I don’t know what I was thinking when I purchased The Witcher 3 on Steam for my stinky old PC. The crusty piece of garbage started whirring and begging for its life when I booted the game up. Guess that’s $60 wasted.
If the above situation is painfully familiar, then Valve — the company that owns and operates the Steam digital-distribution service — has some welcome news for you: it is now offering refunds for nearly any game for any reason. The company says if you get into a situation where you buy a game that won’t run on your hardware or maybe you don’t even like, it will give you a refund if you make it the request through its help.steampowered.com customer-service page.
“It doesn’t matter. Valve will, upon request, issue a refund for any reason,” reads the Steam announcement.
Of course, getting a refund isn’t completely free of stipulations. It only works in the first 14 days after making a purchase, and you cannot get your money back if you played for more than two hours.
I’m sure you’re wondering: But I played this game for 2.5 hours, and the third stage is when I discovered the boss was broken, and I hate it. Well, Valve may still consider giving you back your cash.
“Even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look,” reads the announcement.
The company goes on to list the rules for downloadable content, virtual items, and more. The general rule is that you can always ask for your money back, but you may run into an occasion where something is nonrefundable. The company also plans to clearly mark anything that is always nonrefundable as such to help people make informed decisions.
Check out the full list of where refunds apply right here.
This marks a major change to Steam’s refund policy. Prior to this, it was nearly impossible to get your money back for a purchase from any digital game store on PC or console. This was despite rules like in the European Union that typically regulate these kinds of purchases.
But now, Valve is offering money back to people worldwide. This puts it in compliance with EU law, but the company may have had another reason for doing this.
In late April, Steam added a new feature that enabled the people who create modifications for the open-world adventure game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to charge for their content. “Paid mods” quickly turned into a fiasco as gamers revolted against the idea of paying for something that was always free. One of the reasons consumers used was that they were worried about paying for something only to find out it is broken. Valve did offer a limited 24-hour refund policy, but many people didn’t see that as enough. The company pulled back on its paid-mods plan.
But now it looks like Valve is training its consumers to better understand that they can get their money back for purchases gone wrong. And this could eliminate one of the major excuses gamers have for hating paid mods.