No Man’s Sky: No Special Exemptions For Steam Refunds

A couple of days ago the hot discussion on Reddit was about No Man’s Sky [offical site] refunds, with a post about applying for refunds on Steam (and being granted them) regardless of playtime quickly garnering a lot of attention. Steam has since added a notice to their store page for No Man’s Sky stating:

“The standard Steam refund policy applies to No Man’s Sky. There are no special exemptions available.”

It’s interesting language because the statement mentions that there are no “special exemptions” for No Man’s Sky. This is speculation on my part, but having read the original Reddit post and subsequent edits my feeling is that perhaps players were left with the impression that No Man’s Sky is being treated differently as a product by sales platforms and that retailers like Steam were being more generous with their refunding outside the usual parameters.

The thing is, you could still theoretically get a refund if you’ve got a longer playtime than the standard less-than-two-hours, but that’s actually not specific to No Man’s Sky.

If you take a look at the Steam Refund policy it states that generally (and with a few exceptions) you can get a refund for any reason if you request one within fourteen days of purchase and have played for less than two hours. That’s the no-questions-asked, quick refund option. It’s not a flawless system, especially for short games, but you can see the basic idea – you’ve played a little of the game and found it’s not for you so you get to take it back.

The policy also notes: “There are more details below, but even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look.”

Essentially Steam acknowledges that there might be cases which fall outside the fourteen days/two hours scenario and leaves the door open for players to state their case and argue for a refund.

Based on discussion around the game, responses to that Reddit thread in particular, and the fact Steam now has a note to officially restate their position right next to the purchase button I’d assume that people are requesting refunds en masse on the offchance that they can get their money back now they’re done with the game.

As someone still playing the game and working through my own thoughts (I’ll try to put something together later today) as well as an observer of the backlash to the game I’ve started to wonder about the point at which you might realise that a game isn’t the game you thought it was. Whether, for No Man’s Sky, that would be in the first two hours?

I think there’s a big chunk of discussion around No Man’s Sky which seems to have become unmoored from the actual game and is actively revelling in the calamitous launch and ongoing fallout so I really don’t want to add to that.

What I will say is that it’s interesting to me the point at which you might hit a feeling of samey-ness. In a lot of the pre-release situations where I encountered conversation/interviews/footage/marketing material for the game there was also this idea that sometimes you would encounter awesome things and sometimes you might encounter a lot of boring things. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the basic experience of No Man’s Sky would you realise that or might you be holding on and assuming you just needed to find a different planet – one similar to the oft-referenced gameplay trailer with its space-brachiosaur and herds of cyber-gazelles?

Anyway, to me this reads at Steam trying to stem the tide of people chancing their arm at a refund but not denying that some valid refund scenarios outside the fourteen-day/two-hour window might exist.


  1. BobbyDylan says:

    Got my refund, but I was withing the 2 hours limit.

  2. Plank says:

    That video above is the one on No Man’s Sky Steam page isn’t it? That video and the game itself are two different games entirely. So anyone that has bought NMS is entitled to a refund under false advertising right?

    • Mungrul says:

      I think I recently read something or watched a video on youtube where someone said the code had been dug through and this planet had been found to be hard-coded, not procedurally generated at all, with all assets being hand-placed by artists.
      Basically, a bullshot planet.

      • PoulWrist says:

        Yes, that did go round the news. There’s a video of someone asking Sean Murray, while he’s playing, why they’re always demoing the same planet and whether or not it’s random. He says “oh it just looks nice, it’s completely random that we found it” – or words to that effect.

        There were also people speculating if he was even playing the game in those sessions they demoed or if it was just prerendered stuff and he was miming using the controller.

      • TheChaya says:

        Can you provide a link to that? I’d love to see it.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Some of it was in the Angry Joe review, some of it was in a gameranx or something video that was a related video when I watched that.

    • trashbat says:

      I’m not sure that’s really fair. Most of that video – the on-planet bit – represents the better moments of the game. The space bit stretches reality a little further.

      I happen to think it’s a boring skeleton of a game that doesn’t really go beyond what’s shown in that snippet, but I don’t think it’s extensively mis-sold.

      • PoulWrist says:

        Maybe not in that video, but in many others.

        Of course, you could just IMAGINE that you were doing those things he was talking about in those; like taking sides in a spaceconflict. Except there’s no conflict without you instigating it. So, as long as you can imagine all the content and features, it’s a great game.

        • Eclipse says:

          no, there are space battles happening without you attacking someone, happened to me a bunch of times, you get a distress signal and if you travel there you’ll either find pirates and/or a battle going on, but it’s very clumsy and if you actually shoot at someone else than the attackers, even just by mistake, sentinel ships will teleports and start attacking you. Even after a single shot so it’s pretty much impossible to fight without triggering that

      • P.Funk says:

        “Most of that video – the on-planet bit – represents the better moments of the game.”

        I dunno, this statement feels dangerously close to defending the deliberately manipulative nature of this kind of advertizing.

        • trashbat says:

          “I dunno, this statement feels dangerously close to defending the deliberately manipulative nature of this kind of advertizing.”

          BREAKING: all advertising found to be deliberately manipulative. More at eleven.

          I’m just saying, I’ve played this game, and under some combinations/permutations of the thing, you have moments not that far removed from the one shown. The object count might be a bit off, a few behaviours might be missing, but the core of it exists. The space component, not so much.

          All that’s not mutually exclusive from such moments being rare instances of pot luck amongst an otherwise tedious experience, or from it not actually constituting a workable game anyway.

          What conclusions or projections you draw from such advertising is up to you, whether it’s a game trailer or a car advert or an estate agent’s careful photos or whatever.

    • Captain Narol says:

      It’s like a movie trailer, they show you the best moments…

      Check your facts, you can find in the game everything you see in this trailer if you look well, simply all planets are not like that. Some are boring but you don’t have to stay on them, if you search around you’ll find more interesting ones with lots of wildlife like in this trailer.

      Bottom line, calling it false advertising is totally slanderous and you would lose your trial if you take it to court.

      • P.Funk says:

        “It’s like a movie trailer, they show you the best moments…”

        Movie trailers go beyond just showing the best moments. Plenty of directors and actors have talked about how advertizing the film is all about selling the idea of what its about and quite often it doesn’t sync up in the least bit to what the film is actually about. Drive was a notorious case where they basically sold it as a Fast and the Furious style chase movie when it was a much more arty European style noir homage flick. Many many films have also basically been sold as not what they are in the trailers.

        That’s not good, that’s not right, and it doesn’t matter if you can’t win in court over it. Ethics don’t end with the law. I don’t understand this anti-consumer attitude that defends the deliberate manipulations of advertizing.

        Now what would you say if movie trailers didn’t even show you scenes from the movie but ones that don’t even represent what actually happens in the movie? That’s ethical? Is our culture so programmed by advertizing that we actually laud the act of deception? Apparently.

        Saying do your research in this situation implies that you do not get the information you need to make an informed decision by using the information the publisher gives you which you can find all sorts of ways to describe. Lying? Deceit? Delusion? Emotional manipulation? In the end you can’t escape the conclusion that they’re trying to make you make decisions that aren’t rational as much as emotional and impulsive.

        • sonson says:

          Talk about ethics while gladly consuming an experience for hours and demanding your right to pay its creators not one iota of cash for it

          • Distec says:

            Did he mention his play-time? Or did you just pull that strawman out of your rear?

            Please don’t get me wrong. If you have literally put days into NMS and are asking for a refund at this point, I think you’re being a slimeball. There’s no way you couldn’t have rendered your judgment much earlier in your experience with the product. But if you have naturally ran past the 2-hour limit for automatic Steam refunds – a high certainty given the nature of the game – then by all means, go ahead.

            Further 2 Cents: I bought on NMS on the day of release. I think it’s a fine enough game in its own right, but it is definitely lacking in terms of engaging content. I had a pleasant experience for about two evenings, but I have not felt any urge to return to it since. It is not a title worth $60, and in retrospect I should have waited. I also think HG is highly culpable in the creation of their own backlash, and there’s a good case to be made that they misled a lot of potential customers, especially as time marches on.

            I won’t be requesting a refund. I knew full well the risk I was taking when I bought it, and I’m comfortable living with my choice. I also don’t feel like punishing HG any more than they currently have been (even though they probably still made mad bank off of this). But if anybody else thinks they have a good case for a refund, I encourage them to go ahead.

          • FuriKuri says:

            Imagine buying a book and spening many hours reading it. You enjoy the experience but upon reaching the final chapter, to your dismay you find out most of the pages have been ripped out. Would you be unethical to demand a refund? What if the pages weren’t ripped out and instead you find an ‘IOU 1 ending’ note from the author?

            I don’t think there’s a clear-cut answer here. Especially when some games are just made to be time consuming (as NMS most cetainly is) and it can be difficult to ascertain the overall quality in just 2 hours play (Steam is way too stingy with this).

          • hpoonis says:

            @Distec Your analogy is incorrect. Missing ending is not the same as missing content.

          • hpoonis says:

            Apologies. That was in reply to FuriKari(?)

    • Leonick says:

      It is, and that’s something Steam could do something about. Just shouldn’t be allowed to have a two year old video as the showcase of your game. Other reasonable rules could be your first or only trailer can not be CG or live action.

      Curiously the Playstation Store has a much more recent video that is more representative of the released game.

    • waltC says:

      Absolutely not…;) You have to prove it was false advertising in a civil courtroom. And Sony lawyers will be there to explain why it is not false advertising. There’s no “automatic” it’s-false-advertising-so-I-want-my-money-back clause…! Sony will ask why you pre-ordered the game before you had read the first review of the game…which would be a tough question for most people who foolishly pre-ordered this game at full-pop MSRP. Dumbo city, sorry to say.

      Here’s the deal: we live in a caveat emptor world. We do not live in a world designed to protect us from our own mistakes. “Buyer beware” is worth remembering. No one is going to look after your interests more efficiently than you–that’s just the way it is. If you don’t do it no one else is likely to do it for you.

      That said, if you go to court you *may* be able to prove false advertising–I think the “multiplayer” fib is on video and would be easy to prove–and that in itself might be enough to justify your refund & pay your court costs and attorney’s fees.

      But it should be obvious that no one is just going to drop it into your lap because you ask nicely…;) You will have to take action yourself. But…doing so would not be my advice because Sony lawyers can bury you in paper for years if they want. So…you made the mistake of pre-ordering the game–my advice would be to keep the game–shelve it away and enjoy other games–until such time as you feel Sony has patched the game sufficiently to justify your reinstalling it and starting to play. What’s done is done–time to move on.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Don’t be so scared of Sony lawyers, I asked for a refund from Sony Store, for GTA 5, after digital download versions were found to be proven to be inferior to the disk versions. It went to court and I won.

      • plsgodontvisitheforums_ says:

        Sony literally had to pay PS3 owners for false advertising (of it running Linux when they later scrapped the feature)

        • Danley says:

          Which is why this sort of thing is frustrating all around. I bought a PS3 the week they came out, so admittedly I had the version they were still marketing for server use, but when my laptop screen broke in 2009 I used a yellowhat distribution and a PS3 for two years of school. If I would have known how to allow the OS to use the VRAM, it would have been a fine computer for the price, especially considering its gaming capabilities (these were fully functioning PS2/PS1s, too). Like Apple is now notorious for, they scrapped perfectly good functionality for the sake of their [perceived notion of] consumers’ inability to explore that functionality. I have to imagine the same thing was done with No Man’s Sky. We can’t know how much help Sony offered but we also can’t know how much they asked to be held back either for paid expansions/DLC or because the features were too generic for a game already at risk of being received as generic. But in terms of a good platform, I’ve enjoyed both products for reasons other people say do not exist and might even prove valid in these sorts of arbitration.

  3. DuncUK says:

    I was way past the 2 hour limit before I realised how shallow and tedious this game was. I did enjoy exploring my first few planets, I catalogued all the fauna on my first planet and spent way more than 2 hours in my starting star system.

    It wasn’t until 6 – 8 hours that tedium with the endless resource grind and the true superficiality of the planetary generation system really started to set in. Exploring procedurally generated planets is just not fun because there’s never anything to find… and if that’s not working for you (as it doesn’t for most people), then the game has absolutely nothing else to offer. Problem is, it took me many more than 2 hours to realise that.

    • PoulWrist says:

      But if you enjoyed those 6-8 hours, isn’t that worth the asking price?

      • P.Funk says:

        I’d say no. How is it worth the price if it took you 6-8 hours to realize you hate the game? Since when is it worth your money to cycle through the task-reward cycle only to end up feeling unsatisfied?

        Isn’t satisfaction the cornerstone of value? I didn’t realize that merely wasting time was the value of a product. Why would you say that it was worth the cost if you felt like those hours spent were for naught?

        Strange assertion you have here.

      • DuncUK says:

        Well there was an enjoyment arc of sorts, but not the 6 – 8 hours was definitely not worth £40 when compared to what I usually expect from a video game. I’ve had 10x that from newly released games I’ve paid less for.

      • arienette says:

        It’s worth an asking price, but is it worth theirs?

        • sonson says:

          Hmm that beer was good, but not worth £5, here’s £2.50, cheers

          Let’s just go back to bartering guys

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Go back too? It’s the entire basis for our current system. When a shop puts a price on an item, in law, it is an invitation to an offer. When you take it to the counter, you are offering the listed price for that item.

            This is why a shop which has mislabeled an item is under no legal obligation to sell it to you at this price, they just refuse your offer, but also why if you buy it knowing it was mislabeled, you are under no obligation to make up the rest when, after the sale they realise their mistake.

      • TheBloke says:

        I think most people would, quite rightly, expect a lot more than 6-8 hours from the vast majority of £40 / $60 games. At the very least, a short experience would be expected to demonstrate a far higher level of polish.

        Price is, I feel, a significant part of the No Man’s Sky debacle. Many reviews I’ve read and watched have said that had it been released as it was originally intended, an Indie game with a usual indie price (let’s say £20), they would have been far more forgiving. It would still have suffered from the hugely inflated hype train, fuelled by Hello Game’s own exaggerated statements (to put it generously). But at least from the point of view of the final purchase, it wouldn’t have been judged as harshly as it has been.

        For £20, I think it would have been viewed as a flawed indie gem that was highly ambitious and exciting and which, while ultimately not living up to its promise, still demonstrated huge potential for future development.

        At £40, it’s being considered as Sean Murray breaking into your house to steal your wallet while punching you in the face.

        It’s being judged by a different standard, which I have to say is fair enough. Full price games carry an expectation of a decent mixture of enjoyable content and high polish, and sadly NMS falls way down on both.

        The years of hyper-hype have certainly exaggerated and sharpened the reception, but I think the objective assessment of the game would ultimately have been the same even if Hello Games had suddenly dropped it on Steam one day with no prior notice, promises, or hype. It’s an endless amount of shallow, repetitive, unoriginal gameplay, in a poorly thought-out and buggy package, for which they are charging the maximum possible price.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Oh, I agree. Just wondering if there was any enjoyment in the 6-8 hours or it was just “hm do i like this” all through them. I’ve played some wonky games in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever quite spent this much on one.
          Not that I’ve spent on NMS. It was too misleading in the advertisement and didn’t seem like a realistic premise.

        • shevtsov200 says:

          For example, The Witcher 3 offers around 100 hours for that price.

          • Danley says:

            The Witcher 3 is probably my favorite open world game (even over the Morrowinds and Skyrims) and I have a hard time calling those 100 hours unique enough from one another to say Witcher 3 actually offers a substantially novel 100 hours of gameplay. I played on a fairly hard difficulty, hard enough that most mobs 20+ levels above would one-hit me, but I could still regularly fight them using the same magic combos I’d been using since I unlocked them. And 20 levels later (6-8 hours of gameplay?) I was using the exact same skills, only perhaps a bit more powerful. And new cutscenes does not mean new gameplay.

            But this same criticism could be made of any game that a person could meander 100 hours in and still feel satisfied. No Man’s sky arguably has as much of its own breed of gameplay as Witcher has in its own right. It’s just not Witcher 3 gameplay, or GTA, Assassin’s Creed or whatever. Is 6-8 hours of Witcher 3 more engaging than No Man’s Sky? Right now, sure, for a lot of people. But are five 6-8 hour periods of Witcher 3 in some way more substantial than No Man’s Sky in accumulation? I think it’d be very hard to make that argument about any game, which makes the cost = certain guaranteed playtime kind of ridiculous. Also, time played should be a good sign about how fun it was, which Witcher 3 probably achieves, but more often than not it’s a value proposition when asking full price for the game and ends up just being 60 hours of identical checkpoints that waste our mortal lives.

  4. syndrome says:

    “it’s interesting to me the point at which you might hit a feeling of samey-ness”

    It was 6 hours for me. I became suspicious after 3-4, and then the 6th hour nailed it. By the time I encountered Atlas, it was obvious to me that the game won’t deliver anything drastic, and because I already explored almost every planet up to that point it was clear to me that I already saw 80% of NMS’s content (excluding the main story line, if there’s any).

    • Captain Narol says:

      I’m 82 hours in, still enjoying the game and not having this feeling of same-ness…

      Maybe that’s because I spend lots of time on each planet to find all the wildlife instead of rushing the game, so when I change planet it always feel different from the one I was upon just before.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        I’m only at 20 odd hours but I agree.

        I haven’t seen 2 planets remotely like each other. I firmly believe this is an expectation problem – how much variety did people expect? Our own solar system is just some different coloured dust (with some gas giants you can’t meaningfully visit).

        From reading most of the screed people were expecting GTA-level detail and gameplay in space with more variety than our known universe.

        • qrter says:

          You haven’t encountered planets that are even remotely like eachother..? Sounds very unlikely, to me. I’m not even sure No Man’s Sky has the variety of assets to possibly pull that off.

        • Kolbex says:

          “I haven’t seen 2 planets remotely like each othe.” and “how much variety did people expect” are contradictory.

        • Hidoshi says:

          I’m at 23 hours and though I do somewhat agree with you, I’m starting to feel that planets are quite similar in infrastructure. There is no town, lively space stations or anything of that sort. It’s always the standard space station with 1 guy and the planes flying in.
          And on a planet you always have to fly the same distance to get to a new ‘interesting’ spot.

        • Titler says:

          Then you aren’t really looking at the planets with any intellectual honesty. You may be honestly having fun, and good for you, but the planets are all built on identical foundations.

          Whether a dead world, or a full fauna and flora one with radiation, every single planet has the same basic resources near every building; either in a cave, a recessed little valley or in the small loot boxes. There will be the 4 resource plants (Zinc, Plutonium, Platinum, Thamium9) with a scattering of health and shield plants too.

          Every single planet has Heridium and ONE other overland resource. They also always have Plutonium shards and ONE other type of shard.

          This ensures you can always land, move to another building, and refuel, as well as get back into orbit.

          The buildings themselves are scattered along a fixed distance range from each other, to the point that they’ll even spawn underwater if that distance is reached but there’s no land to take them. You can fly in a straight line on any world and constantly get any time of building within a minute or so. There is no world with a lower or higher density of buildings, nor a different set of them.

          The four building types have identical loot and interiors on every single world; Gek buildings are always Gek buildings etc.

          There is no limitation on where each item can be found; I got every single recipe, all the ship upgrades, multi-tool etc on my starter world. It’s simply a grind to get through the odds to spawn them.

          Space stations ALWAYS have the same basic trade options available. Zinc, Heradium, and the NPC ships have one or two extra items. The ships duplicate, so every ship that looks the same is the same, has the same trading loot table, and an identical pirate.

          Ever Atlas L3 room has the same loot options within them, and are duplicated on the planet.

          Therefore, where ever you go, there’s ALWAYS the option to refuel the hyperdrive too. Indeed, the discovery bonus for a system is set exactly so you can turn it in, afford to buy the Zinc and Heradium on the station, get Thamium9 from outside, Plutonium on a surface, ANY surface, leap to the next system… and be able to refuel and go again forever.

          THERE ARE NO BRONTOSAURUS; the basic creature RNG doesn’t allow it, because the body types are all necessarily modular to be able to connect randomly. There may be one hidden in the code as a one off to fake the footage we saw; but you will see the same basic body types again and again and again… and they’ll always have the same AI behaviour too. The crabs people were so happy to see are always aggressive, for instance. They may have a few frills slapped on the top, but the entire body model repeats again and again, and they’ll always attack you. I’ve seen my bouncing pineapple twice already, and my bouncing spring body 4 times so far.

          You can reset your toxic etc damage by simply getting in your ship again. It’s almost impossible to die once you know what you’re doing, so even the most extreme planets are reduced down to colour swaps.

          There is NO variety. You are just staring at the game and letting your imagination run wild. You’re basically staring at your own navel.

          And that’s fine. You enjoy what you enjoy. But objectively, you’re simply wrong about the game. It’s not what the fans claim. It’s a spectacularly limited piece of software.

    • shocked says:

      “it’s interesting to me the point at which you might hit a feeling of samey-ness”

      That point was the second trailer.

      (I didn’t buy it.)

      • shocked says:

        I just realized that comment looks like trolling, but it’s actually true. In LetsPlays or other videos about NMS I don’t see great variation in the different worlds. I feel it’s all very same-y and it doesn’t look very exploration-worthy to me.

        I’m not sure why that is the case… perhaps because I know it’s all meaningless. It’s super interesting from a technical perspective, but other than that… For me a small handcrafted world like in skyrim or the witcher3 has way more interesting sights than all the planets in NMS universe.

  5. AngoraFish says:

    It’s a classic self-entitled middle class lynch-mob behaviour. It becomes a self-perpetuating snowball as each mini toddler tantrum validates the next dummy spit until everyone is working each other up into a nerd-tastic frenzy.

    It’s exactly the same as what we saw with Godus, and sadly, with a few indie games recently in instances where the devs are alleged to be guilty of some kind of nebulous “anti-consumer practice” (like, for example, trying to charge a reasonable fee for their labour when they should, in fact, be grateful for the opportunity to give their time away for free).

    No Man’s Sky isn’t a classic, but it’s sure as hell no worse than hundreds of other games that failed to live up to the hype (Spore, anyone… or let’s face it, Stellaris).

    • PoulWrist says:

      I guess the difference is those games didn’t actively lie about what they were going to contain during the marketing campaign, they just sort of showed what they were and turns out that the idea was better than the execution in those cases.

      NMS instead chose a strategy that involved gross misinformation and actively lying about what the game would entail while showing almost no actual gameplay. They could relatively easily fix the stale survival elements, a.e. remove them, and that’d that bit fixed. But then you end up with the exploration element which obviously does not contain nearly enough content to be interesting or different. Indeed not even containing most of what was shown in pre-release information.

      That’s the problem here, not that the game is just meh.

      • Xocrates says:

        Many, many, games showcase and announce features during development that were nowhere to be seen in the final game. The difference between them being called liars or not depends entirely on whether people liked the final game.

        There is nothing unique about the way NMS was marketed except for the ridiculous amount of hype it generated.

        It’s the Spore conundrum all over again: a decent but overambitious title that bit way more than it could chew causing the discussion to center entirely around what it could have been instead of what it actually is.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Oh, I’d say there was something unique about it. We all see graphical downgrades and bits and pieces of cut content in various games. But the difference is, when you buy a Watchdogs or a Witcher 3, with all their controversy of removed features etc., then you get a good game regardless.

          In the case of NMS you don’t get a good game and the main-reason to buy the game was things that are just not there: Like the space conflicts, flying around as a trader, planets revolving around their axis and around their suns, multiple planet archetypes shown in trailers and a whole bunch of other things.

          • Xocrates says:

            “main-reason to buy the game was things that are just not there”

            Says who? The reasons I was interested in the game are not those you name, and I doubt I would even notice them if they were there.

            There are things in the “nice to have” category that were cut, certainly. The game could theoretically be more engaging, sure.
            Could Hello Games have been more open or straightforward regarding what the game actually was? Maybe, though I get why they weren’t, and I don’t think it was bad intentions.

            But people are taking what they wanted the game to be and treating all differences as broken promises.

          • Xocrates says:

            Also, this seems a reasonable analysis of the situation:

      • Captain Narol says:

        NMS is a niche game for exploration fans. It’s your right to find it “meh”, but many people who are into this sort of game find it great and enjoy it a lot.

        The mistake that Sony made (and I don’t think it’s a deliberate mistake) was to focus the advertising on the more action-ny bits when it’s clearly not the focus or strong point of the game and to target a wide audience instead of just that niche.

        This game is not Destiny or Eve Online, and even less Call of Duty , they should have known many people would not get the point of it and be disappointed.

        Indeed a huge marketing mistake that should be case studied in business school in the future to avoid making it again !

        I also think the PC release was rushed to not delay it too much compared to the PS4 release, it sure needed more testing to reduce the number of bugs but the impatience was huge…

        • PoulWrist says:

          Then why did they cut out all the exploration bits and replaced it with badly designed indie-survival-sim crap? Where are all the different planet and creature archetypes they displayed in trailers? In reality they just showed pre-made stuff and then had a relatively functioning world generation system that isn’t very impressive except in the light of it being probably the work of just one or two guys.

          No, it’s not a game for explorers, because the exploration becomes stale almost immediately, the visuals are samey all over, the creatures are the same, every single planet seems to be already explored, inhabited or abandoned by previous denizens, the skies are full of spaceships doing random flying around for no reason and leaves just a world where nothing is unique to you, but a world where you’re just a guy on his way through it.

          The way NMS is set up is like if you went on a trip around the world and just made up your own names for all the plants and animals and people and countries you visited.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Well, I found a planet that had a perfectly smooth, rolling rocky surface, not a plant in sight. Just boreholes. Down below in the boreholes, there was waist high water, and a honeycomb supporting that rock surface. There were plants and animals down there.

            I also found a planet that looked entirely like earth, with turquoise lollipop shaped grass, In the grass lived tiny crabs who scuttled away from you in all directions as you moved through.

            I found a planet that the heat of which could kill you in 30 seconds flat. During a storm, it got so cold, you would freeze to death in 10 seconds flat. Gigantic “mammoth” type creatures grazed, wandering slowly, visible only as silloettes, guiding their young ever east.

            I found a planet with rocky wheels half buried in the ground littering the surface. On top of every wheel, there was a square rock formation and the top was jade green.

            I found a planet where the entire of the underwater was nothing but purple coral hoops.

            I found a planet where fish swam through the thick toxic sky and aggressive upright tribes lived in the caves.

            I found a planet where the plants walked around, unless you got close, then they would freeze on the spot until you had gone.


            I don’t disagree with anything you say, but some people are more able to make lemonade. It’s a matter of opinion, and while I wouldn’t reccomend this game to anyone, I’m having an absolute blast exploring the wierdness the algorithm has created.

          • Danley says:

            I’m with Sheng-ji in feeling good about the game, but it does bother me that I’ve also seen almost all of the planets described.

      • GeorgeP says:

        Using the same arguments everybody would be asking refunds for mainstream burgers for example. Do they look the same on your plate as in the catalogue? If people would wait for a week after the release, they’d read the critics and invest accordingly. Pre-ordering is the plague of gaming.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Not really. It’s not like your McD cheeseburger doesn’t contain a piece of beef, a slice of cheese, some onion, a pickle and a bun. Sure, it looks a lot better on the display than in reality, but the contents are all there and taste the way they’re supposed to.

          If you want to draw a parallel that makes any sense, then I would not be happy with a McDonald’s cheeseburger if it was 10€ and not 1€, for example, because my expectations of a 10€ burger is much higher than that of a 1€ burger.

          But if they advertised that my burger would contain ingredients and things that were objectively not there, then that’d also be grounds for fines and lawsuits and refunds.

          • hpoonis says:

            “…Lawsuits and refunds…” It is this mentality that perpetuates stagnation. If a doctor was sued every time someone suffered a complication during treatment then eventually no one would get treated. If you subtract money from police/fire/ambulance services by instigating litigation cause your ambulance had an accident on the way to the hospital, or the fire consumed your home before the fire service arrived then eventually there would be no fire/police/ambulance services. Similarly, if you have purchased anything without a certain amount of due diligence on your part do you really have cause for attempting to reclaim your money?

            Has anyone gone through life and not made an impulse purchase of a snap decision that they regret afterwards?

            You are born. You die. Life sucks. Learn to live with it.

          • Horg says:

            Meanwhile, in the real world, we have strong consumer protection laws that prevent the need for such moronic fatalism. There is no body of evidence that implicates market stagnation as a result. In fact, it would seem more logical that an empowered consumer would feel more inclined to spend without worrying about being stuck out of pocket with faulty goods.

    • P.Funk says:

      “It’s a classic self-entitled middle class lynch-mob behaviour.”

      Oh good, wouldn’t be the same without one of these comments. Nothing like a well manicured, meticulously curated generalization to lead off another verbose dismissal of the hordes of “entitled” people.

      Love that word. Great word in American politics that one.

      • shaydeeadi says:

        It is pretty entitled to expect a company to make exceptions to their refund policy just because it took someone 10+ hours to find out if they liked a game or not. I have less sympathy for the buyers of this then the Elite:Dangerous refund idiots.

        Lots of people seem to treat Steam refunds like an extended demo service, then get uppity when they lose out.

        • Paxeh says:

          Maybe we should have a return of demos?

          • shaydeeadi says:


          • Captain Narol says:

            Definitely !

          • jrodman says:

            The trouble with demos is they have really low conversion rates.

            Some people realize they don’t like the game.
            Some people realize they don’t like the game *enough*.
            Some people realize the game isn’t as good as their imagination thought it would be, and aren’t willing to buy it for that.
            Some people decide that one level of the game is enough to entertain them for free.
            Some people just never get around to evaluating the demo, when they similarly would never get around to playing the game.

            And so on.

            I mean, as a buyer, I’d vastly prefer demos, but I don’t expect them to come back for above reasons. A demo-then-buy model would probably also have to come with a return to buying games for 30-50 dollars as normal.

        • aircool says:

          Hmmm, I think perhaps it’s more a case of people realising that the law of their country trumps the Steam Return Policy.

          Or not… I have no idea how other people think.

    • batraz says:

      I don’t understand how anyone can think of himself as a consumer, to begin with… When I buy something stupid, I tend to blame myself and shut up about it.

    • qrter says:

      Regarding No Man’s Sky, I can see room both ways for argument.. but when you start defending Godus, you just look like you’re trolling.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Feel free to read my comment properly before commenting next time.

  6. Technotica says:

    No Man’s Sky is exactly the game a small independent studio would produce. Everything else about it (marketing, Sony involvement etc.) is what went wrong.

    • PoulWrist says:

      And had it been a small indie title priced at 15$ or so, and not marketed by talking about and showing all these things that they weren’t going to have in the game, then that’d be fine. But it wasn’t and they didn’t, so it’s not fine.

  7. barelyhomosapien says:

    I applied for a refund after the initial story dropped and it was rejected.

    I tried again and it was accepted.

    I was into the double figures of playtime.

    At the end of the day it depends whose processing the request. Now however I imagine the policy is going to be “clarified” by management and refunds are going to be harder to get for it.

    • Godwhacker says:

      That really isn’t anything to be proud of

    • sonson says:

      Shame they couldn’t refund you those hours as well so you could have done the presumably meaningful and important things you otherwise would have been doing like saving children and animals from diseases or what not. They must have been very important double digit hours for you to want a refund, given you think the time you lost to playing a game was entirely meaningless and worth not a fraction of currency

      • Marr says:

        Right. But apparently it’s the people who weren’t impressed with the game that are “The Haters”.

    • barelyhomosapien says:

      Obviously the reasons I put in for the refund, all based off my experience with the game were good enough for the customer service rep.

      I was recounting my experience for the benefit of those, that, like me, had ploughed on hoping the game improved further in, but found it never did.

      Unfortunately there is no “refund me half the price” option as I would’ve accepted this given the time spent, regardless of the lack of entertainment I received.

      • Distec says:

        Whoah whoah, don’t even consider explaining yourself, buster. Don’t you know that requesting a refund and – more importantly – being granted one at Steam’s discretion – makes you morally compromised?! Have you no concern for the poor, suffering artist that requires your patronage?

        Please go to the corner of shame and hang your head for the rest of the class.

        • jrodman says:

          While I agree with the point you’re making, and appreciate snark and sarcasm myself, I feel in this particular context this specific presentation is sort of part of a race to the bottom.

          I say this because you’re definitely a contributor I appreciate.

  8. sonson says:

    I personally don’t see why, out with technical issues (the game not working within parameters of adequate system specifications) anyone who has played beyond 2 hours or 14 days deserves a refund. Not liking something after a while should not entitle you to a full refund.

    My holiday wasn’t as good as hoped, I want my money back. My meal was not as tasty as I hoped, I want a full refund. This drink was not refreshing enough, gimme my money. This coat is out of season now and I won’t wear it next winter, want store credit. That film I just saw tailed off after 40 minutes, I want my money back.

    If you can’t afford to buy something without being able to deal with the possibility that it might not be a perpetually rewarding purchase, don’t buy it. It’s not a fucking sample. You aren’t entitled to be continually delighted by every little thing, or your money back.

    • fray_bentos says:

      Hear, hear sonson! PS/ I smell a Scotsman: Out with.

    • P.Funk says:

      “Not liking something after a while should not entitle you to a full refund.”

      Its like when it comes to gaming all normal attitudes about consumer satisfaction evaporate and are totally forgotten.

      Not being satisfied is a typical reason for a refund of almost any consumer good. Why does it suddenly with digital goods become so much more angsty when discussed?

      All the big companies swear that pirates are stealing their goods despite the goods not being actually manufactured. They’re digital so nothing was stolen except a hypothetical sale. If its stealing to pirate software and therefore viewed as the same as all other physical consumer goods why is it that when it comes to the consumer asking for his money back things become much more turgid? Je ne comprends pas.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        Games are not appliances. Games are entertainment. If you walk out of a movie because the acting was bad and the story was confusing or you try to return a used book because the dialogue was poorly written you don’t get your money back either.

        • Distec says:

          You need to factor in the time required to properly “consume” different media formats. If I walk out of the theater within the first 15 minutes of the film because it wasn’t what I expected or I got disturbed by its opening content, most theaters would give me my money back. I know this is fuzzy and subjective, but when you consider that a game like NMS is probably supposed to be played far longer than your average cinema flick, then refunding after the first couple of hours of play seems totally reasonable.

          Also, you’re right that games are entertainment products. But, like appliances (and unlike the vast majority of film or music), they also include features, whether that’s a gameplay element or some niche DX12 feature. As shitty as manipulative movie trailers could be, I think you’d be hard-pressed to make the case that the editors behind them are engaging in the practice of lying. The scenes you saw in the trailer are still in the film, just recontextualized.

          Games often do not have the luxury of this “out”. If my printer promises bluetooth printing and that shit does not work after a week of fussing with it, the product gets returned or the issue is escalated. Similarly, if you played NMS for a week based on the promise of say, being able to see another player*, to find out that was all bullshit, then you have every right to feel cheated, regardless of how much time you sunk into it.

          *I think the jury’s still out on this, but it really doesn’t look good given the silence since release.

          • Distec says:

            And yes, I know. “Every game company does the same thing”. And they should stop. Maybe game companies need to get used to the idea of customers getting back their money when they’ve been overpromised to and deceived. Maybe the golden age of “no backsies because this is art” is going away, and for entirely legitimate reasons.

        • theslap says:

          Uh, yes. I’ve walked out a movie before and gotten a refund. If it’s a piece of shit, it’s a piece of shit and it doesn’t deserve my money. I’d do the same with a used book too if I had felt it was necessary. Stand up for yourself. Your money is valuable. Fight for it if you feel ripped off. End of story.

      • sonson says:

        People are entitled to refunds under specific ciecunstances. True, most places allow for refunds for any reason at all, but within limits. 28 day return policy, must be unopened/unworn/as new etc.Why? They operate on the basis that you realise within a short time that you don’t want said item after all and would rather have your money back in exchange for the product likewise being returned.

        Which is why I gave the examples I did. Like I said, if within 14 days or a few hours of play you think “not for me”, that’s fair. If after playing it for an extended period, having invested dozens of hours, you have already consumed part of the product or experience.

        Know why we can have returns? Because it’s sustainable. It dosent matter if someone dosent want said dress having not worn it, because it can be sold again when retruned. The cost of its production has not been lost or wasted. People playing NMS and asking for a refund after 20 hours, and declaring it worthless, that time not worth a penny, the unit is lost, the .obey is lost, but the consumer? They got 20 hours FREE entertainment. Tell me another situation that works like this?

        Enough people incapable of living with the capacity to honour an investment, there won’t be any more fucking games industry, because creators won’t get paid, in spite of the fact that consumers have played what they made and spent money on making.

        It’s fucking abhorent. The very worst of consumer culture. Feed me, feed me fircdree, it’s my *right* to eat at the Buffet, fuck off when I want, pay you nothing, but you better fucking be here making more shit for when I’m hungry to feed me for free again. I don’t give a shit about how you make a living doing it, not my problem, just feed me no questions no strings attached.

        • Catsiel says:

          After reading other peoples takes on this, I believe the first 1-6 hours of this game is purposefully slow and grindy making you think if you keep playing, you’ll eventually see something amazing. Due to the procedural generation you’re left to total luck of the draw if you get to see something “decent”. You only realise after 6 hours that it’s not going to get any better, thus they didn’t get 6 hours of “fun” out of the game.

          I haven’t bought the game but I can understand peoples issue.

          You sound very anti-comsumerist.

          • hpoonis says:

            Good gravy, man! I sincerely believe that anyone who bought this and whines they did not get what they paid for is seriously in need of some Darwinian extinction.

            If Ferrari stated they will be producing a new model and people threw money at them to be first out of the stalls, and Ferrari did indeed bring out a new 3-wheeler model which, due to the missing wheel, lacks the zoom of the 4-wheel versions, is Ferrari to blame?

            Or maybe someone’s mother bought a birthday present for their annoying child who was expecting an iphone cause mother promised some new technology to get excited about, when in fact, mother bought them a new food processor to learn how hard it is to please people. Whose fault is it that the entity was unhappy with its present?

            This is turning into a world where people believe that they are not allowed to be disappointed, or that whosoever delivers such disappointments are punished but, ultimately, one where these same people are unable to accept responsibility for their own decisions or actions.

        • diamondmx says:

          Not that anyone’s going to convince someone who’s frothing at the mouth like this, but if enough people demand a refund for this game or similar then no, the entire games industry won’t disappear.
          Games developers will become shy about over-promising (like responsible vendors), and will instead under-promise and over-deliver.
          Games developers will talk about the game less, or talk about it more carefully. Or at the very least they’ll inform people when the deal is changed.
          Games developers like Molyneux will be taken out of the spotlight because it’s financially disastrous to let someone just shit out their mouth into the public about features that no sensible person would promise included.
          Games developers might get a bit shy about pre-orders, because if they sell the game before they know what’s in it, the customer might buy it based on inaccurate information, and then would be disappointed and issue a refund.
          Maybe none of these things would happen, but I sure would like it if they did.

      • DThor says:

        I honestly think Steam can afford to be somewhat magnanimous, so they are. It’s about customer relations, it’s one of several reasons I’m a customer. Blizzard, despite being a company that doesn’t produce a lot of games I personally enjoy, was nice enough to give me a full refund after I had sunk a few days into Diablo and realized I hated it. That left a warm fuzzy with me, it’s one reason I got Overwatch (I kept this one). I agree it doesn’t help with the endless self entitlement that seemingly defines the gaming community, but it sure makes me more likely to come back. Steam was likely cutting customers a lot of slack with NMS because of the relatively atrocious bugs on the PC platform, plus they’ve always used your personal gaming history with them to drive the decision to refund. I think I’ve asked for a refund twice in many years and lots of purchases. I’m sure if I was demanding a refund a month that would go differently.
        Nope, I never even considered NMS as a purchase. Why do I want a random number simulator?

        • Captain Narol says:

          Why ?

          Because those number are the seed that generates beautiful planets with sometimes amazing wildlife and flora.

          But maybe you don’t like scenaries and exploration ?

          If it is your case, that’s your right, but people have different taste and some just crave it !

    • Otto Lidenbrock says:

      Exactly no one would ask for a refund from a cinema if the film you went to see didn’t live up to expectations (at least I hope they wouldn’t) or if a meal at a restaurant wasn’t as good as hoped. The only reason I can think of for wanting a refund in these situations would either be if the film projector broke or if the food was raw or similar not ‘I didn’t like it’.

      • cautet says:

        I have refused to pay part of the cost of a meal before as have many other people. You are perfectly entitled to do so.

        • Otto Lidenbrock says:

          I suppose I should have said ‘no reasonable person would ask for a refund’; it seems to me to be a very odd thing to do.

          • Distec says:

            Maybe it’s actually a totally reasonable thing to do?

          • Shadow says:

            It’s not outlandish nor unreasonable to send a meal back if it’s undercooked or not up to spec with its menu description, and provided you leave a theater early enough, you can easily argue for a refund if the movie was so immediately dislikeable.

          • Jediben says:

            Someone needs to stop being a passive aggressive forum dweller and try stretching themselves in the presence of other people. Ask and ye shall receive.

          • Nauallis says:

            ^ Apparently unaware ironic comment.

          • Otto Lidenbrock says:

            @shadow I did give the example of food being raw (or similar) as a reasonable reason for returning food, what I took umbridge to was the idea of asking for a refund for food you just don’t like i.e. it’s not to your taste.

            @Jediben Hmm :/

          • theslap says:

            Ya wtf are you talking about. Stand up for yourself as a consumer. If you don’t like something, say so. If the manager values your business and satisfaction (and the satisfaction of others for that matter) they will likely offer a refund without you even asking for it. It can be more profitable for them to do so in the long run.

      • aircool says:

        I’ve had a refund from the cinema, though it was due to the lip sync being out. I’ve also refused to pay for food at a restaurant after sending my so called rib eye steak back twice. I did offer to pay for the chips though.

        I also have had a disagreement with a chef, mostly because he was more of a microwave technician than an actual chef :)

      • hpoonis says:

        In your analogies: the cinema or the projectionist would be at fault if the film suddenly stopped showing, NOT the make of the movie. If a restaurant provides you with an inadequate meal, ask why, for sure but if they give you steak and chips after you asked for steak and chips yet the chips were a bit underdone or the steak was a bit overcooked would they have misled you?

        If this were a strictly PC-only title then I believe it would have sat better and (most likely) been cheaper. Yet it had a major player involved whose motives seemed obviously plain: we are giving you money so get it out on the console first.

        Now, I am not defending the misleading publicity surrounding this entire affair but from the get-go, I realised that 18 possible destinations is unlikely to have such specific content as a designed, and limited world. I, like many others, held off until release day (I have not yet purchased) and are probably content with the decision they made – whether it was for the better or not – because they are of the kind that accepts that life happens.

        I picture those bleating on about what is not available has trouble looking for, and appreciating, what is available…and I am not on about just software.

        • hpoonis says:

          frikkin html! That was 18-large-number-something which the parser removed.

    • Horg says:

      ”It’s not a fucking sample. You aren’t entitled to be continually delighted by every little thing, or your money back.”

      You are, as it happens, entitled to satisfaction or no questions refund up to 30 days after purchase under UK consumer protection laws. If you think this is unreasonable, that’s a different argument, but this is one area of law where declaring ”you are not entitled” is entirely wrong.

      • UncleLou says:

        Wow, is that true? As a lawyer, but not from the UK, I find that baffling. Genuine question, I’d love to read more about it.

        • Horg says:

          You want to look up the recent amendments to the Consumer Rights Act:

          link to

          The section for digital content is Chapter 3. It details the ‘right to refund’ if the product is not ‘of satisfactory quality’ / ‘fit for purpose’ / ‘as described’, and cannot be adequately replaced by the vendor.

          • Someoldguy says:

            Since UK law works on precedent, can you show any case where this has successfully been applied to game software?

          • Horg says:

            I don’t think you understand how Tort law works. Precedent cases are set where there is a legal grey area, requiring a summary judgement and interpretation of the existing laws to make a best fit for the case at hand. The UK Consumer Rights Act is quite straight forward, and as such unlikely to require precedent cases. A claim this small would also be a matter for Small Claims Court, a civil judgement, not a criminal court. I honestly wouldn’t know where to look for small claims court records, most businesses wouldn’t even contest a case like this. It costs more to file the paper work than to issue a refund.

          • AngoraFish says:

            I am absolutely certain that you don’t understand how law works, since Torts are an entirely different branch of law to Contracts, which is what people are talking about here.

          • Horg says:

            Tort law cover civil law, not criminal law. Since a theoretical dispute over No Mans Sky would amount to the cost of £40, it would be a Small Claims case. Small Claims court judgements are civil cases and therefore covered under Tort law.

          • Llewyn says:

            @Horg: Thank you for definitively confirming AngoraFish’s suspicions. If you’ve picked that up from a wiki article then either it’s badly written or you didn’t understand it. If you’ve picked it up from first year law lectures then I can imagine the smoke rising from my former tort tutor’s grave…

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Llewyn, you have a particularly acidic way of telling people they are wrong, without bothering to explain how or why they are wrong. You do this a lot, and while this may be because you actually know what you are talking about, it is also the hallmark of a fantasist. Can you explain how UK consumer law works with respect to Steam games, in particular, when a customer wishes to return a game that steam has indicated has run for more than 2 hours?

          • Horg says:

            Ignore him, he can’t prove me wrong becasue i’m not.

          • Llewyn says:

            @Sheng-ji: Acidic? Possibly, I have a low tolerance of idiots in general that I’m poor at disguising when I’m not being paid to put the effort in. This is exacerbated by people giving bad legal advice, especially those who like to claim they know what they’re talking about while spouting crap – fantasists, if you will.

            There’s a specific reason that I take this limited-but-aggressive approach with opinions on English (& Welsh, if you insist) legal matters: I know enough to know what’s wrong, but not enough to tell you what’s right, at least in enough detail to be useful, and I believe that bad legal advice is a very specific evil. I graduated over 20 years ago, and it’s not much less since I decided contract law wasn’t what I wanted to spend my life doing and pursued a career change. Aside from certain key legislation changes in that time, which I’ve paid attention to only as a consumer and not as a solicitor, there have frankly been far too many other things of greater mental importance to me in that time; any specific advice I might give would be prime fodder for someone else like me to (hopefully) forcefully correct.

            In any case, it took the late Jon Holyoak (better known for his intellectual property knowledge, for which he was also my tutor and for which I also attack other RPS commenters) the best part of a year to imbue a decent understanding of tort law into me. Even if I had the ability, I couldn’t do that for Horg in a comment thread.

            Your specific question about the status of digital media is not something I’m qualified to answer, and isn’t what I was objecting to in Horg’s posts in any case. He very clearly doesn’t understand what torts are, and I’m calling bullshit on his bullshit.

            As for being a fantasist, isn’t that something I’ve suspected you of in the past? ;-) You seem to have had more careers at a higher level than anyone else here, perhaps you could give a useful summary!

            @Horg: Citation needed.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Well, that’s entirely reasonable. Make no mistake I wasn’t accusing you of anything – apart from being acidic, which I don’t see as either positive or negative, just interesting.

            FYI – Sheng-ji is a one of many very well known shared usernames on a great many forums for people who don’t want personal details saved willy nilly across the internet. Any history with it is not necessarily with me. I haven’t even made all the posts on this page – though the guy who made the others is in my kitchen right now, baking a cake.

            Now, I do understand that you are unwilling to give advice out – but this really isn’t a question of whether people can try to get refunds – the truth is (unless there is a massive amount of people telling the same lie, which can’t be discounted) – people actually are getting those refunds. Presumably because whoever is on the other side of those requests agrees that they are entitled to them, which is, surely more the point than what the law has to say. The question is, is this ethically and/or morally right? The wording of the laws posted would seem to agree that this is, from a UK perspective.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Steam Spy, which can’t necessarily be trusted, indicates that ownership of the game has dropped by 25,000 over the weekend

      • sonson says:

        Within reason, as stated above. You’re not entitled to return it in any condition you wish having enjoyed it for 30 days, or return an empty packet having cobsumed half the contents as I’ve stated at length. And again, it does not extend to experiences such as activities or cinema viewings.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Actually, no. All that UK law allows for is a refund if the product you have purchased is actually faulty. You are not entitled to a no questions asked refund simply because a product wasn’t all you’d hoped it to be and then some. In fact, you’re not even entitled to that for digital downloads, just the right to re-download the item if your first attempt failed for some reason.

        • Horg says:

          link to

          Chapter 3. Digital content. Section 45, right to refund. Please stop spreading misinformation.

          • thelastpointer says:

            But link to

            (I’m not from the UK, so maybe Steam has other clauses there, but anyway.)

          • Horg says:

            The right of withdrawal gives the buyer two weeks to return or cancel an order within two weeks of purchase, no questions asked. Waiving right of withdrawal does not prevent right to refund if the product is not fit for purpose, as described, or of satisfactory quality.

          • shaydeeadi says:

            link to

            Looks like you opt out of section 45 when you sign the SSA.

          • Horg says:

            Section 47 specifically states that a contract to supply digital goods is not binding on the consumer if the vendor attempts to avoid liability for sections 34-36 (not fit for purpose, as advertised, of sufficient quality). The SSA cannot supersede the refund criteria of the Consumer Rights Act. If it were that easy to get out of no one would ever get a refund for anything.

    • thelastpointer says:

      This guy is exactly right.

      • aircool says:

        I agree. Consumer rights in the uk are solid in support of the customer. It fundamentally exists to stop people selling sub par goods.

        I’ve returned, sought refunds and partial refunds for all sorts in the past including video games (physical media, digital media and games that require registration including ? MMO’s) DVD’s and mp3′ s.

    • AngoraFish says:

      The last paragraph here wins my comment of the month award. I might even steal it myself.

      • pepperfez says:

        You don’t have to steal it! Just use it until you’re done, declare it useless and demand a refund. I understand that’s a foolproof strategy.

    • Someoldguy says:

      Very well put. I’ve wasted a lot more money on crap movies and meals in my time than I ever have video games. The value you get is by living and learning – not to go back to that restaurant, not to go see movies made with that actor or director, not to trust that game studio without careful research.

    • cautet says:

      If you didn’t enjoy your meal you are entitled to withhold some or all of the cost of the meal.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        No, you’re not. You could mention your dissatisfaction to your wait staff or the manager, and they may compensate if they empathise – but you’re not ‘entitled’ to pay less for something that has been made especially for you, that didn’t live up to expectations. That’s not a thing.

        • Horg says:

          You are, as it happens, entitled under the UK Consumer Rights Act to refuse payment if your meal does not meet the legal standards required of a service provider. Please stop spreading misinformation.

          • sonson says:

            No one has said otherwise. You seen to be interpreting the very specific terms of the act as being the same as “return in whatever conditon, for whatever reason, whatever.” You cannot refuse to pay for a meal just because you decide you’d rather you didn’t. You aren’t entitled to a refund just because you ask for one. There’s a huge difference between saying you can get a refund because the food was not as advertised, unsanitary, too small a portion, etc-which is true, and reasonable. The window in which the act would cover you if you had eaten the meal would be much smaller. It’s not just a subjective case of “not happy? Don’t pay!” Which is what you’re asserting.

            Please stop etc.

          • Horg says:

            Some points that need addressing here. Firstly; you typically do not ask for a refund if you are unsatisfied with your meal, you pay after you eat in most cases, so you refuse payment. You would only need to attempt to get a partial rebate or refund if you pre-paid, for example an all you can eat buffet.

            Secondly; I never said that you are entitled to a refund ”just becasue you ask for one”. I don’t think anyone else in this thread did either. What I did say was that you can refuse payment if the meal you order does not meet the legal requirements of a service provider. This is not up for debate, its legal fact.

            Thirdly; Not being satisfied with your meal is legitimate grounds for a refund under the right circumstances. Example: I once had to deal with a refund request becasue our fryer chef made a mistake and sent out a mostly frozen fish. If we had refused and the customer had legally contested, we would have lost becasue there was reasonable expectation that the fried fish be served hot. ”Not being satisfied with your meal” can, in the right circumstances, be synonymous with the legal standard of not fit for purpose, which justifies a refund.

            I know from experience that there are people who try and abuse the law, but this does not invalidate the legitimate legal claim to a refund for food services if the vendor does not perform the service adequately. The hostility and ignorance you are displaying on this topic is baffling.

          • AngoraFish says:

            Feel free to try that next time you go out to dinner. I’m pretty sure you’ll find that the police don’t share your particular interpretation of the law.

          • Horg says:

            The police wouldn’t get involved in a restaurant dispute unless the service provider intended to accuse the customer of theft, a charge they would need a good body of evidence to back themselves up with, or risk opening themselves up to a counter claim for legal harassment. If the service provider did breach their assumed contract by providing a service that was not fit for purpose, as advertised or of satisfactory quality, and the consumer had evidence to back up their claim, then the service provider wouldn’t have a case.

            I’ve spent most of my adult life working in hospitality at various grades. I can state from experience that expecting police to knick anyone who makes a complaint about their meal is pure fantasy. Even if the complaint is bogus, the police are almost never involved. It’s just not worth the hassle for the cost of the average order.

          • Geebs says:

            There’s a couple of issues you’d need to get around.

            1) Valve aren’t incorporated in the UK. Whose laws apply is fuzzy.
            2) You’d have to prove that what you’ve got is substantially different from what it says on the Steam page if it’s not obviously completely non-functional
            3) Under US law, you are free advertise something falsely as long as a reasonable person wouldn’t believe your claims e.g. only an idiot would believe that Capn’ Crunch Berries contain berries, case dismissed.

          • Horg says:

            Consumer law would apply from the region you made the purchase. Valve are an international company, but if they sell in the UK they have to observe UK law.

            As i’ve mentioned elsewhere, a legal dispute over a £40 game would be a civil law case in the small claims court. The burden of proof in civil cases is substantially lower than criminal cases. Providing evidence of any advertised features that never materialised in the final release, or a demonstration of the misleading advertising should be sufficient.

            Advertising standards in the UK are much tighter than the US. Advertising may not be misleading under any circumstances.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Exactly, and once a UK court has ordered a US corporation to pay compensation, you will find plenty of debt collectors operating on US soil happy to buy that debt and get their crowbars ready.

      • Enkidum says:

        You’re also entitled to be a raging jackass, but most of us try not to.

      • sonson says:

        No, you are legally entitled to pay for the ingredients at cost price only, at least in the UK, on the grounds that they have been used and cost the business an outlay. The rest of the menu list price however, which represents the cost of taking said ingriedients and making them into the dish you claim to be unsatisfied with depite having eaten it; that, you can refuse to pay and it would be legal,alveit the behaviour of a total cunt.

        • Catsiel says:

          You’re incorrect, if you bought a meal at a restaurant and you found it wasn’t fit for purpose, maybe a beef burger was cold for example, you could send it back after taking a bite out of it and realising it was cold, and the restaurant could not charge you for said items.

          You could ask for a new burger and if that was satisfactory pay for that burger, even requesting money off for the hassle or you could simply say you decided not to eat there after the first burger was cold and leave, not paying for the used ingredients in the cold burger, under UK law.

          • hpoonis says:

            I fail to see your entire argument. If a company advertise 2 all-beef patties, special sauce, etc. and, indeed, provided 2 cold (but cooked) patties…where is your argument? If they said 2 HOT all-beef patties then I wold agree. But cooked yet cold is neither ‘unreasonable’ nor ‘unfit for purpose’. If one were expecting hot, cooked patties but received cold, cooked patties, and nowhere was it stated that said patties were delivered hot where is the liability?

            All of those who pre-purchased would have a reasonable argument but ANYONE who purchased despite seeing reviews and some gameplay wherein the final product was not as previously stated have only themselves to blame….yet are incapable of accepting that plain fact.

          • Horg says:

            ”If they said 2 HOT all-beef patties then I wold agree”

            Unless the product description specifies served cold, there is a reasonable expectation that the burgers would be served hot.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      It has become an expectation (I assume with younger gamers) that investing in a new game is like investing in a new hobby. They literally demand that there should be enough content and experience for them to play it until they retire.

      People hate the word, but ‘entitled’ sums up most of the gaming community in a nutshell, unfortunately. RPS is somewhat of a safe-haven, but look beyond it and it’s easy to see why so many people see gamers in such a negative light (I spend more hours a week gaming than I do working, and I’d still never refer to myself as a gamer due to what I feel it represents).

      • Distec says:

        Do you not think that this current problem with “gamer entitlement” has a sick, twisted relationship with the kind of bullshit marketing and deception that is often typical of the industry? I’ll grant you that these backlashes are ugly, but this is the swamp we live in, and indeed the one people have gotten used to and (now) rightly sick of.

        Sorry about your personal problem, though. Good luck with that.

      • pepperfez says:

        “Gamer entitlement” is a weird thing, though, because a ton of anti-consumer profit-maximizing — preorder exclusives, microtransaction slot machines, various levels of DRM intrusion — is totally accepted. It seems more like an addiction to having enemies; remember when Hello Games got death threats for a delay of several weeks? At this point it’s basically unconnected with the actual game, except insofar as the game kinda supplies an excuse for the campaign against its developer.

    • DeadCanDance says:

      I suppose that if you haven’t a demo to try it you can’t really know what to play it will be like, until you buy it, right?

  9. UniuM says:

    There are reports of refunds on amazon with digital and hard copies and even on PSN with digital copies. The trick they said was to forget the auto refunds systems. Just ”speak with a person”, tickets etc…

    I guess this games deserves to take the refund hammer hard. It missled alot of people with false advertisment.
    You go on Steven Cobert and lie…. you deserve nothing.

    oh small indies…. oh 13 man team…. oh sony coporate bullS…. Be honest to the fans, it isn’t finished? no problem. Keep working on it.

    I’m sick and tired of companies pushing games full of flaws and advertise things there aren’t there.

    • aircool says:

      If it was Early Access, £12.99 it would be promising and people would be quite positive about it.

  10. PancakeWizard says:

    Certainly >10 hours you need to take a long hard look at yourself before ‘demanding’ a refund.

    When it comes to NMS specifically:

    “It’s just all the same, it’s boring” and “I needed more than 2 hours to know if I hated it or not” = the same idiots.

    • Catsiel says:

      With open world exploration games like this its similar to an MMO in that if you play it for <2 hours and realise you dislike it you'd get replies stating you didn't play it long enough to appreciate it, if you play it for 2-6 hours and realise you dislike it, you can't have a refund.

  11. prkl says:

    It was clear the universe is generated with algorithms. If you had any sense, you would know this means a LOT of sameness and boring stuff. Actually NMS isn’t at all a boring universe: Every planet has life, the distances are short (or should I say, you travel very fast).
    If you really needed to even buy the game to realise this…
    As for the story, it’s a shame it didn’t deliver. Still, a bad game or disappointment is not a good reason for a refund…

  12. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Repetitiveness is not grounds for a refund. If it were, you could refund about 90% of games. Gamers need to learn to read or watch a review before they buy things. Unless a game is fundamentally broken, ie it doesn’t run on your system or there are major game breaking bugs that render the game impossible to play, you should not get a refund.

    “I was not sufficiently entertained” is not a valid reason to get your money back.

    If you play a game for 10+ hours (or with shorter games if you finish it in less) and then get refund you are basically just pirating it.

    • Otto Lidenbrock says:

      I definitely get the feeling reading through Steam reviews and the forums (of this and other games) that lots of people use the Steam refund policy as a risk free way of pirating games (i.e. they don’t have to go to dodgy websites where they might download a virus etc.) I remember reading a post on the forum of a different game where someone admitted they had enjoyed the game in the time they played it but they stopped playing at less than two hours specifically to be within Steam’s refund rules :/

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      It’s actually worse than piracy because apparently payment processors keep their fee, and we have to listen to their self-righteous bullshit about how they totally deserve to not pay for their entertainment.

      Personally if someone is going to not pay for a game I made I would prefer they just pirate it instead of pretending to be a customer and then getting a refund once they’re done with it.

      • Catsiel says:

        Are you trying to suggest no one should be entitled to a refund, even within the <2 hour playtime Steam policy?

        Are you seriously trying to suggest someone who played a game for <2 hours has enjoyed or experienced even a small portion of the game, considering Steam counts "playtime" from the time you double click to launch the game, including intro, menus, game setup, etc?

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          If a game is roughly two hours long or less and you finish it within the refund window, while you technically have the ability to get a refund under Steam’s current rules, if you choose to get a refund at that point you are abusing the system to get free entertainment.

          As to using the refund system as a replacement for demos, I’m personally not a fan but in the absences of actual demos it may be a reasonable thing to do for larger games that cannot be fully experienced in 2 hours. If you’re playing 10+ hours that is not a demo.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Don’t conflate people who genuinely didn’t like your game with people who enjoyed it and asked for a refund just because they could. The latter deserve your ire, but we are specifically discussing the former here.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            Not liking a game is not a valid reason to get a refund.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            It is if you promised it would be a different game to the reality.

          • pepperfez says:

            “You said I would like this game, but I didn’t! That’s fraud!”

      • Sheng-ji says:

        If their time spent with your product wasn’t entertaining, then their bullshit is neither bullshit nor self rightious, and the onus is entirely on you for allowing them to purchase your product without an accurate picture of what it was going to be.

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          When I pay for game or movie or book that turns out be disappointing I suck it up and resolve to make better decisions next time. I don’t go crying on the internet and demanding my money back. If you’re too lazy to read a review before you buy things that’s your problem.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Then you are part of the problem and you are the reason that a cursery glance at the latest releases on steam shows 20 games that are garbage, lazy, asset flips from “studios” who make a living from churning out this nonsense. You are the reason for digital homicide and you need to piss right off.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            Um, no. I’m going to pretend for a moment you’re not talking complete nonsense (what does “digital homicide” even mean?? seriously, dial down the crazy).

            When I buy a game I make a careful decision based on how a game looks and what I’ve heard and whether I think the price seems reasonable, and if I’m not sure I check a review or two.

            If it turns out to not live up to my expectations I take that into consideration the next time I consider buying a game from that developer, or if I ended up disagreeing with the reviews I maybe look to someone else for criticism.

            I have rarely truly regretted buying a game (and same for movies, books etc) but when I did I chalked it up to “win some/lose some” like a grownup.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I’ve got a lovely bridge to sell you – shows you a picture of tower bridge – London Bridge!

            I see what you’re saying, but honestly, if you let people like Digital Homicide get away with it, and please, stop feigning ignorance, and if you really are that ignorant don’t make me post a let me google that for you link, then they will do it again and again and again – and just because YOU won’t get burned again, you have funded their next con, on a new mark, and that makes you partially responsible.

          • pepperfez says:

            After looking up Digital Homicide, I have no idea what that case has to do with this one, besides both companies committing Serious Crimes Against Gaming.

  13. Turkey says:

    I wonder if we’d be done with NMS right now if it was sold for $20.

    • Harlander says:

      Reckon so. You’d get an article or two going “hey, check out this wonky spiritual successor to Noctis“, maybe something a bit later on what modders are turning out and stuff the devs add…

    • pepperfez says:

      I feel like a lot of the backlash is at an indie game getting above its station and charging AAA prices. The bulk of gamers are fundamentally little-c-conservative in their worldview, and $60 indie games are just too far out of line.

      • aircool says:

        People might feel better if the constant, necessary and annoying as hell resource shuffling with a shitty interface hadn’t been slapped on and called gameplay.

        • pepperfez says:

          Games with tedious systems slapped on top are a dime a dozen. The typical response is “This game would be better if…”, not accusations of conspiracy or fraud. Similarly, when games are delayed, the reaction is usually frustration, not furious death threats. The gaming community is not reacting to No Man’s Sky in anything like a reasonable manner.

          • jrodman says:

            I think it’s mostly a reaction to experiencing perceived willful deception delivered with aw-shucks honesty indie spices. Basically “we were lied to the wrong way” to phrase it really dismissively.

            At least, that’s my theory.

      • Distec says:

        Gotta say, pepper. You are pretty reliable when it comes to the “eww gamer” posts. Nice touch touch throwing “conservative” in there, even if you did qualify it with “small-c”. Because only those types have issues with broken, half-delivered games.

        You deserve points for that, if nothing else.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          Not everywhere in the world ties the word ‘conservative’ into a particular political position… Sometimes it just means what it means.

  14. aircool says:

    I’ve had refunds before that have been over the limit for various reasons, but whilst I still feel robbed (at least from a certain perspective), I’d feel a bit of a cheat asking for a refund after 72 hours.

    I first asked for one after about 8 hours, but got the usual stonewall response (that being none) so decided to carry on and see if things improved.

    After a few days I wondered when my pay cheque was due to arrive, but doh, silly me, re-arrangin coloured rectangles wasn’t a job, I’d actually paid for this shite.

    So, I decided to wait and see what the future of the game will be.

    So far, no roadmap, no nothing. My mind is blown (actually, I feel more like my brain has been blown – out of my head by a shotgun).

    Now that I think about it. Perhaps I will chance a refund. I’m convinced that Hello Games will abandon No Man’s Sky and pursue other projects individually.

    Actually, I think I might throw a link to the UK Consumer Rights Act of 2015 with my refund request, as No Man’s Sky flags every one of these…

    – As with the Sale of Goods Act, under the Consumer Rights Act all products must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

    – The rules also include digital content in this definition. So all products – whether physical or digital – must meet the following standards:

    – Satisfactory quality Goods shouldn’t be faulty or damaged when you receive them. You should ask what a reasonable person would consider satisfactory for the goods in question? For example, bargain bucket products won’t be held to as high standards as luxury goods.

    – Fit for purpose The goods should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for, as well as any specific purpose you made known to the retailer before you agreed to buy the goods.

    – As described The goods supplied must match any description given to you, or any models or samples shown to you at the time of purchase.

  15. aircool says:

    Yep, a quick nose at the UK Consumer Rights Act 2015 pretty much says that Steam’s Refund policy doesn’t affect our Statutory Rights which means that UK Law takes precedence. For Digital Video Games in particular, as they can’t offer a repair or replacement which will fulfil the following criteria:

    Satisfactory quality.
    Fitness for purpose.
    Matching description.

    We can request a refund.

    Now then, this could be considered somewhat extreme behaviour for a mere £40 video game, but I think it’s probably about time that digital retailers had a wake up call and people became aware that digital products are treated the same way by the law as physical products.

    Question is, could this be open to abuse? Of course it could. However, I think in the case of No Man’s Sky, digital retailers (in this case Steam), cannot be ignorant of the fact that No Man’s Sky, without a doubt, fails to meet the above criteria.

    • MrBehemoth says:

      I think the terms of the UK Consumer Rights Act 2015 mention above have been taken out of context here. The Act is talking about whether a product meets these criteria as a product, not whether you liked it or not.

      The 3 criteria (Satisfactory quality, fitness for purpose, matching description) can be boiled down to: is it a digital entertainment product that runs on the specified hardware without malfunction? The unavoidable answer is yes.

      Our consumer rights are not breached because a creative work does not meet our individual tastes. Cold, hard fact.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        Yea I’m not sure what these internet lawyers think they’re stumbling on, but it’s not information that’s unknown to major retailers and their actual lawyers.

      • Horg says:

        ”The 3 criteria (Satisfactory quality, fitness for purpose, matching description) can be boiled down to: is it a digital entertainment product that runs on the specified hardware without malfunction? The unavoidable answer is yes.”

        That’s a deliberately minimalist interpretation of the relevant sections of the Act that omits the more important elements people are complaining about. Specifically, advertised features that never made the final product, and misleading advertising that promoted a significantly different experience than the final product. You would, if you contested a small claims case against a buyer, have to defend those points. You cannot omit them and declare victory.

      • fish99 says:

        “is it a digital entertainment product that runs on the specified hardware without malfunction? The unavoidable answer is yes.”

        You didn’t hear how often it crashes then?

      • aircool says:

        I didn’t actually say anything about it not meeting my tastes. I didn’t even say whether I liked it or not.

        But this is the internet where I am an ignorant thirteen year old who couldn’t find his arse with a map until proven otherwise. Of course, all my friends are ignorant thirteen year old as well and none of them know anything about retail, marketing, law or any other area of expertise upon which I can quiz them.

        I don’t think I could have possibly failed to make my point, unless you’re an ignorant thirteen year old…

      • pepperfez says:

        For the portion of the internet dedicated to being unsatisfied, how can anything be of satisfactory quality? As long as people are angry enough, surely they’re qualified for unconditional refunds.

        • Horg says:

          You have to be able to demonstrate why it is unsatisfactory. ”It does what they said it would but i’m still not satisfied” would get you funny looks from the judge.

  16. Harlander says:

    I guess it was inevitable that refunds would become the demos of the modern age. I wonder if this works out better or worse, financially, for game developers?

    • gunny1993 says:

      Hard to say since all the data that could be used to find out is hidden away.

      I’ve bought a few games purley based on the fact I knew I could refund them, equally I’ve refunded a few because I didn’t like them, usually within half an hour or so.

      In both cases I’d never have bought the game if I couldn’t try them first.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        Same here.

        I still only buy games I intend to keep, I don’t use it as a buffet system – but I’ve definitely picked a few up that I might not have done because I had that safety net. I’ve still only refunded a few games – and one of those I decided to buy again later.

        I don’t think that it’s better than a demo system though. Sometimes the first 2 hours of a game can give you nothing (I barely did anything in NMS in 2 hours) or it can be most of the experience. Good demos often chuck you into a midpoint or specific level, because time limited play isn’t always the best way to assess a game.

        But unless you’re willing to constantly update your demo it can end up being unrepresentative, both in terms of gameplay and performance.

  17. drinniol says:

    Jeeze, everyone should have bought it from GOG. 30 day refunds and I got it for $60AUD instead of Steam’s $60USD, and it’s DRM free so you can just link the exec to launch through Steam to get the overlay.

    • Stropp says:

      I got it through GoG, and it was only $45 dollars. Not sure if USD or AUD, I haven’t checked my statement yet.

    • socaire says:

      +1 for GOG. Really if the game is on GOG getting it there is a no brainer, no drm and 30 day refund policy regardless of time played.

  18. fish99 says:

    I refunded after 2.8 hrs. It felt like a £20 game to me, and had a bunch of technical and design issues on PC. They didn’t do due diligence on the PC version IMO. They also didn’t release keys into most retail channels, so the game was stuck at £40, which is £10-20 more than I typically pay for AAA games.

  19. Stropp says:

    For Australians, remember that Steams refund policies do not override Australian consumer law when it comes to refunds and returns.

    (link to

    If a product does not do what it was advertised to do, or has major problems (bugs) then the consumer has a right to ask for a refund or replacement. If Steam refuse, they’re running afoul of Australian law and can be prosecuted.

    Of course, Steam could process the refund and then close your account. I believe it’s happened before when folks make too many refunds.

    • drewski says:

      It’s probably arguable as to whether or not NMS meets the definition of not being as described, I would suggest. Not being quite as interactive as described in an interview 5 months ago probably doesn’t fit the definition of being not as described, although perhaps the fact they’re using the old trailer in Steam could tilt it back the other way.

      Certainly if you are experiencing significant bugs or unpublicised hardware compatibility issues, you are more than entitled to a refund. Steam have made some representations to the ACCC that they will abide by Australian Consumer Law from memory, so it should be relatively straightforward.

  20. Yega says:

    In that video it looks like they are using the Low Flying Mod, there is no way you can get that close to the mountains in the actual game as you just get pushed away.

  21. Cipherpunk says:

    I think I got pretty lucky with my refund. I had a total of 11 hours of play and they had already rejected my first refund request because of that. In my next attempt, I mentioned that most of my play time was spent just trying to fix performance issues. I also said that I had bought the game to play with my brother (true) and that Hello Games had lied about this feature (also true). My refund just posted to my Steam wallet this morning, way out of guidelines.

  22. aircool says:

    I think there’s something to be taken away from the discussion over No Man’s Sky and the polar opinions regarding refunds.

    In the past, one of the most common comments regarding sub par video games, is that ‘people should vote with their wallets’.

    Now that people are voting with their wallets, there are people saying that we should basically ‘suck it down’ now that we’ve paid for it. Why is that?

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Self denial and a failure to admit mistakes one makes to themselves.

      Trick a crowd of people into drinking poison for a few weeks… then turn around and say “haha tricked you”, to suddenly watch them all turn around and say “no, you are the tricked one!”

      You’ve been outnumbered, and a lot of people “follow the crowd”. Sean got a lot of people to believe he would add those features that are missing. Or used descriptive language to describe empty features that he “imagined” being better in interviews. For those who did not watch the interviews or pre-release footage, they were never lied to, because they never had that discussion or interaction.

      So those who were (not “may have”, or “were hyped” or “were mistaken”) lied to and those who have bugs in the game are a small minority, and sadly the majority wish to bully them should the former even tread lightly on their imagined worldview.

      • pepperfez says:

        No Man’s Sky is like drinking poison. This is — in a couple ways — hysterical.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Point ——-> ****


          Your Head —> o

          • Distec says:

            It’s a bit rich coming from somebody whose every post is filled hyperbolic snark, innit?

  23. Epicedion says:

    NMS should really be pulled off Steam, like The War Z was. The videos and description they have up for it are totally misleading.

  24. CartonofMilk says:

    Anyone who pre-ordered deserves to take the loss. Pre ordering is a cancer. It’s idiotic.

    • Sheng-ji says:


      A man and his wife have a joint bank account. This account is their leisure money, when it’s gone, they are fine for food/bills etc but have no more spare money. The man is going out on his friends stag night, the day before a game is released. His wife wants the game. They have discussed their entertainment needs for the month and have decided that the only things left will be the game and the stag night. The wife is happy for him to spend all but the cost of the game on his stag night. She is also aware he will be drunk and not necessarily able to remember the amount to leave in the account.

      If she pre-orders the game, to have that money ringfenced by the bank, has she done anything to “deserve loss” or has she made a sensible consumer decision that is in her best interests?

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Well it’s a difficult economic decision if you’re adamant to play on the first day anyway.
      Buying say half a day earlier could get you some bonus content (a useless one in the case of NMS and some others), buying an hour after release costs the same without bonus.
      Without seeing the bigger picture it’s against common human logic to buy later at a loss of stuff.

    • aircool says:

      If anything, developers that let people pre-order are asking for a wave of refund requests and a backlash on Steam from the(minority in most cases) people having technical problems.

  25. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    “I’m sorry, waiter, I refuse to pay for this meal, I don’t like it.”

    “I’m terribly sorry sir, of course, let me take that from you can we get you something else…err, sir, where is the meal?”

    “I ate it.”

    “But I thought you didn’t like it.”

    “I didn’t.”

    “But you ate it anyway?”


    “Rather than ask for something else instead?”



    Etc and so on

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I’m sorry waiter, I refuse to pay for this meal.

      But you ate the whole thing.

      Yes I did.

      And you enjoyed it.

      Yes, I did.

      So, may I ask why you are refusing to pay?

      I ordered cod, you bought me the far cheaper tlapia, used because it looks like cod.

      But you enjoyed it.

      Yes, I enjoyed that meal, but our agreement was for cod. When you didn’t bring me cod, you didn’t fulfil your side of the agreement we made. Now I don’t have to fulfil mine. Good day!

      • Epicedion says:

        More like:

        Waiter, I refuse to pay for this steak dinner.


        It wasn’t what was advertised.

        Well, you had the soup course? Right? It was pretty good soup, yes?

        Yes, the soup was okay.

        And the salad? It was a nice salad.

        Yes, the salad too.

        And the wine, the wine was perfectly paired with the soup and the salad, no?

        Yes, yes, the wine was perfectly good. It’s the steak I have a problem with.

        What about the steak?

        There wasn’t one.

        Well, yes, the dinner was a bit lacking in the steak department, but you’ve already enjoyed the soup and salad and wine, so I don’t see that you have grounds to complain.

        But the steak was advertised as part of the meal, and if I’m not getting the steak I don’t want to pay for it.

        I’m sorry, sir, but you’ve already eaten the soup and salad and drunk the wine. If you didn’t want to pay you shouldn’t have kept eating.

        But I didn’t know there wasn’t a steak until the steak course arrived and was just an empty plate.

        That’s not my problem, sir. Now, if you’d like some to extend the meal, we’ll have the Desert/Latte Cart come around, for an additional charge of course.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          “But we will bring the Steak in 6 months, so you will still pay… yes?…”

          Avoiding the point does not change the facts. Try ordering a Big Mac Meal in MDs and see if they charge you fill price if they only have chips and have sold out of the rest.

          I’ve eaten at places before where they forgot a side/addition to the meal and we got that bit knocked off. So we are fine if HelloGames refunds people *part* for the missing content. It’s the keeping it all with misleading advertising that is unfair.

  26. Chaoslord AJ says:

    I had 10 hours of solid fun and was kept several more hours off the street so I won’t refund.
    Having watched the steam trailer and read up on the controversy afterwards and Murray’s interviews I do think they are a bunch of lyers however.
    Not only was the trailer tailor-made instead of procedural as they claimed. It’s not possible to achieve such scenes in-game in the final version. Not sure about the butterflies but the 50+ planets I visited looked nothing like that and also there’s no such creature AI as shown. There are no large space battles or wingman. Dude even baited in an interview meeting other persons would be possible but unlikely instead of saying “no multiplayer element is implemented/coded”.

    To anyone refunding: good luck. Scammers must be taught a lesson.
    I’ll buy no future games done by Hello Games or Murray in any case.

    For further reading: opinion of a dev on reddit of what happened. Thankfully there are a lot of people outright calling out the bunch of apologies made. In no other (legal) business including non-game software is this kind of fraud possible with the consumer saying “yes thank you”.

    • Distec says:

      This is roughly the spot I’m in. I don’t hate NMS and I intend to keep it in my library. But I cannot honestly deny that HG was fairly misleading in their promotion of the game, and probably lied about a few things. Par for the course, right? But all it takes is getting caught with one concrete lie to scuttle the whole thing.

      There are many features in the delivered product that I could probably give a pass on or chalk up to the nature of game development. Creature AI seems practically non-existent, but I get it. Good AI is hard in any game, let alone one that’s procedurally generated. I could also give a pass on the space combat not being what was depicted in the trailers. And I also fully understand (but do not endorse) that game companies typically overshoot with their PR materials and the delivered product always falls short. I have to admit that people requesting refunds for those reasons might be on shaky ground, if only because of industry norms.

      But the online component – or specifically, the ability to see other players – is one that leaves HG with precious little wiggle room. You could have chalked up its absence to a bug or a launch-day issue (a number of people here made this case while bitching about “entitled consumers” earlier, and I think the goalposts have been moved since then). But since it’s still a present issue and there’s been no communication from HG/Sean since this was found out, I’d say it’s become super reasonable to assume it was a complete fabrication at the time it was said. The whole issue with stickers covering parts of NMS’ box information certainly looks like a bait-and-switch in retrospect. None of this looks good on HG.

      Out of all the complaints regarding NMS, it’s the one above that seems to carry the most weight, and is clearly the most damning. People rightly have grounds for a refund if HG knowingly shipped their game without this feature without ever clarifying its nature or telling potential customers about its removal. That is fuck-up numero uno, and if you asked for a refund despite not caring about the ability to see other players, I would generally have no issue with you using that excuse.

      Which, y’know, definitely makes the point that you need to communicate clearly with your customers. We can uselessly pine for a world where every individual has perfectly calibrated bullshit detectors and are capable of reasonably managing their expectations, but until masses of humans start abruptly behaving differently, it is upon you to make reasonable efforts to manage the crowd. Unfortunately, I don’t think HG ever stepped up to the task.

      Are some people abusing the refund process? Absolutely. Every refund process for anything has room for abuse, so that’s something you have take into account ahead of time. I have no interest in getting worked up over these fringe cases and using them to scold “gamers” on the whole, and shame on anybody who is. You know how you avoid people refunding your game well after the set limits? Don’t string your customers along. If you choose to do so any way, then I hope to God (for your sake) that you only do it with features that you can fudge about in the aftermath.

      I feel bad for HG, even though I think they’re ultimately responsible the this has turned out. Some of the people pissing on them are obnoxious assholes that only seem to relish in twisting the knife at this point. Fuck those guys. At the same time, I’m also disappointed in the apologetics that have been deployed on HG’s behalf. I can only imagine this is because they’re a cute indie team, whereas the majority of readers here would be crucifying a AAA company if they had fucked up just as badly.

  27. Nauallis says:

    Haha! Angry man-children mad because they can’t be bothered to be held responsible for their own opinions and hype. All the people whining here? Just loud, obnoxious whiners. The bottom line is still the same: wait for reviews! You buy a game because of hype? That’s YOUR problem. Make better decisions with your money.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      What about people who didn’t follow any of the hype, but bought it based on the trailer on the steam store page? Where does, in your opinion, the line get drawn where marketing which misrepresents the product bears responsibility and become a valid reason to ask for a refund?

      • Nauallis says:

        REVIEWS. Your purchase is still your responsibility. I don’t know why this is so hard for people to understand.

        • Horg says:

          The law disagrees with you. Most of the onus for delivering a viable product lie with the manufacturer and vendor.

          • Nauallis says:

            This hyperbole about delivering a viable product is absurd. I’m not going to respond to you any more. I like the game! You don’t. If you played over the two hours that Steam allows for refunds, well, whoops! And lol. But still, your problem, made a bad purchase. That sucks. Move on.

          • Horg says:

            I didn’t buy it, i’m just stating the facts of the law as they stand in the UK so people who did buy it are aware of their legal rights.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            You seem to be angry that the text you posted above has proven to be inaccurate. You enjoy the game, whoop de do. So did I – refer my long post above about the planets I discovered. What about people getting refunds after the two hour period is making you so angry that you have stormed onto here and written about it? What stake do you have in Hello Games and Sony’s profits?

        • Sheng-ji says:

          So advertisers, in your opinion bear no responsibility at all – it’s up to other people – many of whom get paid by the marketing fund – to warn people of your lies.

          In that case, I’ve got a lovely Ferrari to sell you. Only £1000 Here are ten reviews swearing blind that it’s not a clapped out old fiesta that I’ve markied Ferrari onto.

          • Nauallis says:

            If you are stupid enough to buy a car without seeing the actual car first, then yeah, you bear that responsibility.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I’m sorry, I forgot steam lets you play games before you buy them.

          • Nauallis says:

            Why would I buy a car from Steam?!? Can’t take this seriously any more. Also, not in the UK. Interesting perspective though. Hooray, anecdotes.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Nice dodge – all I can say is, the only reasonable explanation for your hardline “the customer is always to blame” is that you make money from games you know are not worth what you ask.

          • Nauallis says:

            If you think you won the argument, hooray for you! +1 internet points. My hardline is that I am a responsible adult. Sometimes, I buy shit, and I feel remorse. And then I move on. Also, absolutism is a very silly way to approach life. Tag, you’re it.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            You’re the one dealing in absolutionism, not me – this is a non conversation – I asked you to give your opinion on where the responsibility of the consumer ends and the marketing begins, you’ve squirmed and ducked and weaved.

            Now the question becomes, why should we listen to anything you have to say?

          • Distec says:

            Honorable attempt, Sheng-ji. But anybody kicking off their argument with “HAHAHA man babies” is likely a lost cause. Best use them as a scratching post instead, should that suit you.

        • aircool says:

          Some of the reviews were quite positive.

          What you are suggesting is that no-one buy the product until they know if its worth buying or not. Reviews don’t tell the whole story, just someone’s opinion. The Guardian newspaper gave it four out of five stars for fucks sake!

          Even demo’s can’t give the whole story. At some point, your going to have to play the game and decide if it’s worth the money.

          • Nauallis says:

            Not quite what I’m suggesting, and I think you know it – since you played it an apparently have enjoyed it.

            I’m suggesting that a purchaser has to assume when they buy something that it’s entirely possible that they’ll never get a refund.

            It’s not like this game didn’t take the internet by storm. In fact, aside from maybe Kotaku, I didn’t see a review by a single games enthusiast site that screamed “This game is awesome!” Mostly it’s been harder to find people who are really positive about it, because they haven’t been very vocal. Polygon gave it what, 6.5/10? RPS was very middling? John Walker said it was full of flaws but otherwise enjoyed playing it? If you were on the fence about this game at all there was plenty of information that was strongly suggesting that it wouldn’t be a great purchase for you.

            And that’s not even taking into account the streamers, the shitstorm on reddit, and the absurdly high number of commenters on every site that has featured this game taking a general shit on it and saying “I told you so.”

          • aircool says:

            “I’m suggesting that a purchaser has to assume when they buy something that it’s entirely possible that they’ll never get a refund.”

            On the contrary. In the UK the law protects the buyer. We know that if we buy something we are entitled to a refund if the purchase is not fit for purpose (and a large list of other reasons).

            Why do people think that the UK is some sort of backwards country where retailers can peddle any old shite without repercussion.

            Only Fools and Horses was a TV comedy program, not a documentary based on UK retail laws.

          • Nauallis says:

            Yep, starting to get the hilarious miscommunication here. I’m not British. Thanks for the info about UK consumer laws!

          • Sheng-ji says:

            – Comes to a British Site
            – Talking about a game made in England
            – Sold to British people, by a retailer who abides by UK law
            – ????
            – Didn’t realise UK law was being discussed.

          • Nauallis says:

            Oh really? I read the base article, did you? Doesn’t mention UK law. Doesn’t link to a UK-specific Steam article about refunds. But you seem to think that UK law applies everywhere, which is pretty hilarious.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Uk law applies in the UK – which is where the people having the conversation you inturrupted are all from. Tell me, do you expect news websites based in your country to state loud and clear, up fron that they are specifically talking about US law? Or is that inferred, you know, by being a US website. Go check a few before you commit to an answer.

          • aircool says:

            I was under the impression that this is a UK based website (if you get my meaning), but by no means restricted to referencing the UK. As far as I’m aware, RPS target a global audience.

            Still, my favourite crossed wired moments tend to be the ones where Americans and Australians are discussing the price of something in Dollars unaware that they’re talking to someone on the other side of the Pacific.

        • Jediben says:

          Hi John Walker!

    • sonson says:

      The sad thing is it *isn’t* their problem because if they scream loud enough they get to play the game for hours without losing any money anyway.

      As ever, the ones who lose out are the ones with integrity, dignity, who believe in fair play and taking responsibility.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        But the ones who win are the con-artists and scam studios who will sell you a lie, then rebrand as a new “studio” with all that cash from those with “integrity”, “dignity”, and “believe in fair play”.

        Here’s a different perspective. The man who stood up to the con artist, won a refund through the courts, uncovered all his lies and posted it publically, despite all the abuse he withstood. That man was the man who prevented me from losing my life savings when I had to purchase my wife a wheelchair, which I nearly did. He has more dignity, integrity, honesty and fairplay in his little finger than a lazy, industry apologist, corporate patsy like you will ever dream of having.

        • aircool says:

          Indeed. I cannot understand why some people aren’t supporting the disaffected players here. Whether people pre-ordered or not, NMS doesn’t do what it says on the tin.

          Regards Steam Refunds with the two hour limit, all of the last three games I’ve bought on Steam take about two hours of gameplay (especially if you’re up against bugs and need to tinker with in game settings) before you get to the real meat of the game. In one case, a game which was developed for online play, I was still making my way through the ‘introduction scenario’ which had to be completed before you unlocked online play when I realised that I was presented with the choice of not experiencing online play and being stuck with the game or getting a refund. I went for the refund. The game also had an unskippable intro movie over ten minutes long.

          I even made a joke post about the intro screens in Deus Ex MD taking you over the two hour limit. Someone took my post a little too seriously and it was locked!

          • CherryPhosphate says:

            NMS does exactly what it set out to do; make a game where you can explore bizarre 70s sci fi book cover worlds.

            It does that well and if you play a while you will see some pretty striking planets with some pretty bizarre stuff on them.

            I feel like the insistence by everyone else that it should be a survival game no a trading game no an FPS led to it having some of these elements shoehorned in to answer all the questions about “BUT WHAT CAN I DO?”. Essentially they set out to make (and made) an excellent sci-fi book cover walking simulator; thats the impression the coverage and trailers gave, I bought it and I am enjoying it. There are certainly flaws in the “gamey” elements but nothing too bad, it’s just a bit crude.

            Finally Sean Murray did explicitly state that it was not a multiplayer game on twitter 2 days before launch. It might have been too close to launch or not noticed by everyone but the people claiming he was being evasive or lying about MP after launch when the two twitch streamers tried to meet were straight up fabricating their own desired outrage story.

  28. TheRealHankHill says:

    QQ, don’t preorder. I didn’t have to spend 6 hrs in the game to figure out I didn’t like it, know why? I didn’t blindly buy a game I wasn’t sure of before reading reviews.

    • aircool says:

      Who said everyone pre-ordered?

    • invitro says:

      You did better than most, but the best option is still to wait a year so the prices can come down. Unless you’re addicted, I suppose.

  29. engion3 says:

    I started playing and then it said my inventory was full so I quit.

    • invitro says:

      Yes, this is a good strategy. It is why I always fill my shopping bag halfway full before I enter the grocery store.

  30. MagicWordXyzzy says:

    Sign my petition to Steam regarding refunds on No Man’s Sky!

    link to

    …and one for Playstation Network!

    link to

  31. Sugarchick says:

    Interesting reading all this.

    It seems Steam’s refusing to refund people for legitimate reasons i.e. the game only ever runs intermittently or it lags so much that it’s unplayable – when the games been played for more than 2hrs or it’s been more than 14 days since purchase.

    If this is you then read on…

    Look at your Steam’s Subscriber Agreement (you ticked the box on sign up for your Steam Account!) it clearly states that the consumer protection laws of your country shall prevail.

    What does this mean?

    If you do have a legitimate reason for a refund, like it’s unplayable due to lagging, etc. then the game is UNFIT FOR PURPOSE and Steam’s standard refund policy may not apply as the Consumer Protect Laws of your country may over rule it.

    In the UK it means that under the UKs Consumer Contracts Regulations (online purchase regulations) and the UK Consumer Rights Act if you buy goods (including digital content) that are faulty, not as described or unfit for purpose you have the right to a full refund within 30 day of purchase.

    Putting things simply if you buy a toaster you expect it to make toast – if you buy a game you expect it to be playable! If it isn’t then you’re entitled to a full refund.

    Alas however, Steam seems to be overlooking this and are not refunding people who have legitimate reasons for refunds when they’ve had more than 2hrs game play – note – Hello’s second post on No Man’s Sky ‘Apology and Workarounds’ tells users that stuttering resolves itself with over 1hr of play, which makes it pretty hard to keep under 2hrs for a refund !

    ~Section 10 – Where the laws of Luxembourg provide a lower degree of consumer protection than the laws of your country of residence, the consumer protection laws of your country shall prevail.