The Epic store is now sporting a Steam-style refund policy on titles

    
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The Epic store is now sporting a Steam-style refund policy on titles

It’s not even remotely surprising to state that the Epic store is taking direct aim at Steam with its structure, and that aim is getting even sharper with the store’s new refund policy. A tweet straight from the Epic Games director of publishing strategy, Sergey Galyonkin (also known as the man who used to run SteamSpy), clarifies that players can ask for a refund on any title which was bought within the past two weeks and has less than two hours of played time on it.

The system is not automated at the moment and will require filing a ticket, but an automated system is on the way for deployment. Galyonkin also stated that reviews will be added to the games in the future, but with an eye toward avoiding review bombing, which seems like another jab aimed directly at Valve’s longstanding “moderation is too hard and we don’t want to” policy. So while it remains to be seen if Epic’s game store is going to get long-standing traction, it’s clearly trying to start off on the best foot with policies.

Source: Twitter via Polygon

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Ernost
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Ernost

Still no regional pricing though. That is the main benefit of Steam for me personally.

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Markus Eliassen

Not for me, as games often are 20-40% more expensive here i Norway :/

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Speaking of SteamSpy, did Valve ever release a SteamSpy alternative yet like they promised?

As for review bombing, I highly doubt Epic can prove they can moderate the reviews at the same scale as Steam’s. One thing I like about Steam’s reviews is that you can see the TIMESCALE chart of a game review ratings, so when a game does get review-bombed you will DEFINITELY know something fishy happened.

Will Epic have a review ratings timescale chart similar to Steam?

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Anton Mochalin

What’s bad about review bombing? Those reviewers are real gamers which bought the game, if they’re angry, you see that in the reviews. And if a lot of people got angry with the game it’s quite likely I’m going to get the same feeling.

If Epic wants to compete it should be like Steam but better. And better for consumers, not game developers.

Bel
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Bel

If it’s not automated – if you have to wait for a week – then it is still not the “same” as Steam. Same written policy maybe, but still worse service.
Also, Steam did address review-bombing by providing graphs so customer’s can see the spikes and judge for themselves. And, if memory servers, they changed it so that free copies of the game didn’t count towards the rating.

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Michael18

To be fair, this is a first positive step for customers.

But it will take WAY more than that to make up for the aggresively anti-consumer move of building their entire store on exclusives.

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McGuffn

When this came out wasn’t it a 2 week no questions asked return policy? If there were no shenanigans this is a deprovement.

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rafael12104

The more the better, IMO. Let them compete. We and devs are the beneficiaries with better prices and more games and options to choose from.

I like the refund policy as long as there are no hidden fees.

BTW, I looked at Discords store last night and… meh.

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zaber

Devs are getting better prices. For the gamers no sign that ever can happen. There even games like Ark raising up the cost as they try to match the cost in other stores.

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zuldar

I can understand the reason developers would prefer to use the epic store with a smaller cut taken, but what is the reason consumers have to prefer it over steam? That’s the question they really need to answer.

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Mr.McSleaz

There is no reason, It’s a messy pile of garbage & it will most likely take them years to sort out.

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Armsbend

Because if you are one of the 10s of millions of new pc gamers – who don’t give one tiny shit about Valve and would think Half Life is old trash – you want a singular place to play your games. the same exact reason people played steam to begin with – that is where the steam exclusives were when people cared about Valve.

fast forward to now – an entire generation of new gamers – millions and millions of them – could not care one iota less about steam.

Epic makes games people want to play and Valve doesn’t any more. So gamers will go where the games are first – but other games and stay longer.

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zaber

That not true really about Epic makes gamers people want to play. Epic had to can one of their games as it was small amount people were playing it. They got lucky is not a bad thing that Fortnight becomes so big.

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Chris Johnson

Epic hasn’t made any game I want to play. The number of people playing games through Steam speaks for itself.

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zaber

Let see how Epic deals with censorship. Steam deal with it having off hand what games deem to be bad or good, and let consumers deal with it with consumers reviews what Epic doesn’t have just of yet.

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Sorenthaz

Moral guilt-tripping (“you’re not supporting the devs as much if you buy through Steam”) and holding exclusives hostage for a year. That’s about it.

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Ironwu

Steam is an established and respected platform with a wide array of top quality titles. For Epic to proudly announce that they are now offering the SAME refund policy as Steam is no way to effectively compete with Steam.

So far, there is nothing in or about the Epic Store that would entice me away from having Steam as my main portal platform.

They are going to have to do way BETTER than Steam, not just have locked down exclusives, same refund policies, and higher prices.

Just my 2c.

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Chris Johnson

They aren’t competing with Steam, no matter how hard some sites..like this one…are trying to push them. Steam is the standard. In order to compete with the standard, you must offer something either comparable or better.

I have absolutely no reason to replace Steam with Epic. A few exclusives I’d never play aren’t enough to cause me to remove my long list of favorites.

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Mr.McSleaz

“A few exclusives I’d never play”

I’m in the same boat. Getting “Exclusive” on Garbage Titles is laughable at best. Guess I’m just getting old.

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Schmidt.Capela

Even if they weren’t “garbage exclusives” I still wouldn’t be moved. I hate exclusivity deals. It’s part of the reason I’m a PC gamer first and foremost; 3rd parties that bind themselves in exclusivity agreements can go die in a fire for all I care.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah, and even if they’re some super promising indie games or whatever idgaf. I’ll wait for a year until it comes to Steam, because you know almost every developer signing on for these deals will jump to Steam as soon as they can due to the lack of exposure/sales they’re likely going to deal with on Epic’s front.

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Sorenthaz

Steam is the standard. In order to compete with the standard, you must offer something either comparable or better.

Yeah and right now the only thing better is that the devs get more money and get to avoid feedback.

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Armsbend

They didn’t proudly announce that – you insinuated that. They announced their refund policy – which is the same as Steams. Why Eliot put Steam’s name in the article – when Epic didn’t insinuate anything about Valve – is Eliot’s doing – not Epics. Eliot is putting in very obvious assumptions about what Epic is doing.

Refund policies can’t be pulled from thin air – you have to agree on it with the titles on your site. Steam made a drastic change in the US – that might be the absolute base lowest the publishers are willing to go.

An example:

Epic: “Hey Ubisoft we are going to offer a 3 day refund policy. they get to beat your game in the allotted time and then they get a refund.”
Ubisoft: “K. the fuck you are.”

So these “jabs” as Eliot told – might be nothing more than a standard both parties agree to.