Indie game developers are claiming that ever since Steam unveiled a new refund policy earlier this month, many users of the service have been abusing the new refund policy which says you “can request a refund for nearly any purchase on Steam—for any reason.”
Developers Puppygames and Qwiboo, two indie developers who have released a number of titles on Steam between them, have even released graphs which show how much this new policy has affected their sales, which you can see below. Let’s take Qwiboo as the first example to show exactly what’s been happening since the new Steam refund policy was unveiled.
This indie dev released on Steam Beyond Gravity; a procedurally generated “platformer” where you jump in-between planets and try to collect as many pickups as you can. The game is priced at $1.99 and has been on Steam for almost nine months. During that time, the game has received a lot of positive reviews. And after the new refund policy? Well, their sales tanked.
Sure, this just could be one indie developer, right? Not really. Puppygames are reporting that their sales figures, as well as their refund figures, are showing almost the exact same results as Qwiboo. Take a look at the graph just to see it first hand.
Granted both of these figures just show their sales figures. This could easily be brushed away by saying that everybody who was going to buy games on Steam from Puppygames and Qwiboo must’ve already bought them. What would the new refund policy have to do with that? Well, refunds from both developers’ games have gone through the roof. As Qwiboo puts it:
It’s refunds. Out of 18 sales 13 refunded in just last 3 days. That’s 72% of purchases. Rate of refunds before was minimal. #SteamRefunds
— Qwiboo (@qwiboo) June 6, 2015
So far, Valve Inc., Steams parent company, has yet to comment on the matter.