Steam announced that they will be offering refunds for games bought through the Steam digital distribution service. It’s been a problem in the past that there was no real recourse for customers who ended up with a faulty game or a game that wasn’t compatible with their computer. And hey, sometimes you just end up not liking a game. If you’ve paid a lot of money for it, that can be pretty obnoxious.

These refunds will be available within 14 days, and only if the game has only been played for less than 2 hours (Steam tracks this). You’ll be able to get a refund for any reason. Steam is also willing to look at games that fall outside of these rules on a case-by-case basis.

This is good news for consumers but not for some developers. I’ll use a case example: one of my favorite games is The Yawgh. It’s by indie game developer Damian Sommer and comic artist Emily Carroll. I love The Yawgh. I’ve played it probably eight times in the past month. I can do this because the game is only about 20 minutes long. I’ve clocked about 2 hours in this game. With Steam’s refund policy, I would be able to return The Yawgh for a full refund, and Sommer and Carroll would have given away their game for free.

A lot of indie games are short. Some people don’t like short games, which is fine. But others—like me—find that quality is more important than quantity. I don’t mind spending a couple of dollars for a wonderful game, even if it only lasts a couple of hours or less.

I’m happy to hear that Steam refunds are being offered, because I’ve been stuck with a buggy game in the past, and it sucks. But I hope they reassess their policy with shorter games in mind.

Keezy Young

Keezy Young

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.