It looks like Microsoft is taking a few notes from Steam, because according to an image of an upcoming update posted on Reddit, the company will now offer refunds on digital games purchased through Xbox Live, and the service will be available for both Xbox One and PC. Word on the new refund program was first issued to members participating in the Xbox Insider Program, which allows gamers to test out new features and provide feedback before they are made available to the entire Xbox community.
The message reads:
We’re making changes to the Microsoft Store purchase experience by offering customers a simple way to instantly return digital products like games and apps through account.microsoft.com…. Self-service refunds on Xbox One and Windows 10 provide a quick, simple way of returning a digital product.
Certain conditions have been listed in the comments section of the Reddit post. A game is only eligible for a refund if it was purchased within the last 14 days, and if it has less than 2 hours of gameplay across all accounts. Also, the refunds only apply for full-fledged games, meaning any DLC, season passes, and add-ons are ineligible.
While the “two hours” rule doesn’t seem like enough time to decide whether or not to keep a game, many gamers are applauding Microsoft’s steps to stay ahead in an increasingly digital industry. Its been met with such a positive reaction, in fact, that fans on the PS4 Reddit page have been trying to pressure Sony to implement a similar policy.
This forward-thinking may have some gamers question why no one ever thought to do refunds on digitally purchased games. The answer to that is someone actually did, and they’ve been doing it for a long time. Steam has been offering refunds on their games for years, and a quick inspection of their refunds policy page reveals that Microsoft is basically matching what Steam already had in place. Just like the new Xbox Live policy, Steam offers full refunds on games that have been purchased within fourteen days and with less than two hours of gameplay. The difference between them and Microsoft, however, is Steam does offer refunds on downloadable content (again, within 14 days, 2 hours of gameplay, and other conditions).
While this might not be the most original idea from Microsoft, it is a good step forward in the world of digital downloads, and one that gamers more than welcome.