Leaderboard: How do you decide whether to refund an MMO or wait it out?

I’ll be happy if I never have to type the phrase “Steam refunds” ever again, after this week of Bless Online coverage. Nevertheless, the idea of trying out a game and taking it back to reclaim your money if and when that game sucks is a relatively modern invention for MMORPGs, and it’s probably here to stay, which honestly is a good thing, at least for the consumer.

Still, I’ve never actually refunded an MMO before. Part of this is because I have plenty of access to try things out (or watch staff try them out) ahead of time, so I know better than to go swipey-swipey with the credit card. I also have seen so much shit go down and so many “preorder exclusive” shenanigans that I rarely buy anything at launch anyway. I am probably not a good test case here. Clearly, a lot of MMO players buy first and think second. That’s how I am with mobile games and apps; I’ve refunded probably a dozen apps over the years when I realized they’d been misrepresented somehow. But it’s never come up with MMOs.

How and when do you decide whether to refund an MMO or wait it out? (There’s some overlap in the answers, so you can choose all that apply.)

Leaderboard: How do you decide whether to refund an MMO or wait it out?

  • I've never requested a refund for any game ever. If I bought it, I own it. (26%, 78 Votes)
  • I've requested refunds only for non-MMOs. (15%, 46 Votes)
  • I've requested refunds for games ahead of the two-hour mark. (15%, 44 Votes)
  • I've requested refunds for games past the two-hour mark on Steam. (8%, 24 Votes)
  • I've requested refunds for game and been unsuccessful. (3%, 10 Votes)
  • I've requested refunds for games I backed through crowdfunding like Kickstarter. (1%, 4 Votes)
  • I've requested game refunds because of slow or stalled development. (2%, 5 Votes)
  • I've requested game refunds because of fundamental game design shifts. (6%, 17 Votes)
  • I've requested game refunds because I suddenly needed money. (1%, 2 Votes)
  • I preorder for bonuses and refund if early access reviews look to be heading south. (1%, 3 Votes)
  • I wait until I've personally played a game a little bit and found it wanting to request a refund. (12%, 37 Votes)
  • I wait until I've personally played a game in depth and found it wanting to request a refund. (4%, 12 Votes)
  • I won't refund even a dumpster fire as long as the developer is working on it. (2%, 7 Votes)
  • No response / just view tally. (4%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 203

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Loyheta
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyheta

I’ve only requested a few in all my time gaming. I’ve requested one because its design was trash. I’ve requested one because it didn’t live up to its advertising. I’ve requested one because it had no content. That’s pretty much it.

๐™ณ๐š˜๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š—'๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š’๐š'๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—.ยฎ
Reader
๐™ณ๐š˜๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š—'๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š’๐š'๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—.ยฎ

“Still, Iโ€™ve never actually refunded an MMO before. Part of this is because I have plenty of access to try things out…”

Well then…surprised you didn’t say that in third person.
“Nobody puts Bree-Bree in a corner.”

๐™ณ๐š˜๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š—'๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š’๐š'๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—.ยฎ
Reader
๐™ณ๐š˜๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š—'๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š’๐š'๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—.ยฎ

Archage, they flat out told me no refunds, so I took the complaint to my bank and got my money back. So they permabanned my account. What a heartbreak. :P

Reader
PlayCator .

Wish I’d done the same. XP

Reader
draugris

Only requested a refund once and that was for Bless. The reason was that i do not believe that this game is ready for EA, they should have made one or more closed betas with selected testers first. Plus i think that the devs have intentionally hidden or at least obfuscated information about what is in the game or not, and i do not support such shady business practices with my money. What i have heard by now is that Neowiz revoked the emissary status from some content creators because they criticised the game and there is also something going on with giving out free copies of the game for positive steam reviews which adds up to my decision.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
CasualSlacks

If I buy the game in the first place, it’s because I’m giving the developer the benefit of the doubt that they actually poured their hearts into a project and want me to enjoy it. There are so many ways to get the essential experience of playing a particular game without paying a penny, through Twitch or a Let’s Play on Youtube, that if I’ve done my homework, I’m really not gambling and I’ll take the consequence of my choice.

Whether or not I get around to playing it is a different story.

Reader
AussieEevee

I will not refund something unless it is a buggy piece of [censored], and the developers aren’t interested in fixing it, or the game’s story and gameplay, etc are just so bad. I do not consider not liking a game to be a good reason for getting a refund.

quark1020
Reader
quark1020

Unfortunately, I usually play MMO’s for longer than the steam refund allow, so I have to keep the game regardless. As a result, I’m a lot more careful when it comes to buying MMO’s.

Don’t have that problem with single player games, though.

Reader
Maggie May

I try before I buy either in beta or a free weekend, I never buy sight unseen.

Andrew Ross
Staff
Andrew Ross

My only exception to this as a consumer is if it’s a series and company I like (which is far too many Nintendo games- I’m fine with the weirdness from them, but everyone else’s weird is scary)

Reader
Ozzie

I think the high rate of refunds is a problem developers and publishers brought onto themselves. With all the different monetization schemes going on in game development, it’s very hard for the player to know what they’re buying into. Early access, subscription, pre-order, cash shops, alpha/betas, kickstarter – developers are asking the player to pay at least once (if not multiple times) along the entire development spectrum of a game.

How can a player reliably know they’re purchasing the right product now, or how it will turn out in the future? They could patiently wait, but that’s not exactly going along with human nature. So if a developer is asking for players to pay at some point alongside the development cycle and accept the uncertain outcome, we should expect and enjoy refunds when it doesn’t work out for us. Besides, what other recourse does a player have?

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Reminds me of an interview I’ve read a few weeks ago about a studio that makes short games, which can be completed in under 2 hours (and, thus, that players could complete before Steam’s refund deadline), which nevertheless has a very low refund rate (about 2% if I remember correctly).

Their recipe for such a low refund rate? Honesty. They do all they can to make sure players know exactly what they are purchasing, to prevent players from regretting their purchase. The happy side-effect is that their games also have Steam ratings above 90%.

๐™ณ๐š˜๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š—'๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š’๐š'๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—.ยฎ
Reader
๐™ณ๐š˜๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š—'๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š’๐š'๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—.ยฎ

Now I won’t touch anything until it is 100 percent out of the gate, none of the kickfarting. If I had my way everything would still be midnight release boxes at the earliest. BOXES!! BOXES!! AND ONLY BOXES!!

Reader
Danny Smith

i got a refund once for albion online. i was down for the grinding, the crafting and classes system.

i was not down for moba combat with runescape graphics.