deepglugs August 28, 2021 Steam Refunds Costing Devs

Steam Refunds Costing Devs

A recent article on pcgamer brought up a loophole that some users exploit to play short-duration steam games for free. This exploit works by using the 14 day and under 2 hours of gameplay refund policy. So long as the game can be completed in under 2-hours, the user can get a full-refund of the game.

This exploit hits adult visual novel (AVN) developers extra hard: Many visual novels can be completed in under 2 hours -especially if they are still under development. Further, even if the AVN is longer than 2 hours, if it’s developed using ren’py, a popular visual novel game engine, users can skip through much of the content to get to more desirable parts (ie, the adult content) thereby reducing overall time spent playing the game.

Safeguarding yourself

There aren’t many options for AVN developers short of Valve/Steam changing their refund policy for short-duration games (which seems more than fair). One thing devs can do is to disable the skip-ahead feature. This may punish honest players, but can help if the game is longer than 2 hours.

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