Summer of ’58 – Tale of Refund Abuse

Today I was watching one of my favorite Twitch streamers Azuki. She was playing this horror game called “Summer of ’58”. It looked really cool. In the stream chat I was told that the developers have walked away from game making for the foreseeable future because players on Steam have been abusing the refund policy.

See, on Steam if you have played less than two hours on a game you can request a no questions asked full refund. The issue with the policy when it comes to “Summer of ’58” is that the game is only around 90 minutes long. At least that is the average player time. This means that people can pay for the already cheap title which is $9 USD when not on sale and then turn around and get that money back after finishing the entire game. A lot of people online are suggesting a policy change to keep indie developers like EMIKA_Games from being punished financially for making games that are shorter due to budget or personnel constraints. The most common suggestion that I have seen is to make it so that if the end game achievement has been unlocked then no refund is to be given along with the two hour limit that is the current policy.

Now, onto the game. “Summer of ’58” is an awesome horror title. Instead of running around fighting zombies or other paranormal entities you are just a youtuber or other website investigator. So you are armed with a camcorder and your keen eye. There are a lot of jump scares, the ambient sound is stellar, and the pacing is just enough to build tension without being too quick or slow which can be an issue with some games of the same type in other genres, “Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture” for example which artificially lengthened the game by making you walk like a geriatric using a walker which detracts from how beautiful the scenery is and the fantastic story involved at times.

I love the fact that even after you beat the game you can go back into individual levels so that you can do achievement hunting or experience the best of the jump scares all over again.

I will be playing the other two games the same developer has released as I decided to buy the bundle during the current sale instead of just the one title in support for them and encouragement for them to return to at least finish the title that they had announced that is now TBA.

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