Valve’s OS and hardware have yet to go mainstream, but that doesn’t make the company’s digital distribution platform any less great. What good to buy countless games, though, if it’s impossible to get your money back after discovering that some of them are unsatisfactory?
The Bellevue, Washington corporation is looking for new ways to make its customers happy. After all, if a gamer asks for a refund when a game or DLC is not to his liking, there are great chances that the money will eventually be spent on another game, so there’s no loss for Valve there. To make sure that people won’t abuse the new Steam refund policy, Valve has put some rules into place, and has even launched a dedicated page for Steam Refunds.
First of all, gamers who want to get a refund must not play the game for more than two hours. I’d say that two hours are more than enough to figure out whether you like a game or not, but I’d advise you to play the game right after purchasing it or as soon as possible after that. The reason why I’m suggesting this is that you can qualify for a refund if you apply for it within a fortnight after purchasing the game. Again, that’s a very reasonable timeframe.
So how does this work for DLCs, if you’ve played the base game for more than two hours (or have even finished it, for that matter)? The rule is simple, in this case, too. After applying the DLC, you shouldn’t play the game for more than two hours, if you want a refund.
Steam’s new refund policy goes way beyond games and DLCs. In-game purchases also qualify for refunds, assuming that you’re asking for them within 48 hours of purchase. Needless to say, the purchased item should not be altered in any way.
Enabling gamers to get refunds for the games they don’t like is great news for several reasons. First of all, the money isn’t gone forever, and you don’t have to feel sorry for spending your hard-earned cash on something you don’t like. Secondly, this should encourage game publishers to optimize their games before launching them, so that gamers don’t end up frustrated while playing bug-ridden titles. People think that this measure should have been taken a long time ago, but I guess it’s better later than never.