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Dev calls out player who refunded his game after saying it was amazing, player apologizes and rebuys it

Author : palumboessie
Publish Date : 2021-04-14 10:51:07
Dev calls out player who refunded his game after saying it was amazing, player apologizes and rebuys it

By many accounts, Before Your Eyes is a smart and affecting game, and the control system seems cool: It uses your webcam to determine when you blink. It's also a short game, and at least one player took advantage of that fact by completing it in under two hours and then refunding it on Steam.

Steam's refund policy allows users to return games "within two weeks of purchase and with less than two hours of playtime" for any reason. It doesn't matter whether or not they finished the game, or if they liked it. Before Your Eyes lead designer and programmer Bela Messex knew someone had refunded the game despite enjoying the whole thing because they left a Steam user review, calling Before Your Eyes "amazing" before getting their money back.

"Yep we made a short game," wrote Messex, responding to the review in a widely shared tweet. "I think there should be more short games. I think short games shouldn't get refunded for delivering an amazing experience."

    yep we made a short game. I think there should be more short games. I think short games shouldn't get refunded for delivering an amazing experience

A day later, the reviewer, whose name is Travis, repurchased the game and added a new paragraph to the review.

"Yes, the game is short, but it has an underlying reason for this," wrote Travis in the edited review. "Life itself is short and can be gone in the blink of an eye, which kinda seems to be the point of making the game controlled by blinking in the first place. It's worth your $10 and even if you beat the game in enough time to do so, you shouldn't exploit Steam's system and refund it."

Separately, Travis apologized to Messex on Twitter, saying that it had been "scummy" to refund the game after finishing and enjoying it, despite being on "a bit of a budget."

That was a nice ending (and we must cherish them when we see them), but the conflict between refund policies and short games is ongoing. Valve doesn't publish detailed data about refunds, so I can't say for sure whether or not short games are actually refunded more often than long ones, but it's been a concern since Steam introduced the policy in 2015.

"What bugs me is [it's] a one-size-fits-all return policy that's pretty clearly designed for 'big' games, the sort that are $60 on launch day," Glass Bottom Games founder Megan Fox told PC Gamer at the time. "Two weeks and two hours makes perfect sense if you're talking about Far Cry 4, but then look at something like The Stanley Parable. It's a game you can easily 'beat' in under two hours, the first time you sit down with it, and likely walk away feeling satisfied. Or something like [PS3 exploration game] Journey, where you literally have to beat it in one sitting, since there's no saving."
"What bugs me is [it's] a one-size-fits-all return policy that's pretty clearly designed for 'big' games, the sort that are $60 on launch day," Glass Bottom Games founder Megan Fox told PC Gamer at the time. "Two weeks and two hours makes perfect sense if you're talking about Far Cry 4, but then look at something like The Stanley Parable. It's a game you can easily 'beat' in under two hours, the first time you sit down with it, and likely walk away feeling satisfied. Or something like [PS3 exploration game] Journey, where you literally have to beat it in one sitting, since there's no saving."

 

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