Small game developers continue to be hurt by Steam's two-hour refund policy
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Small game developers continue to be hurt by Steam’s two-hour refund policy

Small game developers continue to be hurt by Steam's two-hour refund policy

Small game developers continue to be hurt by Steam’s two-hour refund policy.

Steam’s refund policy is a great way to save money on games you don’t like. It is a bad policy that adversely affects small game developers, despite its good intentions. Emika Games, the developer of Summer ’58, is one such developer. They announced that they would be taking an indefinite break from game development due to the policy’s negative impact on their game.

“Friends!” “Friends! I’m leaving game development for an indefinite time to collect my thoughts,” writes the developer behind Emika Games in a tweet. Below is their complete statement.

The statement states that Summer Of ’58 doesn’t have enough playtime to reach two hours by Steam standards. Steam’s return policy states that you can request a refund if you have played the game for less than two hours. If a game is played for more than two hours, it can be returned. This applies even if the player enjoys playing the game and makes a profit. This has been the case with Summer ’58. The game has seen “a large number of returns, even with positive reviews.”

The developer continues, “I don’t earn anything to make a new game.” “Thanks for your support. I am glad you like my games. However, since I don’t have the conditions to do anything new, I have decided to answer any questions about Day To Day. This game will “not see the light” soon.

The issue has rekindled discussions about Steam’s refund policy. Should the platform make changes to be less damaging for small developers? Steam should reduce the window by half, which would be my preference. If trailers, previews or reviews aren’t good enough, I think an hour is a sufficient time to gauge whether you like the game. This window is also small enough to spare the creators of truly great, short experiences the risk of losing their profits.

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An earlier this year, another small-game developer highlighted the dangers of this generous refund policy. A developer of Before Your Eyes, an amazing game that will be on many Game of the Year lists within months, sent a tweet in April that went viral. The tweet contains a screenshot from a Steam user who wrote a review, praising the concept and citing the game’s length (roughly 90 minutes) to be a problem. As a result, they refunded the game for ten dollars.

Bela Messex tweeted, “Yep, we made a brief game.” “I believe there should be more of these short games. “I believe short games should not be refunded for providing an incredible experience.”

The community responded with passion, prompting over 30,000 likes and many additional eyes to Before your Eyes. The reviewer later purchased the game again and stated that the reason for the refund was budgetary. However, they did not regret purchasing the game.

It’s impossible to predict if Emika Games’ tweet would have the same impact or if it will inspire them to create another game. The tweet had been shared almost 14,000 times since its posting three days ago. The developer posted the same message on social media, saying they have received both good wishes and support. They also stated that they’ve been surrounded by “a lot of negativity and misinformation that leads me astray.”

Small game developers continue to be hurt by Steam’s two-hour refund policy
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