Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023
The Steam company logo is repeated on a red background.

Aurich Lawson

For over a decade, Valve has only offered refunds in extreme circumstances for downloadable games purchased on Steam. That ends today, as Valve announced a new refund policy that will apply to every game on the service.

“Maybe your PC doesn’t meet the hardware requirements; maybe you accidentally bought a game; maybe you played the title for an hour and just didn’t like it,” the policy reads. “It doesn’t matter. Valve will issue a refund for any reason upon request at if the request is made within 14 days of purchase and the title has been played for less than two hours.” Additionally, games that fall outside of that 14 days/two hours of play can still be submitted for a refund, and Valve says it will “take a look”.

DLC is similarly refundable as long as that DLC has not been “consumed, modified, or transferred” – so third-party DLC that “irreversibly level up a game character”, for example, is not eligible. Valve also offers a 48-hour refund period for non-consumable in-game purchases for games it develops, and allows third-party developers to offer similar refunds for their in-game purchases.

Pre-ordered games can be refunded at any time before release (as well as after release, under the same conditions as other games). Money placed in a Steam wallet can be refunded within 14 days of purchase. Movies and gifts are non-refundable. Refunds will be issued to Steam Wallet or the original payment method within one week of the request.

While this new policy sounds like a great risk-free way to get a short demo of full Steam games, Valve says it reserves the right to stop issuing refunds to users it believes are taking undue advantage of the game. system. Refunds are intended to remove the risk of purchasing titles on Steam – not as a way to get free games. “If it appears to us that you are abusing refunds, we may stop offering them to you.”

Returning a title right before a sale and then buying it at the new, lower price is explicitly allowed by Valve’s rules, meaning the new refund policy amounts to a de facto two-week price guarantee on Steam purchases ( assuming you don’t). so as not to play those games too much immediately after purchase). However, users banned for cheating lose the right to request a refund.

The new policy brings Steam more in line with some other downloadable game distribution services. EA started offering a seven-day refund period for games it published on its Origin service almost two years ago. GOG offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if a purchased game doesn’t work on the user’s hardware for any reason, and Android games can be refunded within a short period of 15 minutes after purchase. However, UPlay does not offer refunds at all for downloadable products.

By akfire1

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