Steam's decision to allow refunds was something of a revolution in the digital download space. But how much has the system cost groups like Facepunch Studios?
You're unlikely to finish many games within a two-hour period. That's just the way of the game, really. Most, at least. So Steam Refunds work essentially like a 'try before you buy' scheme. One that's cost Rust developer Garry Newman around $4.4 million.
Releasing updated figures onto Twitter yesterday afternoon, Garry Newman - who older players likely know as the creator of popular sandbox 'Garry's Mod' - revealed that over close to 330,000 copies of Rust have been refunded since the scheme's inception - a figure that equates to that $4.4 million potential revenue loss over time.
But that's not to say the claims weren't just or even reflect realistic potential sales figures. Seeing the Steam Refund policy as a 'lifeline' for the most part, there's every reason a good fraction of the refundees never would have picked up the game had it not been for that safety net.
Either way, when asked by Christopher Livingston of PC Gamer, Garry explained that most of the refund reasons came down to the game being 'not fun' or boiled down to 'bad performance'. Garry says "this is fair". And he's right. Early Access survival games are rarely optimised well and they're not for everyone.