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Steam refund policy updated to include pre-release playtime

Change will impact titles in Early Access and/or games providing access prior to release, but not those in beta testing

Steam has changed its refund policy, with pre-release playtime now factored in when considering eligibility for a refund.

In a short update posted on its website, Valve simply said the change applies to games that are in pre-purchase and offer 'advanced access', adding: "Playtime acquired during the Advanced Access period will now count towards the Steam refund period."

Previously, players were allowed to claim a refund if they had spent less than two hours in a game after release. Now, if they get access to the title prior to its launch, any time played during that period will count towards the two-hour limit.

Looking at the details in the refund policy, this applies both to titles with advanced access (which Valve defines as "a feature that allows users that have pre-purchased a game to play prior to the game's official release, for example a 'deluxe' pre-purchase version may include Advanced Access"), as well as Early Access titles.

This, however, does not apply to beta testing.

"If you pre-purchase a title which is not playable prior to the release date, you can request a refund at any time prior to release of that title, and the standard 14-day/two-hour refund period will apply starting on the game’s release date," the policy further read.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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