GOG has changed its refund policy recently, and the new model is a startlingly lenient one. In their email to GOG users, the company says that: “starting now, you can get a full refund up to 30 days after purchasing a product, even if you downloaded, launched, and played it. That’s it”.
For video game developers, however, it isn’t just “that’s it”. As reported by Eurogamer‘s Emma Kent, giving players a full 30 days to refund a game has caused some worry among devs, especially indie ones.
“30 days is a lot more than I feel is necessary to evaluate a game, and a lot more than almost all games take to complete if you play them for an hour daily,” indie developer Rami Ismail wrote on Twitter. “Young me would definitely abuse the hell out of this.”
Meanwhile, No More Robots founder Mike Rose told Kent that “because GOG is DRM-free (as they love to shout about), it does mean that whatever refund policy they put in place, anyone can abuse it by simply downloading the game, getting a refund, and then keeping the game”.
Kent also revealed that the developers weren’t given any warning about the new policy, and only found out when GOG’s blog post was published. While GOG had apologized to Rose and said that it was “a difficult decision”, that’s definitely an upsetting move.
It’s worth noting that GOG doesn’t simply accept all refund requests. In their FAQ, they wrote that while there are no refund limits, they “reserve the right to refuse refunds in individual cases”. But while that provides some relief, it doesn’t seem like a sustainable way of handling things.
But as Kent also noted, some developers, like Dusk creator David Szymanski, have a more positive outlook on the situation. Szymanski wrote on Twitter that on Steam, “the refund rates for my games have remained pretty low”.
“I can’t say for sure if GOG’s policy is going to open the doors to mass abuse, but I suspect not,” he added. “People generally are cool with spending money on a thing if they like they thing. That’s especially true where GOG’s customer base is concerned.”
While Szymanski’s words make sense (based on my own tendencies), 30 days still seems like an awful lot of time to try out a game. In the words of Ismail: “young me would definitely abuse the hell out of this.”
What do you think? Is 30 days too much? Let us know either here or on our social media platforms.