Earlier this week, GOG released a snapshot of its overall performance over the course of 2020. The report revealed a variety of statistics, but arguably the most notable number is the storefront's miniscule refund rate, recorded to be only 1.39 percent.
GOG, an acronym for Good Old Games, is a digital distributor of games created and run by Polish game developer CD Projekt. Unlike other digital storefronts such as Steam, GOG sells software free of digital rights management, or DRM. The platform has a fairly unique stance of "you buy it, you own it," regularly hosting sales like the massive GOG Spring Sale that ended April 5.
The low GOG refund rate can likely be credited to the platform's lenient refund policy, which it implemented in February 2020. Under the policy, consumers are able to get a refund for any game up to 30 days after purchase. This is not limited to regular titles, as players can get full refunds on pre-orders, games in ongoing development, and bundles as well, according to GamesIndustry.biz. Gamers can even get their money back if they've downloaded, launched, and played the game. Steam's refund policy pales in comparison, with the competitor storefront only allowing refunds on games within 14 days of purchase, and only if they've been played for less than two hours.
While GOG may be seeing a low refund rate, the company behind it doesn't appear to be as fortunate. A recent projection has the company expecting to lose around $50 million dollars from Cyberpunk 2077 refunds, with the highly controversial game still attempting to fix its numerous bugs and glitches.
There's almost nothing worse than buying something just to see it discounted or given away for free later. Unfortunately, this is a relatively common occurrence in the gaming world, as there are plenty of subscription services like PS Plus that take great games and either discount them or give them away for free. For January 2021, PS Plus subscribers are getting access to Shadow of the Tomb Raider, GreedFall, and a PS5 version of Maneater, meaning anyone who may have bought those recently could have waited.
Notably, Greedfall was 2019's honorary Dragon Age title, while Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the latest adventure of Lara Croft. It's unlikely many invested in these games lately, if only due to their age and/or relative popularity, but Maneater is a bit newer. And as it turns out, Sony issued automatic refunds to those who purchased Maneater on PS5 before it became a PS Plus game. This begs the question: Will Sony continue to issue refunds in this matter, and will it resolve the problem described above? The answer is a probably not.
First, there's a couple of things worth mentioning. It doesn't seem refunds for GreedFall or Shadow of the Tomb Raider were issued, meaning this was directly tied to the PS5, not PS4. Really, thinking about the money that would be lost if issuing refunds for Maneater, Greedfall, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider makes even the one refund that did happen seem super unlikely, but the PS5 is the answer.
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