The Daily Grind: How long should refund grace periods for video games be?


Over the weekend, Redditors began claiming that Valve is intermittently allowing people to request and be granted Steam refunds for No Man’s Sky well past the usual two-hour marker. There are now claims of people with 30, 40, 50 hours in the game getting full refunds, and while I’m not yet convinced the reports are entirely above board, there is a dropoff showing that at least some people are getting refunds, and Valve has posted, “The standard Steam refund policy applies to No Man’s Sky. There are no special exemptions available.”

In No Man’s Sky’s case, I think some refunds are justified since the game is clearly not working as advertised and teased for these past years. But 50 hours of play? If true, that’s absurd, abusive even. You had fun for 50 hours! Refunds shouldn’t be about buyer’s remorse after you’ve thoroughly exhausted a game. Even for an MMO that backloads content, you probably know within a few hours whether you’re going to be in it for a while. Don’t think it applies to MMOs? Think again: Developers like Mark Jacobs have famously granted requests to refund donations for in-development games, and anyone remember Black Desert’s chargeback fiasco?

How long do you think should refund grace periods for video games be? What extenuating circumstances would you allow for different types of games or marketing scenarios?

With thanks to Cotic, David, and my guildies for inspiring this topic.

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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