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Video games’ most generous refund policy just got better

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Players can ask for a refund no matter how long they’ve played a game — just ‘don’t be that person’

Geralt starts a mighty swing of his sword against a foe in the woodlands of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt by CD Projekt Red. CD Projekt owns both the studio and GOG.com.
CD Projekt Red/CD Projekt

GOG.com’s refund policy for online purchases now grants customers a refund even if they downloaded, launched, and played the game in question for any length of time. The marketplace’s 30-day refund window, first introduced in 2013, still applies.

GOG.com began offering refunds of digital purchases more than six years ago. Until now, its policy was to give a refund, no questions asked, if one was requested within 30 days of purchase — but only if the game hadn’t been downloaded. The new policy removes the latter restriction.

“We’re monitoring the effects of the current update to make sure no one is using this policy to hurt the developers that put their time and heart into making great games,” GOG.com says in an FAQ it emailed to customers Wednesday evening, apparently anticipating questions about those who buy, play, and enjoy a game for a month before asking for a refund. “We may refuse refunds in such individual cases.”

In 2013, GOG.com called its new refund policy a “declaration of trust” between it and its customers, understanding that GOG.com would make every effort to get a game it sells running on a customer’s hardware, and that customers would not abuse the refund policy to play a game for free. GOG.com reiterated that sentiment in Wednesday’s message.

“It’s important for us to say that this update is possible thanks to your respect for all the time and hard work put into creating the games you buy on GOG.com and playing by the rules,” GOG.com wrote. “We’re grateful for that and encourage you to continue to do so.”

GOG.com’s money-back guarantee is easily the most expansive of any online marketplace. Steam began offering refunds in 2015, and its general policy today is to refund money if the request is made within two weeks of purchase, and if the game has been played for two hours or less. The Epic Games Store has the same 14-day/two-hour rule for refunds.

The PlayStation Store also offers a 14-day window from the date of purchase, but will not give money back if a user started downloading the game (unless the game is broken). The Microsoft Store may refund digital purchases of Xbox or Windows PC games on a case-by-case basis, but all sales of games and game products on that marketplace are considered final. “We consider a variety of factors like time since date of purchase, time since release, and use of the product,” its policy says.

Nintendo’s eShop does not offer refunds, though some players have reported success in getting one by pleading their case directly to a support agent. Nintendo’s policy of not refunding pre-orders or letting users cancel them was challenged in German court and upheld by a judge there last month, although German consumer authorities are appealing that ruling.

GOG.com’s refund policy also covers pre-ordered games up to the date of launch and for 30 days after the release date, as well as paid downloadable content, under certain terms. The storefront’s early access offerings, known as Games in Development, can also be refunded up to 30 days after purchase. There are no limits on the number of refunds a customer may request, but GOG.com says, “We reserve the right to refuse refunds in individual cases.”

“Please don’t take advantage of our trust by asking for an unreasonable amount of games to be refunded,” GOG.com adds. “Don’t be that person. No one likes that person.”