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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Valve Updates Steam Refund Policy: Closing Loophole on Advanced Access Games

Valve’s recent revision to its Steam refund policy aims to close a significant loophole in its system, particularly concerning Advanced Access games. Previously, players could purchase these titles before their official release dates, play them extensively, and then request a full refund upon the game’s launch, effectively exploiting the system.

The updated policy now explicitly includes a section addressing refunds for titles purchased before their release dates, introducing an official label for Advanced Access games. This label essentially imposes Valve’s standard two-hour playtime limit on these titles, regardless of how early players gained access to them.

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For instance, games like “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” and “TopSpin 2K25” offered players the option to access the game several days before the official launch date by purchasing special editions. However, with the new Advanced Access label, any playtime during this period will now be subject to the two-hour refund limit.

This move comes as Advanced Access games gain popularity, with players increasingly utilizing this loophole to play games extensively before deciding whether to keep them or not. Valve’s update aims to address this issue by ensuring that playtime during the Advanced Access period is accounted for within the refund policy.

Valve clarified the new policy, stating that the two-hour playtime limit for refunds applies to games purchased before their release date, with the 14-day refund period starting only upon the game’s official launch. This means that any playtime during the Advanced Access period will count towards the two-hour limit.

While this change may disappoint some players who previously took advantage of the loophole, it represents a necessary step to maintain fairness and integrity within the Steam ecosystem. By enforcing stricter refund rules for Early Access purchases, Valve aims to ensure a more balanced and equitable gaming experience for all users.

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