While the rumoured shutdown of United Front Games is yet to be officially confirmed, the company has now announced that anyone who bought their early access game, Smash+Grab [official site], on Steam can request a refund, regardless of how many hours they've actually played.
The multiplayer looting brawler was pulled from sale as talk of the company's sudden demise started to swirl but now, after confirming there will be no further development or support - it's a dead/soon-to-be-dead game - anyone and everyone can ask for their money back.
Alice and I were having a decent time, learning the ropes of futuristic criminal activity as we roamed the streets and smashed our way into stores. I wonder how the free weekend and the early access process factored into these developments - whether the shuttering was dependent on something related to Smash+Grab succeeding or failing or whether it was a curveball no-one expected.
Steam usually only refunds a game if you've played it for less than two hours, but United Front are waiving that restriction. As per the game's Steam news announcement:
A huge thank you to everyone who played and bought Smash + Grab over the last several weeks. We hope everyone had a great time playing.
As we will not be doing any further development or support, we have asked Valve to make refunds available to any owners who request them, regardless of how many hours played.
If you would like a refund, please use the usual Steam refund tools.
Thanks to everyone for the support!
My approach to early access is to only pay out if I'd be okay with development never going any further but this has made me ponder that approach a bit when it comes to multiplayer games. A singleplayer experience that you can continue to play offline regardless of whether the devs exist to maintain a server is one thing, multiplayer is a different kettle of bees.
But, at least in this scenario it's a kettle of bees the players who picked up an early access copy won't be forced to shake (this metaphor is getting away from me). To apply for a refund just go through the usual Steam refunds process.