Indie Developers on Steam Refunds

DSOGaming notes that tweets from Qwiboo and Puppygames offer perspective on Steam's recently expanded refund policy, showing this can be tough on small developers offering inexpensive short games, noting in some cases players can get refunds after experiencing most of the game's content within the allowed two-hour window. Apparently this discussion has been touchy, as the first company is now protecting their tweets, while the second's most recent post says: "Twitter is a singularly useless place to actually discuss things. So, we won't be using it any longer." With a different perspective on the same issue, Gamasutra hears from some developers about the refund policy where some of the indies offered a more positive outlook, such as this quote from Defender's Quest developer Lars Doucet, who sees this as protection against backlash from bundles: "So a culture of selling to tons of people who may or may not like your game trashes your quality perception, especially if you’re niche or otherwise outside-of-mainstream taste. Now players who are frustrated or disappointed can ask for a refund, a safety valve likely to decrease such negative reviews."
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58.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 9, 2015, 08:22
58.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 9, 2015, 08:22
Jun 9, 2015, 08:22
 
I like that despite all the crap talk about entitled gamers it's the devs that are showing their true entitlement colors.
57.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 9, 2015, 07:55
Vio
57.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 9, 2015, 07:55
Jun 9, 2015, 07:55
Vio
 
shihonage wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 19:56:
Vio wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:41:
shihonage wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:34:
They just need to limit it to games that cost $30 and up, which are mostly non-indie titles.
There is no reason to place limits on refunds unless a company/indie is going to produce a piece of crap that no one wants to keep, and sucker them into buying via marketing.

The simple fact is this: everyone who got the refund didn't think the game was worth the purchase price.

Think about what an early access game REALLY sells. It sells a small piece of content, usually, and the rest of your money is invested into future patches which expand this content.

Thus, early access games are prime targets for being exploited by this return policy.
I don't see the problem; if your going to early access a unfinished piece of crap people will refund. If you early access it needs to be playable and the price needs to reflect what you are selling at that point then, if not you are just exploiting people's ignorance.

If you need funding for your game, go to kick starter.
56.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 9, 2015, 00:51
NKD
56.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 9, 2015, 00:51
Jun 9, 2015, 00:51
NKD
 
Sig is particularly relevant here.
Old man trouble back again
Fucking up my plans like oh no, oh no,
I'm back to the black again
Gettin fucked up again, oh no, oh no.
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55.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 23:02
55.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 23:02
Jun 8, 2015, 23:02
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 22:22:
I heard that if you've played less than two hours, Steam is refunding even if you've owned it for more than 14 days. Not sure how long that's going to last.

Right because if that were the case, now it gets into your library you've never played yet. For some that can be extensive.
Avatar 17232
54.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 22:22
54.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 22:22
Jun 8, 2015, 22:22
 
Alamar wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 19:17:
jdreyer wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 16:47:
shihonage wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:34:
As someone who hopes to put an early-access indie title on Steam at some point... I believe return policy is almost there. They just need to limit it to games that cost $30 and up, which are mostly non-indie titles.

My biggest buying regrets were Aliens: Colonial Marines and Fallout 3, both made by big companies, both over $30.

This policy change might also encourage lower pricing of games? There's probably an unforeseen side-effect to this, but I don't see it just yet.

Just out of curiosity: did you know less than 2 hours into FO3 that you wanted a refund? (I assume you did with A:CM)

I did... I eventually put more time into it, but I had to force myself (at least to get started)...

I also have dozens of unplayed games on Steam, and dozens I've played about 15-30 minutes of... Some of those would have been great to get a refund from. Many of the unplayed ones are bundle games, so no refund available, and pretty moot at some of those bundle prices.

I personally think this new policy is a great step forward, and I think it'll even out. I have no expectations of ever using it, but maybe another Bound by Flame or similar will come out ; )

Another thread I saw on this, an indie dev pointed out a very large increase in global steam sales after the announcement, which he theorized was related to the other half of this policy... More people are likely to buy a product now that they have the option of not paying when they don't like it. However, in both sets of charts/graphs, there is so much missing information, the theories (on both sides) may have like 5% merit.

I heard that if you've played less than two hours, Steam is refunding even if you've owned it for more than 14 days. Not sure how long that's going to last.
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53.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 21:51
53.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 21:51
Jun 8, 2015, 21:51
 
saluk wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 19:35:
Let's do the right thing by consumers, get some data, and then actually adjust the policy based on what actually happens in the real world rather than making giant assumptions and freaking out.

For sure. If it is baaad, they will adjust it. Like duh.
Avatar 17232
52.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 20:03
52.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 20:03
Jun 8, 2015, 20:03
 
Icewind wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 10:17:
It's just angry little pissant nobody developers (Who are SJWs) whining about finally being unable to trick people into buying their garage-developed garbage.

Got the same feelings when I read an interview with an indie dev that makes it out like its the death of indie gaming on Steam. They really need to harden the fuck up or get a different job.
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51.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 19:56
51.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 19:56
Jun 8, 2015, 19:56
 
Vio wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:41:
shihonage wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:34:
They just need to limit it to games that cost $30 and up, which are mostly non-indie titles.
There is no reason to place limits on refunds unless a company/indie is going to produce a piece of crap that no one wants to keep, and sucker them into buying via marketing.

The simple fact is this: everyone who got the refund didn't think the game was worth the purchase price.

Think about what an early access game REALLY sells. It sells a small piece of content, usually, and the rest of your money is invested into future patches which expand this content.

Thus, early access games are prime targets for being exploited by this return policy.
50.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 19:52
50.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 19:52
Jun 8, 2015, 19:52
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 16:47:
Just out of curiosity: did you know less than 2 hours into FO3 that you wanted a refund? (I assume you did with A:CM)

Yes. In both cases. In Fallout 3, I understood everything I needed to know very shortly after leaving the Vault. Quit and never touched it again. Later the horror of it all was confirmed by looking at people's LP threads of this "game".
49.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 19:35
49.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 19:35
Jun 8, 2015, 19:35
 
Let's do the right thing by consumers, get some data, and then actually adjust the policy based on what actually happens in the real world rather than making giant assumptions and freaking out.
48.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 19:17
48.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 19:17
Jun 8, 2015, 19:17
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 16:47:
shihonage wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:34:
As someone who hopes to put an early-access indie title on Steam at some point... I believe return policy is almost there. They just need to limit it to games that cost $30 and up, which are mostly non-indie titles.

My biggest buying regrets were Aliens: Colonial Marines and Fallout 3, both made by big companies, both over $30.

This policy change might also encourage lower pricing of games? There's probably an unforeseen side-effect to this, but I don't see it just yet.

Just out of curiosity: did you know less than 2 hours into FO3 that you wanted a refund? (I assume you did with A:CM)

I did... I eventually put more time into it, but I had to force myself (at least to get started)...

I also have dozens of unplayed games on Steam, and dozens I've played about 15-30 minutes of... Some of those would have been great to get a refund from. Many of the unplayed ones are bundle games, so no refund available, and pretty moot at some of those bundle prices.

I personally think this new policy is a great step forward, and I think it'll even out. I have no expectations of ever using it, but maybe another Bound by Flame or similar will come out ; )

Another thread I saw on this, an indie dev pointed out a very large increase in global steam sales after the announcement, which he theorized was related to the other half of this policy... More people are likely to buy a product now that they have the option of not paying when they don't like it. However, in both sets of charts/graphs, there is so much missing information, the theories (on both sides) may have like 5% merit.
Avatar 22996
47.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 17:58
47.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 17:58
Jun 8, 2015, 17:58
 
Icewind wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 10:17:
It's just angry little pissant nobody developers (Who are SJWs) whining about finally being unable to trick people into buying their garage-developed garbage.

Exactly.
46.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 16:47
46.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 16:47
Jun 8, 2015, 16:47
 
shihonage wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:34:
As someone who hopes to put an early-access indie title on Steam at some point... I believe return policy is almost there. They just need to limit it to games that cost $30 and up, which are mostly non-indie titles.

My biggest buying regrets were Aliens: Colonial Marines and Fallout 3, both made by big companies, both over $30.

This policy change might also encourage lower pricing of games? There's probably an unforeseen side-effect to this, but I don't see it just yet.

Just out of curiosity: did you know less than 2 hours into FO3 that you wanted a refund? (I assume you did with A:CM)
To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
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45.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 16:46
45.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 16:46
Jun 8, 2015, 16:46
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 16:05:
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:33:
The easy fix is letting companies set whether they want to allow refunds or not and then displaying that decision prominently to consumers when they go to buy.


What incentive does any developer have to do that though? I suppose they could use offering refunds as a marketing point but I feel like if this was something developers wanted to do, they'd already be doing it.

Yeah, this is a Steam platform improvement, so Valve needs to make it universal.
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44.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 16:05
44.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 16:05
Jun 8, 2015, 16:05
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:33:
The easy fix is letting companies set whether they want to allow refunds or not and then displaying that decision prominently to consumers when they go to buy.


What incentive does any developer have to do that though? I suppose they could use offering refunds as a marketing point but I feel like if this was something developers wanted to do, they'd already be doing it.
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43.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 15:41
Vio
43.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 15:41
Jun 8, 2015, 15:41
Vio
 
shihonage wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:34:
They just need to limit it to games that cost $30 and up, which are mostly non-indie titles.
There is no reason to place limits on refunds unless a company/indie is going to produce a piece of crap that no one wants to keep, and sucker them into buying via marketing.

The simple fact is this: everyone who got the refund didn't think the game was worth the purchase price.

This comment was edited on Jun 8, 2015, 15:48.
42.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 15:38
Vio
42.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 15:38
Jun 8, 2015, 15:38
Vio
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 15:33:
The easy fix is letting companies set whether they want to allow refunds or not and then displaying that decision prominently to consumers when they go to buy.

The hard one is making a decent game which people wouldn't want to refund.
41.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 15:34
41.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 15:34
Jun 8, 2015, 15:34
 
As someone who hopes to put an early-access indie title on Steam at some point... I believe return policy is almost there. They just need to limit it to games that cost $30 and up, which are mostly non-indie titles.

My biggest buying regrets were Aliens: Colonial Marines and Fallout 3, both made by big companies, both over $30.

This policy change might also encourage lower pricing of games? There's probably an unforeseen side-effect to this, but I don't see it just yet.
40.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 15:33
40.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 15:33
Jun 8, 2015, 15:33
 
The easy fix is letting companies set whether they want to allow refunds or not and then displaying that decision prominently to consumers when they go to buy.

Avatar 18037
39.
 
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds
Jun 8, 2015, 14:41
Quboid
 
39.
Re: Indie Developers on Steam Refunds Jun 8, 2015, 14:41
Jun 8, 2015, 14:41
 Quboid
 
bhcompy wrote on Jun 8, 2015, 12:03:
You people act as if this is going to be something that people are just going to do over and over again. Valve has already stated that abusers will be addressed, and I imagine if it becomes a widespread problem everyone will have a certain number of refunds per year available to them.

If games are good, they will make money.

Good point. Thinking about this and reading this thread, this just seems like a good thing. It will be open to some abuse but even in purely business terms the value of the trust gained will far outweigh it.
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