Refund This Game dev wants you to actually ask for a refund

Anyone familiar with Steam knows how its refund policy works. If you bought a game and it totally sucks donkey balls, you can ask for a refund. But only under the conditions. You can’t ask for it if you’ve bought the game more than two weeks ago. Another condition is that you haven’t played it for more than two hours. There’s a particular developer who’s been affected by this policy a lot. To raise awareness, the game Refund This Game has been submitted to Steam by this dev.

The idea to do so got started by a game from this very same developer. The game called Before Your Eyes has gotten Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam, yet it gets refunded a lot. The main reason is its length, running just under one and a half hours. People seem to really appreciate the game, but also take advantage of the loophole created by Steam’s refund policy.

Bela Messex – the developer of Before Your Eyes – took the liberty of commenting on one of the Steam reviews through Twitter. It’s admitted that the game is short, but that shouldn’t mean that it should get refunded because of it. If you have a great experience while playing it, why not pay the price? Good question, Bela!

The reviewer in question afterwards apologized for this and acknowledges that asking a refund after fully enjoying the game is “a scummy thing to do”. He even promised to buy it back when his budget allows it. Attaboy!


Anyway, back to the game mentioned in the title. Refund This Game is Bela Messex’s way of pointing out how stupid the refund system of Steam is. The sole purpose of Refund This Game is for the player to ask for a refund after buying it. But there is a catch. If you refund it too soon, you’ll miss out on an achievement. If you wait a little too long, you’ll get the achievement but you’ll also cross the two-hour threshold. You’ll know exactly when the clock strikes two, because Refund This Game is nothing more than a timer, showing you how long you’ve been staring at it. To make it even more exciting, Bela has put a $99.99 price tag on the game.

Not everyone seems to appreciate the joke that Bela is trying to pull here. Bela’s Twitter page is flooded with salty comments of people who don’t get why customers shouldn’t ask for a refund. There are even some that claim that developers are basically asking for it by making short games. In the case of – let’s say – the horror game Evil Inside, I couldn’t agree more, but that’s for a different reason. That actually sucked harder than Kirby after a month of fasting.

The fact that Refund This Game got submitted to Steam, doesn’t guarantee that it’ll actually make it to the store. Steam is cracking down hard on fake and troll games, so there’s a phat chance that Refund This Game will get filtered out.

If you have a few bucks to spare and feel like playing a short but unique narrative adventure game, give Before Your Eyes a shot. Just don’t ask for a refund afterward, would you kindly? At least take a moment to look at the trailer for free, so no refunds needed here.