Steam Adds Refund Option for Pre-Orders

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Steam Adds Refund Option for Pre-Orders

Steam Refund

Valve has added the ability to refund pre-orders for unreleased titles.

The next time the siren song of a pre-order bonus on Steam turns sour, you can get a refund for your pre-purchase and put that cash towards a different game. A recently added option now allows Steam users to cancel pre-orders of unreleased titles and receive a refund. Only purchased items that have not been released, gifted, or traded away can be refunded. The value of the refund is applied to your Steam wallet balance. The new feature was noticed by Steam user donham on January 23.

To refund a game, go to your Steam account page and click on store transactions. On the list of recent Steam Store transactions for your account, any game that is eligible for a refund will include a "Refund an item" link. For transactions that included multiple games, clicking on the link for that transaction will take you to a page where you can select the game eligible for the refund. You complete the refund completely on your own, with no need to contact Valve. Once a game is released, Steam does not offer any refunds or exchanges on games, DLC, or in-game items.

Other online gaming retailers have also been adding refund options. In December, DRM-free games retailer GOG announced its new guaranteed refund policy. Under the new policy, customers can return any game that doesn't work properly on their system for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. GOG also instituted a 14-day refund policy for any purchase. To take advantage of either policy, customers must contact GOG customer support.

However you feel about pre-orders, this new refund option seems like nothing but good news for gamers.

Source: Valvetime

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This does sound good, but valve still has a long way to go before actually having a true refund. This is nothing.

Refund for a game your purchased that you can't play yet? AND it only goes to your steam wallet? Meh. Not even close to a good refund policy.

A good start.

I'm sure it'll be useful to be able to instantly cancel a pre-order when the first reviews hit and the delayed European release for once gets to be useful.

hickwarrior:
This does sound good, but valve still has a long way to go before actually having a true refund. This is nothing.

Refund for a game your purchased that you can't play yet? AND it only goes to your steam wallet? Meh. Not even close to a good refund policy.

Could you imagine the games industry's reaction if we could actually get a decent refund policy? They might have to work to make sure a game lasts longer than 5 hours then - heck, a lot of games I play could've been returned within a day of release with how painfully short and boring they are.

Why would any one pre-order anything on Steam? Is it just because of the pre-load option? Even then how long does it take to download a game and how impatient can someone be?

Better and better. This will help abate some anger.

josemlopes:
Why would any one pre-order anything on Steam? Is it just because of the pre-load option? Even then how long does it take to download a game and how impatient can someone be?

There's pre-order deals such as price reductions, extra content and paying for a game when you know you have the money to afford it. If I pre-order a game in August I usually have twice the cash I got in any other month (barring January). If I get some extra weapons then that's fun and a 10% discount won't go amiss. Then there are those times you can actually get content worth as much as the game itself. Pre-order Bioshock Infinite and you got X-com Enemy Unknown (which here at least cost the same as Bioshock). So why not pre-order? Reviews or people on the internet can't really say if you're going to like a game or not.

Sidmen:

hickwarrior:
This does sound good, but valve still has a long way to go before actually having a true refund. This is nothing.

Refund for a game your purchased that you can't play yet? AND it only goes to your steam wallet? Meh. Not even close to a good refund policy.

Could you imagine the games industry's reaction if we could actually get a decent refund policy? They might have to work to make sure a game lasts longer than 5 hours then - heck, a lot of games I play could've been returned within a day of release with how painfully short and boring they are.

Yet, steam is the provider. I'm wondering what's holding them back when it comes to refunds... It could be AAA doing it, since they can revoke their agreement maybe, but steam has such weight in the market that they don't have that excuse.

I can't see valve having excuses at all to NOT allow refund policies on steam. And good ones, not ones that just benefit them.

josemlopes:
Why would any one pre-order anything on Steam? Is it just because of the pre-load option? Even then how long does it take to download a game and how impatient can someone be?

I got XCOM: Enemy Unknown when I preordered Bioshock: Infinite, I still think that was a good deal.

So...

This isn't a refund. It's called cancelling a pre-order. You can dress a pig up like a rather convincing cow, but it's still a pig despite the paint and mechanical udder.

A refund, is what gog.com does for it's games. If it has issues and its been less than 30 days, you get your money back. Nitpicky, I know, but still.

hickwarrior:

Sidmen:

hickwarrior:
This does sound good, but valve still has a long way to go before actually having a true refund. This is nothing.

Refund for a game your purchased that you can't play yet? AND it only goes to your steam wallet? Meh. Not even close to a good refund policy.

Could you imagine the games industry's reaction if we could actually get a decent refund policy? They might have to work to make sure a game lasts longer than 5 hours then - heck, a lot of games I play could've been returned within a day of release with how painfully short and boring they are.

Yet, steam is the provider. I'm wondering what's holding them back when it comes to refunds... It could be AAA doing it, since they can revoke their agreement maybe, but steam has such weight in the market that they don't have that excuse.

I can't see valve having excuses at all to NOT allow refund policies on steam. And good ones, not ones that just benefit them.

Origin has refunds right? So at least one of the big AAA companies isn't blocking it.

I think it's much more likely to be Valve dragging their feet. Refunding digital items is tricky*, because any sort of decent time period opens people up to 'renting' all their games. A lot of the reason the system works at retail is there's a lot of hassle involved in getting a refund, you've got to actually pack a physical thing up and travel some place... You'd need to invent some system that doesn't make it easy for people to ask for a refund w/e, but then that probably costs manpower.

But I agree with TotalBiscuit that Valve basically doesn't have an excuse now. If they didn't want to give out refunds. then they shouldn't have created a system where they can profit from incomplete games, given the jankyness and the fact it's impossible to get up to date information on early-access games, giving a refund for those is the absolute minimum.

Sidmen:
Could you imagine the games industry's reaction if we could actually get a decent refund policy? They might have to work to make sure a game lasts longer than 5 hours then - heck, a lot of games I play could've been returned within a day of release with how painfully short and boring they are.

Urghh no that would suck. I don't have so much time that I want to throw it down the drain or dedicate my whole life to playing videogames. If companies were incentivised to pad out all their freaking games, regardless of whether it's better as a 5 hour game or a 30 hour one, everything would either become incredibly cruddy, or we'd lose all the game genres except for one type that certain people like. There'd be no Journey or Gone Home or Stanley Parable, or even Uncharted. It's fine if you're only into multiplayer games, or if you actually like having to spend a month playing before getting to the end of your RPG but otherwise you'd be screwed.

When we find a way to do proper digital refunds it's got to be designed to cut down on the abuse so people can make games whatever length is appropriate

Well this is a step in the right direction Valve, now you just need to have a similar policy but for games a couple of weeks after purchase like Origin does.

Cecilo:

hickwarrior:

Sidmen:
Could you imagine the games industry's reaction if we could actually get a decent refund policy? They might have to work to make sure a game lasts longer than 5 hours then - heck, a lot of games I play could've been returned within a day of release with how painfully short and boring they are.

Yet, steam is the provider. I'm wondering what's holding them back when it comes to refunds... It could be AAA doing it, since they can revoke their agreement maybe, but steam has such weight in the market that they don't have that excuse.

I can't see valve having excuses at all to NOT allow refund policies on steam. And good ones, not ones that just benefit them.

Besides the part where you could download a game, copy the games files to a USB. Get a refund, find a crack for the game, put the files back from your USB. And TADA. Instant Free Game.

When GOG announced they'd be allowing refunds they mentioned this in fact.

And so what? The fact that people can take advantage of a refund policy doesn't mean you scrap refunds completely. That kind of thinking is why we have garbage like highly restrictive DRM in the first place.

I've brought this up so many times before, but I'll say it again. There is no good reason for why Valve doesn't have a return policy. Every one of their competitors has one. Amazon has a return policy that basically amounts to "You want a refund? Sure! And here's 5 dollars credit towards something you might enjoy more." Yet the benevolent overlord that is Valve can't bother to offer refunds for broken games unless there's enough public outcry to force them to hand out refunds?

Its complete garbage.

Also

cursedseishi:
So...

This isn't a refund. It's called cancelling a pre-order. You can dress a pig up like a rather convincing cow, but it's still a pig despite the paint and mechanical udder.

A refund, is what gog.com does for it's games. If it has issues and its been less than 30 days, you get your money back. Nitpicky, I know, but still.

You make a very good point, which brings up a very interesting question. Does this mean that before now if you preordered a game on Steam you could not cancel the preorder? If so that's pretty f'ed.

Cant help but wonder if this was drummed up in response to GoGs recent 30 day Money back guarantee. If so, completely missed the mark. If not, well uhhh, good? Should have always been in place.

why are people so worked about refunds?, don't go throwing all your money at a game when it comes out and you won't get burned, and need a refund, why should steam be at fault for your irresponsibility? Please, Someone tell me the scenario that would require you to need a refund so i can understand.

FogHornG36:
why are people so worked about refunds?, don't go throwing all your money at a game when it comes out and you won't get burned, and need a refund, why should steam be at fault for your irresponsibility? Please, Someone tell me the scenario that would require you to need a refund so i can understand.

Yeah, I would've liked a refund for Bioshock Infinite. It's the first and only game I've ever preordered. I like One and Two (especially Two) so much that a game like that but IN A FLOATING CITY (OMG, SQUEE!) seemed like it would be the best idea ever. And then the demo gameplay was entirely too awesome!

...

But then the gameplay wasn't much like what we saw in the demo, the story was based around "Multiuniverse = Magic", the complexity involving ammo and plasmids/vigor had been all but removed, and there was no opportunity to gain control of a battlefield except in the most temporary of senses. BI was nothing like what the previous games or even the demo had us think.

So, to fit in with your question, when you get a product that isn't at all what it was advertised to be... you should be able to get a full refund.

BrotherRool:

Sidmen:
Could you imagine the games industry's reaction if we could actually get a decent refund policy? They might have to work to make sure a game lasts longer than 5 hours then - heck, a lot of games I play could've been returned within a day of release with how painfully short and boring they are.

Urghh no that would suck. I don't have so much time that I want to throw it down the drain or dedicate my whole life to playing videogames. If companies were incentivised to pad out all their freaking games, regardless of whether it's better as a 5 hour game or a 30 hour one, everything would either become incredibly cruddy, or we'd lose all the game genres except for one type that certain people like. There'd be no Journey or Gone Home or Stanley Parable, or even Uncharted. It's fine if you're only into games, or if you actually like having to spend a month playing before getting to the end of your RPG but otherwise you'd be screwed.

It's all about value for money, my friend. If you pay five or ten bucks for a game, 2-5 hours of entertainment is a good return. If I pay 60 bucks for a game and get five hours out of it - I feel ripped off. It's completely driven me out of the shooter market. Of course, I'm a special case, I understand that most shooters are now meant to be played online, something I don't do.

As others have said, that's not a refund, that's just cancelling a refund. Plus I've always felt weird about Steam giving you credit for their service, since it costs them virtually nothing.

FogHornG36:
why are people so worked about refunds?, don't go throwing all your money at a game when it comes out and you won't get burned, and need a refund, why should steam be at fault for your irresponsibility? Please, Someone tell me the scenario that would require you to need a refund so i can understand.

Well how about if you buy a game and then it doesn't run on your computer?

I mean, I know you're going to say that you should check in advance whether it will run on your computer, but sometimes stuff just doesn't. For instance, I once downloaded the free trial of Civ 5 that they had running over a weekend. It loaded up fine and everything, played alright, and so I decided to buy it. I then saw that there was a version that had a whole bunch of little bts of DLC bundled with it, and since it was on sale it basically made no difference to the price, so I went for that one.

Then it wouldn't run. Something in one of those bits of DLC stopped the game from working, and I still don't know how. I asked around on the Civ forums, didn't get anywhere, so I was basically stuck with a game that didn't work. Shouldn't I be allowed a refund then? A product is failing to work in a way that I had every reason to believe that it would and should?

Cecilo:

Besides the part where you could download a game, copy the games files to a USB. Get a refund, find a crack for the game, put the files back from your USB. And TADA. Instant Free Game.

Or you could just torrent the game and not bother with the hassle. If you're gonna be a dick, you might as well do it efficiently.

That is to say, people who want to screw over game devs, or at least don't care about screwing them over, have easier ways to do that than buy a game, email someone, crack the game and then hope to get their money back in a less convenient form than they had before.

Pebkio:

FogHornG36:
why are people so worked about refunds?, don't go throwing all your money at a game when it comes out and you won't get burned, and need a refund, why should steam be at fault for your irresponsibility? Please, Someone tell me the scenario that would require you to need a refund so i can understand.

Yeah, I would've liked a refund for Bioshock Infinite. It's the first and only game I've ever preordered. I like One and Two (especially Two) so much that a game like that but IN A FLOATING CITY (OMG, SQUEE!) seemed like it would be the best idea ever. And then the demo gameplay was entirely too awesome!

...

But then the gameplay wasn't much like what we saw in the demo, the story was based around "Multiuniverse = Magic", the complexity involving ammo and plasmids/vigor had been all but removed, and there was no opportunity to gain control of a battlefield except in the most temporary of senses. BI was nothing like what the previous games or even the demo had us think.

So, to fit in with your question, when you get a product that isn't at all what it was advertised to be... you should be able to get a full refund.

Well, that's not really fair. If you buy a dvd for a movie you wanted to see and the movie isn't as good as you thought would you be able to get a full refund because you didn't like it? No, no one does that. I can see a refund being needed if it's a tech issue but that's a different story. There is such a thing as consumer responsibility, you can't just take back a ham because it didn't taste as good as you thought it would.

FancyNick:
Well, that's not really fair. If you buy a dvd for a movie you wanted to see and the movie isn't as good as you thought would you be able to get a full refund because you didn't like it? No, no one does that. I can see a refund being needed if it's a tech issue but that's a different story. There is such a thing as consumer responsibility, you can't just take back a ham because it didn't taste as good as you thought it would.

Okay, you can say that and it seems rational, but movies are a far less complex thing than a video game and thusly straight-across comparisons are unfair. Gameplay is to a game like the scenes are to a movie.

And so, a better comparison would be if you buy a dvd of a movie that's been sold to you as being a WW2 thriller starring Samuel L Jackson. The trailers show Jackson screaming into a phone while a battle is taking place and other various scenes of war planning and some thrilling glares. Then you find that the movie is actually about a love triangle between Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ben Affleck, and a German Soldier... but happens to take place during WW2 and Jackson is a friend of one of them. You spent the money to buy something only to get another thing that wasn't even shown.

In other words, if the product you bought is so much unlike what was being advertised (in BI's case, by the demo and by the games that came before it) that you feel tricked.

GOG lets you get a proper refund. Even Origin lets you get a proper refund.

When you're being outdone by EA, you know you've fucked up.

Pebkio:

FancyNick:
Well, that's not really fair. If you buy a dvd for a movie you wanted to see and the movie isn't as good as you thought would you be able to get a full refund because you didn't like it? No, no one does that. I can see a refund being needed if it's a tech issue but that's a different story. There is such a thing as consumer responsibility, you can't just take back a ham because it didn't taste as good as you thought it would.

Okay, you can say that and it seems rational, but movies are a far less complex thing than a video game and thusly straight-across comparisons are unfair. Gameplay is to a game like the scenes are to a movie.

And so, a better comparison would be if you buy a dvd of a movie that's been sold to you as being a WW2 thriller starring Samuel L Jackson. The trailers show Jackson screaming into a phone while a battle is taking place and other various scenes of war planning and some thrilling glares. Then you find that the movie is actually about a love triangle between Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ben Affleck, and a German Soldier... but happens to take place during WW2 and Jackson is a friend of one of them. You spent the money to buy something only to get another thing that wasn't even shown.

In other words, if the product you bought is so much unlike what was being advertised (in BI's case, by the demo and by the games that came before it) that you feel tricked.

Fair enough but the only game that really fits that description in recent memory would be the notorious Aliens: Colonial Marines with it's false "gameplay" footage and bs marketing. For something like that, I would have to agree. But in regards to the original post I replied to, he just didn't like Bioshock infinite because it didn't meet his expectations. The game was not falsely advertised nor was any of the gameplay footage they showed fake. Again, there is a certain level of consumer responsibility with these things. He could have done research or waited awhile after the game was out and read others opinions and considered whether or not the game was worth the risk of buying it. Don't get me wrong, the idea of refunds for steam games is a good one but you can't just play through a whole game, find out you didn't like something about it personally, and go and get a full refund. No developer could ever make money this way as no game is perfect in every way. In regards to false advertising and tech issues though I agree that refunding is good practice.

The million dollar question is: why weren't they doing this before? If you paid for something you didn't get yet, why shouldn't you be able to get your money back? Why did it take Valve this long to figure out something this simple?

FancyNick:

Fair enough but the only game that really fits that description in recent memory would be the notorious Aliens: Colonial Marines with it's false "gameplay" footage and bs marketing. For something like that, I would have to agree. But in regards to the original post I replied to, he just didn't like Bioshock infinite because it didn't meet his expectations. The game was not falsely advertised nor was any of the gameplay footage they showed fake. Again, there is a certain level of consumer responsibility with these things. He could have done research or waited awhile after the game was out and read others opinions and considered whether or not the game was worth the risk of buying it. Don't get me wrong, the idea of refunds for steam games is a good one but you can't just play through a whole game, find out you didn't like something about it personally, and go and get a full refund. No developer could ever make money this way as no game is perfect in every way. In regards to false advertising and tech issues though I agree that refunding is good practice.

Oh yes, of course...

The demo of Bioshock Infinite was actually noticably different. You'd think someone, like you, would've, at least, looked into THE ACTUAL CLAIM before dismissing me as the original poster who was only complaining that I just didn't like what we got. No, I did not prepay for a game for the first time ever on a silly whim. They sold us on an idea that they didn't deliver.

The gameplay trailer for Bioshock Infinite is actually, surprisingly, comparable to the Aliens: Colonial Marines trailer.

It's interesting that you talk down on me for not researching when YOU DIDN'T EVEN LOOK INTO ANYTHING AT ALL! You could not have been more wrong. So where is your "consumer responsibility" bull if you aren't even going to practice what you preach?

Edit: And if the actual game was anywhere NEAR as awesome as those trailers made it look, I would still be playing it today with a smile on my face and a warm "this was a good 60 bucks I spent" feeling in my chest.

Mr.Tea:

Cecilo:
Besides the part where you could download a game, copy the games files to a USB. Get a refund, find a crack for the game, put the files back from your USB. And TADA. Instant Free Game.

Wat.

If they were already going to pirate the game, who the hell would bother with this 5-step plan involving a credit card and an external disk?

How about a 2-step plan?

1) Torrent game with crack
2) Install

TADA. Instant free game.

That's basically the whole fallacy of DRM right there... Pirating is easy enough that you can't beat it by being more complicated or annoying.

But torrenting a game runs the risk of getting in trouble while you download that 22gigabyte download now doesn't it. As well as a risk of viruses and malware. Instead finding a crack for a game is quite easy, and while it also runs the risk of viruses and malware, it is only one or two files.

Especially with the new strike program the companies in the US are using. Anything to avoid long torrents is good for those would be pirates.

Further, what are the requirements of a refund? You haven't played for more than an hour? What if a game is only so long, what are the prerequisites for returning a game to steam, does there have to be a community backlash to it? What counts as a "Broken" Product. Was Mass Effect 3 refund material because the ending was hated?

Was Aliens Colonial Marines refund material because you were not actually fighting aliens most of the time (It's bugs and false advertising would be refund worthy however)? Or are you asking for a refund just because it wasn't something you liked?

There are many reasons why having a refund system isn't as simple as "Sure. You can have a refund for any game at any time". And while I didn't explain my point well enough earlier, someone could buy a game, decide they like it, copy it, crack it, get a refund, buy a new game, try that game, refund it. Etc. And this would all be legit, completely avoiding possibly being caught as a pirate.

cursedseishi:
So...

This isn't a refund. It's called cancelling a pre-order. You can dress a pig up like a rather convincing cow, but it's still a pig despite the paint and mechanical udder.

A refund, is what gog.com does for it's games. If it has issues and its been less than 30 days, you get your money back. Nitpicky, I know, but still.

So....

You paid for something and was awaiting its delivery. You decided that you no longer want it, and they (re)turn your (fund)s. Refund.

Pebkio:

FancyNick:

Fair enough but the only game that really fits that description in recent memory would be the notorious Aliens: Colonial Marines with it's false "gameplay" footage and bs marketing. For something like that, I would have to agree. But in regards to the original post I replied to, he just didn't like Bioshock infinite because it didn't meet his expectations. The game was not falsely advertised nor was any of the gameplay footage they showed fake. Again, there is a certain level of consumer responsibility with these things. He could have done research or waited awhile after the game was out and read others opinions and considered whether or not the game was worth the risk of buying it. Don't get me wrong, the idea of refunds for steam games is a good one but you can't just play through a whole game, find out you didn't like something about it personally, and go and get a full refund. No developer could ever make money this way as no game is perfect in every way. In regards to false advertising and tech issues though I agree that refunding is good practice.

Oh yes, of course...

The demo of Bioshock Infinite was actually noticably different. You'd think someone, like you, would've, at least, looked into THE ACTUAL CLAIM before dismissing me as the original poster who was only complaining that I just didn't like what we got. No, I did not prepay for a game for the first time ever on a silly whim. They sold us on an idea that they didn't deliver.

The gameplay trailer for Bioshock Infinite is actually, surprisingly, comparable to the Aliens: Colonial Marines trailer.

It's interesting that you talk down on me for not researching when YOU DIDN'T EVEN LOOK INTO ANYTHING AT ALL! You could not have been more wrong. So where is your "consumer responsibility" bull if you aren't even going to practice what you preach?

Edit: And if the actual game was anywhere NEAR as awesome as those trailers made it look, I would still be playing it today with a smile on my face and a warm "this was a good 60 bucks I spent" feeling in my chest.

Woah guy, apologies if it came across that way but I didn't mean to talk down to you. Because you didn't go into detail about how or why you were disappointed with the game I just assumed it was for the reason I stated. My fault, it was wrong of me to do that. However, those trailers you listed were old. One was a year old and the other three and the difference between those trailers and the actual game are not far enough apart to compare it A:CM. Also there were later ones released in 2013 that are closer to the product. Games can change in development. I am not trying to belittle your point or you, I am just trying to argue that consumers have a certain responsibility when they purchase something, whatever it is, and just because it doesn't appeal to you doesn't mean you can use said product completely and then try to return it. With the exception of certain cases such as technical issues, false advertisement, and probably something else I can't think of at the moment. Anyway, I hope I didn't offend you in anyway.

Kind of sick of constantly addressing the bevy of misinformation and half-truths that pop up on this topic; many of which are already everywhere in this thread; so I'm not going to address them.

However, I will just say this:
Steam has offered refunds for years. Origin and GoG.com are the newcomers to the practice.

If you had a legitimate issue with a purchased game on Steam, an issue that you felt could only be rectified with a refund, and you contacted Steam Support about it, they more often than not would refund you.

The only difference between that and Origin/GoG's methods are that the latter methods are some amalgam of pseudo-automation and manual support.

But, you know, it's easier to just bitch about Steam not having a thing it actually has than to bother to research the truth.

sorry wait. since when is this new???
i have gotten my money back from pre ordered games. ok, this system sounds simpler but not new for steam. i would be rather happy if we can sell the games we dont want.

Pebkio:
Okay, you can say that and it seems rational, but movies are a far less complex thing than a video game and thusly straight-across comparisons are unfair. Gameplay is to a game like the scenes are to a movie.

And so, a better comparison would be if you buy a dvd of a movie that's been sold to you as being a WW2 thriller starring Samuel L Jackson. The trailers show Jackson screaming into a phone while a battle is taking place and other various scenes of war planning and some thrilling glares. Then you find that the movie is actually about a love triangle between Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ben Affleck, and a German Soldier... but happens to take place during WW2 and Jackson is a friend of one of them. You spent the money to buy something only to get another thing that wasn't even shown.

In other words, if the product you bought is so much unlike what was being advertised (in BI's case, by the demo and by the games that came before it) that you feel tricked.

Calm down for a sec, buddy. You are blowing the whole thing way out of proportion. As someone who played the BI demo, I'm almost wondering if you actually got the Blowjob Infinite demo instead, because while yes, the demo was notably different (and some gameplay aspects were better), it was nowhere near the glorious gift from above to absolute burn it in hell garbage of a transition as you claim.

A better comparison rather than the extreme example you gave would be a movie that is billed as a hilarious comedy about hilarious things, and every scene in the trailer is incredible and burst out laughing funny. Then you get to the theater, find out the only funny scenes in the movie were in the trailer, and half of those were cut. Oh wait, they make those. All. The. Time.

False advertising in a media product is a very thin line. At what point were your expectations too high, and were you expecting a completely different game than what even the marketers were advertising. Maybe in BI's case it was legit false advertising. I don't believe so, but I'll give you this one for the sake of an argument. But where is the line drawn?

How different is a demo allowed to be? Demos are often made with earlier builds so they can get out sooner, and oftentimes things will be changed in-between. If a demo has to be made out of the final build, or if things can't be changed to make what the dev team thinks makes things better, then suddenly you'll stop seeing demos as they become impossible to make. How about trailers? I've never once seen a game trailer that was actually indicative of the final product, even when they showed gameplay. So how different are they allowed to be from the final product?

You're treading a very thin line, and I feel you're demanding it be drawn well into the side of "I didn't like it, I want my money back".

Its a long way till a decent refund policy for them but looks like first step is taken. Lets just hope our lord GabeN wont be cruel with us.

Sidmen:

hickwarrior:
This does sound good, but valve still has a long way to go before actually having a true refund. This is nothing.

Refund for a game your purchased that you can't play yet? AND it only goes to your steam wallet? Meh. Not even close to a good refund policy.

Could you imagine the games industry's reaction if we could actually get a decent refund policy? They might have to work to make sure a game lasts longer than 5 hours then - heck, a lot of games I play could've been returned within a day of release with how painfully short and boring they are.

Ironicly, EAs Origin store has a decent refund policy.....

josemlopes:
Why would any one pre-order anything on Steam? Is it just because of the pre-load option? Even then how long does it take to download a game and how impatient can someone be?

preorder bonuses. you know, preorder now and get a costume that noone else will get and stuff like that. baiscally why people preorder steam or not steam.

Cecilo:

Besides the part where you could download a game, copy the games files to a USB. Get a refund, find a crack for the game, put the files back from your USB. And TADA. Instant Free Game.

When GOG announced they'd be allowing refunds they mentioned this in fact.

Why do all this pointless trouble though? You could downloade a cracked copy (and one exists at the same tiem you can download a crack anyway, so thats a nonissue) straight away and dont even go through the whole refunding process. Your idea sounds needlessly complicated and anyone that actually wants to do this illegal act of piracy already can without a refund policy.

BrotherRool:

I think it's much more likely to be Valve dragging their feet. Refunding digital items is tricky*, because any sort of decent time period opens people up to 'renting' all their games. A lot of the reason the system works at retail is there's a lot of hassle involved in getting a refund, you've got to actually pack a physical thing up and travel some place... You'd need to invent some system that doesn't make it easy for people to ask for a refund w/e, but then that probably costs manpower.

considering that on steam valve tracks thier games quite thoroughly they could easily implement progress/time spent requirements as in you cant just finish a game and reund it. if you play it for 2 hours and hate it - sure refund away. play it for 50 hours in a weekend, finish it and refund it - nope. And that would even be more reliable than retail refunding since retails dont actually know if you just spent last week playing it whol day long or not, steam does.

BrotherRool:

Urghh no that would suck. I don't have so much time that I want to throw it down the drain or dedicate my whole life to playing videogames. If companies were incentivised to pad out all their freaking games, regardless of whether it's better as a 5 hour game or a 30 hour one, everything would either become incredibly cruddy, or we'd lose all the game genres except for one type that certain people like. There'd be no Journey or Gone Home or Stanley Parable, or even Uncharted. It's fine if you're only into multiplayer games, or if you actually like having to spend a month playing before getting to the end of your RPG but otherwise you'd be screwed.

then i take you dont remmeber when we had shooters that would take 20 hours to complete because they would actually have long campaigns?

FogHornG36:
Please, Someone tell me the scenario that would require you to need a refund so i can understand.

Aliens: Colonial marines.
They lied about the game. they showed fake footage. many people bought it based on false advertisement.

Another example is all those games that come out broken to the point it doesnt even work on some hardware, and thus peopel buy it and cant play it. Also games that are so poorly optimized you want to slap the programmer (GTA4 in particular).

Cecilo:

But torrenting a game runs the risk of getting in trouble while you download that 22gigabyte download now doesn't it. As well as a risk of viruses and malware. Instead finding a crack for a game is quite easy, and while it also runs the risk of viruses and malware, it is only one or two files.

Especially with the new strike program the companies in the US are using. Anything to avoid long torrents is good for those would be pirates.

No, you dont. There is practicaly no risk torrenting a file. in most country it is not even illegal to download one - illegal only to upload it. noone was ever jailed for downloading a file, there was few (think less than 10) cases of uploaders getting punishment, and even then it was the cases like that grandma with 13 sons getting ined for 260.000 dollars and not any real piracy crushing charges.
Virus and malware risk is pretty much nonexistent as long as you use products of the more famous groups. i dont even remmeber last time i heard a virus infected crack story, and even then, by your model o downloading only crack you run the exact same risk of viruses anyway, so the point is moot.

Do tell me what kind of strike program that is? is that the 3 strikes - no internet one? because that never worked here in europe.

Cecilo:

1-But torrenting a game runs the risk of getting in trouble while you download that 22gigabyte download now doesn't it.

2-As well as a risk of viruses and malware.

3-Instead finding a crack for a game is quite easy, and while it also runs the risk of viruses and malware, it is only one or two files.

4-Especially with the new strike program the companies in the US are using. Anything to avoid long torrents is good for those would be pirates.

1- Why? Unless you're referring to #4 about torrents being tracked, I don't see what risk there is...

2- No. Because:

3- If there's going to be malware anywhere in a download, it's going to be in the crack. The crack is where all the risk is, which was my point: If you're going to get a crack anyway after downloading the "legit" game files, then you're not skipping any of the potential "trouble" of a torrent, so why bother?

4- There are ways and tools to avoid being tracked. I won't discuss them of course, but they exist. Also, there are billions of people who don't live in the US.

Cecilo:
Further, what are the requirements of a refund? You haven't played for more than an hour? What if a game is only so long, what are the prerequisites for returning a game to steam, does there have to be a community backlash to it? What counts as a "Broken" Product. Was Mass Effect 3 refund material because the ending was hated?

Was Aliens Colonial Marines refund material because you were not actually fighting aliens most of the time (It's bugs and false advertising would be refund worthy however)? Or are you asking for a refund just because it wasn't something you liked?

As for this, I never argued that there should be full refunds on Steam... I actually agree with you on that point. I understand why Valve don't offer full refunds on Steam and I don't really see how they could make it work.

Cecilo:
someone could buy a game, decide they like it, copy it, crack it, get a refund, buy a new game, try that game, refund it. Etc. And this would all be legit, completely avoiding possibly being caught as a pirate.

Once again, it's true that this is possible, but it still makes little sense. Of course it's convenient to already have all the game files, but you had to involve your credit card with repeated refunds! I'm pretty sure any company on earth would start distrusting you if you just kept trying to get endless refunds from them. Also, I'm thinking you don't fully understand what makes a pirated game...

The only difference between a legit copy and a cracked copy is the crack. That's not me being a pirate, that's just how game files work. When someone downloads a torrent of a game, all the files are exactly the same as they'd get from Steam, or a disc, because that's where they come from. They're just being redistributed, with the addition of a crack.

In theory, if you had a pirated Steamworks game on your HDD, which you then purchased on Steam, you could move its files to the Steamapps directory and ask Steam to "Verify Integrity of Game Cache" and only the <game>.exe and Steam.dll/Steam_api.dll would fail to validate. Steam would then fetch the real ones, overwriting your cracked ones, and the game would now be a completely legit copy run by the Steam client.

tl;dr
All of this to say that the only thing making you a pirate is downloading a crack. It doesn't matter if the game files tag along or not. You're not any safer and you're not "completely avoiding" anything just because the download is smaller; small downloads can be tracked and/or malware too!

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