Horror indie developer Emika Games has decided to step down from the game development industry “indefinitely” because of people abusing Steam’s two-hour refund policy. This policy has led to a high number of returns on their latest game Summer of ’58.
The psychological thriller Summer of 58′ was released by Emika Games at the end of July and it has received Mostly Positive reviews on Steam. Sadly because of the game’s short length it has led to multiple refunds.
The fact is that my game Summer of ’58 does not reach two hours of playing time by Steam standards. In this regard, a huge number of returns on the game, even with positive reviews, and I do not earn anything to create a new game.Statement in Emika Games’ tweet
Steam’s current refund policy allows for any game to be refunded if it’s within 14 days of purchase and has less than 2 hours of logged playtime. This isn’t a problem for larger titles where two hours barely scratches the surface. But for smaller games, especially those created by indie developers, it can be a frustrating loophole allowing players to essentially experience their game for free.
There is a silver lining, in that Emika’s statement has picked up some traction on Twitter. The Summer of ’58 Steam page is filling up with players who picked up the game as a result of Emika’s statement, leaving positive feedback and encouraging others to do the same.