A developer for the innovative new game Before Your Eyes was miffed when a reviewer got a refund from Steam after beating the game quickly, despite the fact that the game is intended to be short. To highlight Steam’s flawed refund policy, the developer went on to submit a fake game to Steam called “Refund This Game.”
Before Your Eyes is notable for being the first game of its kind. With the help of a webcam, the game tracks your blinking to control the main character.
Released last week, Before Your Eyes has received mostly positive reviews. However, lead designer Bela Messex was annoyed at a reviewer who sought and received a refund on Steam despite praising the story and concept as “amazing.”
Steam’s refund policy allows automatic refunds for a game if you play it for less than two hours, and the reviewer beat the game in one and half hours.
“Yep we made a short game,” Messex tweeted. “I think there should be more short games. I think short games shouldn’t get refunded for delivering an amazing experience.”
The reviewer actually responded on Twitter. “I’m really sorry about the refund. As some have guessed, I am on a bit of a budget, but I see that refunding a game after enjoying it’s [sic] entirety is a scummy thing to do, so I’m going to buy it back.”
But before the reviewer tweeted his apology, Messex decided to make a point to both Steam and Steam users who were thinking about getting refunds after beating short games.
To this end, Messex submitted a fake game to Steam entitled “Refund This Game.” The game is just a timer that counts to two hours. Players who quit within the final five seconds can get an achievement and, of course, a refund.
While Messex has noble goals, many others have submitted games intended only to troll players, and Valve has made an effort to crack down on these titles.
But Messex’s point is clear: Steam’s policy of automatically refunding players who play for less than two hours disproportionately harms developers of shorter games. And you really shouldn’t request a refund for a game if you enjoyed it!
In the meantime, this is the perfect time to check out Before Your Eyes and let us know what you think in the comments!