay? Suddenly the store was flooded with shady hentai puzzle games, many of which had stolen or illegal content, or even malware in some cases. There were some good things that happened (hey I’m not a prude), but it was insane how quickly the bad actors mobilized. I imagine any system Steam would put in place would be equally abused to oblivion, especially thanks to their continuous lack of quality control. Also, isn’t it illegal to deny refunds in many countries?

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