Valve Plugs Refund Loophole for Early Access Games on Steam Platform

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Valve Plugs Refund Loophole for Early Access Games on Steam Platform

Steam, the popular digital PC game store owned by Valve Corporation, has updated its refund policy regarding games purchased before their official release date. The move aims to close a loophole that allowed players to request refunds even after extensive playtime during pre-release access periods.

Previously, Steam's refund policy permitted customers to request a refund for any reason within 14 days of purchase, provided they had played the game for less than two hours. However, this two-hour playtime limit did not apply to games accessed through Steam's "Early Access" and "Advanced Access" programs, which grant players the ability to play games before their formal release date.

Under the revised policy, any time spent playing a game during its pre-release access period will now count towards the two-hour refund limit. The policy update clarifies:
"When you purchase a title on Steam prior to the release date, the two-hour playtime limit for refunds will apply (except for beta testing), but the 14-day period for refunds will not start until the release date."

Credit: Valve

This change effectively closes the loophole that previously allowed players to request refunds after extensively playing pre-release versions of games, potentially addressing concerns from developers regarding abuse of the refund system.

However, customers who pre-purchase games that do not offer pre-release access will still be eligible for a refund at any time before the game's official release date. The standard 14-day/two-hour refund window will then apply starting from the release date.


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