Octodad developer Young Horse weighs in on Steam's new refund policy.
Ever since Steam launched it's new refund policy, it has been met with praise from gamers... and some skepticism from developers, particularly small-time indie devs. Octodad developer Young Horse is a small-time indie dev, and while it disagrees with the whole "Steam refunds are harming developers," sentiment going around (it stressed that "Our general opinion at Young Horses is that the refund system is a positive change"), it has noticed a few problems with the system.
Just like all the other devs, it has noticed a surge in refunds since the new system, but doesn't believe that is too huge of a cause for concern. Developer Kevin Geisler said he "would think that pent up refund demand / fascination and Valve's large focus on the new system would naturally encourage an initial boom of refunding."
However, he doesn't believe that Valve's "two-week" window policy is accurate, noting that a huge majority of Octodad refunds are falling well outside of it. "Since Steam does break down the data by sale price, we are in a position where we can have some certainty on when a returned game was purchased," he explained. "It turns out that 80% of our refunds match the sale price for these periods, putting the purchase dates between 2-5 months ago. The other 20% of refunds at full price could have been purchased at any point in the last 6 months."
"We did not expect that the vast majority of our refunds would come outside of the advertised 2-week window guarantee. Upon figuring this out, we were able to find a good number of anecdotes of people on reddit successfully getting refunds outside the limitations," he continued.
Despite this, Geisler does not think there is a cause for concern. He trusts Valve's judgement, and does not believe that the system will be abused in the long term, again stressing that the initial spotlight on the system is what is causing the massive surge in refunds.