When we covered Steam’s new refund policy, where you could get a refund — no questions asked — within two weeks if you played less than two hours of the game, we pointed out that there was a rather large potential for abuse. Sure enough, developers of games that can be finished in less than an hour are seeing huge spikes in refunds.
The Escapist breaks out what’s been happening, but all you need are the percentages. Beyond Gravity, a game that can be finished in an hour and costs $2, has seen 72 percent of its purchases on Steam refunded. Indie dev Cliff Harris of Gratuitous Space Battles fame notes his refund rate has spiked to 17 percent and he believes people are getting the refund and continuing to play the game anyway.
In other words, it appears that Valve has yet another tone-deaf mistake to deal with when it comes to its golden goose. Its heart was in the right place, at least, but it appears that refund policy will either be in for some major changes, or Valve will start losing indie developers.
(Via the Escapist)