No Man's Sky 3

Steam Has to Remind No Man’s Sky Players That Their Regular Refund Policy Applies

Ouch.

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The hype bubble around space exploration game No Man’s Sky has inevitably burst, and that’s led to gamers brainstorming how to get themselves refunds online—especially if they’ve already passed the terms of their chosen distributor’s refund policy. While some players have reported getting refunds after spending a lot of time with the game, Steam seems to be putting its foot down.

For those who avoided the entire debacle—or who wait until a game is released to make an informed decision on purchasing—the difference between what players were expecting and what the game is actually like is perfectly illustrated by the above video. Despite online reports of players getting extended refund treatment from Steam and Sony’s PlayStation network, Steam has added a disclaimer right to the game’s store page, stating, “The standard Steam refund policy applies to No Man’s Sky. There are no special exemptions available. Click here for more detail on the Steam refund policy.”

That refund policy extends to two weeks after purchase on games that have been played for less than two hours, which should be plenty enough time to tell if a game is worth the money paid for it, though it’s easy to see how the first two hours of No Man’s Sky could be compelling, while the monotonous feeling of the gameplay might set in just a bit after that grace period. That’s what makes this situation so tricky—sure, consumers could stand to learn that they should wait to make sure a purchase is worth it instead of jumping in on pre-release hype alone, but if players genuinely didn’t enjoy the bulk of the game once its initial impact wore off (or after encountering serious technical issues), it’s easy to see why they’d want a refund.

The refund coaching floating around online is what really feels off about all this. Steam’s own refund policy also mentions that they’re willing to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, but that kind of flexibility kind of goes along with an unspoken understanding that the consumers making the complaints are doing so honestly, not just trying to beat the system on a game that happened to underwhelm.

(via Polygon, image via Hello Games)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>