Since their launch in 2015, Steam refunds have been a source of argument for many developers. Some are delighted they have a chance to easily reimburse players experiencing significant technical issues with their video game, others are disappointed that players can complete their game within the period of the refund window then immediately request their money back.
However you feel about the refunds, it's certainly handy to know why players are selecting to reimburse video games. And thanks to designer Garry Newman, we have a little more data on 2 popular video games.
Over the vacation weekend, Newman posted a set of images on his Twitter feed from the sales information for Facepunch Studios' video games Garry's Mod, Rust, and Chunks. Newman's images highlighted some fascinating information on why gamers were reimbursing these three video games within the last month, which each featured different kinds of player bases and advancement lifecycles that might affect this behavior.
Newman's likewise asked if other developers were seeing similar results in their refund information, and Out of Ammo's Dean Hall was the only other developer to share comparable data in the thread. It's all handy data to evaluate, particularly since Valve usually requests developers remain tight-lipped on the specifics of Steam sales information.
Garry's Mod, Facepunch Studios' popular sandbox video game, was reimbursed 15,419 times in the last month, which amounted to 2.7 percent of its regular monthly sales. 5,680 requested refunds because the video game was "not enjoyable," 3,622 reporting they 'd purchased the game by accident, and another 1,042 saying their computer didn't fulfill the game's technical requirements.
Rust, which is still in Early Access after all these years, was refunded 24,828 times, representing 9.4 percent of its sales throughout the same month. Rust's status as an Early Access game may have impacted gamers' desire to seek a refund, as the leading refund reasons consist of "system requirements not met," (6,811 gamers) "frame rate too low," (4,4371 players) and "crashes frequently" (2,225 players.).
A great deal of players still say Rust either isn't enjoyable (4,476 gamers) or that they purchased the game by mishap (2,675 players.) The Steam Sale could be misshaping refund data for both video games, but Rust's substantially higher refund rate and differing significant factors for a refund do seem rooted in the technical difficulties that Early Access games deal with.
Facepunch Studios' Chunks, an open-world sandbox and structure game with substantial modding assistance that released earlier this year, had far less refunds released overall, but it likewise sold fewer devices, making it difficult to compare versus its bigger cousins. 32 of 65 players reimbursed Chunks because it was "not fun," and the following refund factors do not seem rooted in technical problems.
Obviously, theorizing Newman's data is challenging without any similar games, but if you're selling a video game on Steam right now, hopefully it helps includes some context (and helps you feel better) about your very own refund rates.