After building up "terrifying" hype, Hello Games had the most successful Steam launch of the year when it debuted No Man's Sky earlier this month. Since then, the studio has been dealing with complaints from players who feel the game didn't live up to their expectations.
As you might expect, refund requests are a part of that conversation, and over the weekend posts cropped up on websites like NeoGAF and Reddit claiming that some No Man's Sky owners were asking for -- and receiving -- refunds after playing the game for as long as 50 or more hours.
While the veracity of these self-reported claims is unclear (Valve has since appended a special notice to the game's Steam page noting that "the standard Steam refund policy applies to No Man's Sky"), they managed to spark further public conversation among devs about refund policies on Steam and other game marketplaces.
More specifically, should customers ask for their money back after playing a significant amount (well over two hours) of a game, even if that game is marketed as a vast digital space? How should devs feel about refund requests, and how can they design games that don't incite them?
Many devs made smart, salient points about these issues on Twitter over the past few days, so we've taken the liberty of embedding some of them below so you can click through and real their thoughts in full.
Refund policies should be public, transparent, and dependable for both creators and consumers. Allowing for exceptions destroys trust.— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) August 29, 2016
If you played No Mans Sky for more than 10 hours and demand a refund, I think that's a bit mean spirited.— C418 (@C418) August 29, 2016
@C418 what if you buy a bike and use it for weeks, then it explodes because it was built without concerns for explodability?— Markus Persson (@notch) August 29, 2016
it sounds stupid but as soon as you start thinking of your game as "did this satisfy literally all of my human needs, if not refund plz"...— adam (@ADAMATOMIC) August 28, 2016
As a customer and a player before I was ever a developer, I’d only have asked for my money back if the game was broken at boot time.— Shahid Kamal Ahmad (@shahidkamal) August 28, 2016
reminder that steam's 2 hour refund time is ridiculous as a blanket policy & that if your game is *over* 2 hours it's probably too long <3— ~DREAMFEEL~ (@dreamfeelx) August 29, 2016
People's experience of a game doesn't come in a vacuum - their expectations of what they're going to play is a huge influence on takeaway— William Pugh (@HonestWilliam) August 29, 2016