The Epic Game Store launched last week, and while that launch has seen significant support from developers, the response from players has been much more mixed. Refunds are a major point of confusion, and Epic’s messaging hasn’t exactly given us a concise breakdown of what to expect – but the company has provided enough responses in different places that we can piece it together.
There will be an automated process for refunds, and you’ll have two tokens that refresh annually in order to claim them. Those refunds can be used within two weeks of a game’s purchase, and will offer your money back with “no questions asked.”
But this isn’t how the system works in practice yet. Epic’s Sergey Galyonkin notes that the store is “work in-progress,” and the refund system – along with “reviews, achievements, mod support, parental controls, and more currencies for regional pricing” – will be properly implemented later. Galyonkin’s Twitter is also where we find that automated refunds are coming, as well as how the token system will work.
In the meantime, manual refund requests through Epic support, though early refund requests certainly weren’t the “no questions asked” process promised in the official FAQ. Instead, automated responses asked for numerous bits of account data ranging from the last four digits of a credit card tied with the account to your IP address. An Epic rep responded on Reddit to say that wasn’t supposed to happen and, as Eurogamer notes, the company is now making the much more reasonable request of just the invoice number from your purchase.
Whether the planned implementation is a good refund policy remains a topic of debate. Steam offers fourteen day refunds without any token limitations (though Valve will certainly cut you off if you start to abuse it), but the store does put down a two hour limit on playtime, after which you can no longer claim an automated refund. International law puts different requirements on refunds worldwide, and it’s worth noting that Valve and Ubisoft were both fined in France this year for poor policies.
Epic Game Store refunds will be broadly similar to those on Steam when the system is properly live. Until then, it sure would be nice if there was a central place that plainly explained all this so we weren’t forced to dig through social media responses for clarity.