Twitch streamer WeeGeeTheGod has been criticised for what some are calling an abuse of Steam’s refund policy.
Polygon reports that WeeGeeTheGod, whose real name is Cade McKown, recently streamed a complete playthrough of recent Sega release Sonic Forces. McKown was clearly not enjoying the game, and upon completion then streamed himself applying for a Steam refund.
Steam’s policy allows titles that have been played for under two hours and owned for two weeks or less to be refunded. There is often a little wiggle-room in these guidelines, and indeed, the streamer was refunded despite a total playtime of two hours and forty minutes.
McKown’s explanation for the legitimacy of the refund is a little muddled. On the Steam refund page he wrote that “I thought that this was a different Sonic game and I meant to buy another one instead of this one”.
However, he gave a different reason to Polygon, stating: “As hard as it is for some to believe, I played a video game on stream to have fun, not to nefariously milk it for Twitch donations. After beating the entire game in under three hours and coming to the conclusion that it was absolutely abysmal, I requested a refund with the reason being: ‘It's not fun.’”
He added that “if my actions truly did violate/abuse Steam's refund policy, my request would have been denied”, and pointed out that he has requested a refund live on stream before for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Steam introduced its current refund policy over two years ago. It has been criticised of developers of smaller games with completion times of under two hours, as there is little to stop gamers playing a game to its completion and then getting their money back.