So you purchased a game on Steam and it's not your cup of tea. The gameplay is horrible or the story is just too silly for words. Perhaps you read the system requirements correctly but the framerates are as thick as Georgia mud no matter how you tweak the settings. For whatever the reason, typically, PC games cannot be refunded once they're purchased.
Valve Software is aiming to change this. The company is now offering Steam customers full refunds for any reason as long as they're within 14 days of purchase and within 2 hours of gameplay. Once the request has been made, customers will get their money back through the same payment method they used to purchase the game, or dumped into their Steam Wallet accounts.
According to Valve, the refunds pertain to games and software that are purchased on Steam, leaving music and video out of the picture. However, customers can get a refund on downloadable content (DLC) within 14 days of purchase and if the base game has been played for less than 2 hours. The catch is that the DLC must not alter aspects of the game, such as leveling up a character.
In addition to the DLC, Valve will also offer refunds within 48 hours on in-game purchases made inside any Valve-developed title. As with the DLC, Valve indicated that these items must not be modified, transferred or consumed.
"Third-party developers will have the option to enable refunds for in-game items on these terms," Valve's statement explained. "Steam will tell you at the time of purchase if the game developer has opted to offer refunds on the in-game item you are buying. Otherwise, in-game purchases in non-Valve games are not refundable through Steam."
Valve Software also provides a list of what does not qualify for a refund, including gifts that are already redeemed by the recipients, games from those who were banned by the Valve Anti-Cheat system and purchases made outside of Steam. These include Steam Wallet cards and CD keys provided by third-party developers and publishers.
Valve indicated that it's offering refunds to ease the stress of buying games from Steam. However, if the company detects foul play on the customer's part, Valve will no longer offer that individual refunds in the future. Strangely enough, customers are allowed to request a refund on games that were purchased just before they go on sale.
So what happens when the reason for a refund falls outside Valve's new rules? Customers should ask for the refund anyway, as Valve will gladly take a look at the situation. Customers wanting a refund can head here and submit their requests.
This new refund policy should be good news for PC gamers who simply don't want to be stuck with a game or application that doesn't live up to its promises. This policy should also help weed out problematic titles that appear to be half-baked due to bugs and broken features. With these new refund rules, Valve is putting Steam customers first before the publishers' pockets.