Released earlier this month to massive hype, the launch of British indie studio Hello Game's ambitious, near-infinite space exploration sim No Man's Sky was relatively successful. However, despite sky-rocketing to the top of the UK charts in its first week of release, many underwhelmed players have demanded refunds over the game's multiple missing features and alleged misleading marketing. Now it appears that Sony, Steam and Amazon US are beginning to accept refund requests for the game, regardless of the number of hours players clock in the game.
"Just heard on a random twitch channel they're giving refund so I gave it a shot even though I tried the day it came out, AND HOLY S**T IT WORKED," the Reddit post creator wrote. "I should mention I had 8 hours in the game, and a negative review."
Some players have reported that it took a few tries before their refund requests were eventually accepted. Some persistent gamers also claimed to have received refund via Steam's support ticket system despite wide variations in playtime.
Following the multiple threads filled with similar comments popping up over the weekend, an updated post on No Man's Sky's Steam page reiterates its refund policy saying: "The standard Steam refund policy applies to No Man's Sky. There are no special exemptions available." Steam's official refund policy requires that a request be made within 14 days of purchase with the game played for less than two hours.
Prior to the game's release, Hello Games founder and creative director warned that the game would be "super divisive" and may not necessarily be for everyone.
"It's an infinite procedural sci-fi-space-survival-sandbox unlike anything you have ever played before," Sean Murray wrote in a blog post on 8 August. "If you decide to play it, you'll see just how closely it plays to those trailers, and to our original vision. It's a weird game.
"It's a niche game and it's a very, very chill game. This game might not be for everyone, I expect it to be super divisive."
However, former Sony Computer Entertainment Europe strategic content director Shahid Ahmad took to Twitter to voice his opinion on the trend of players demanding refunds for the game regardless of playtime.
"If you're getting a refund after playing a game for 50 hours you're a thief," Ahmad wrote in a series of tweets. "Here's the good news: Most players are not thieves. Most players are decent, honest people without whose support there could be no industry.
"We're not talking about a consumer product in the factory sense. We're talking about a work of art. You can't just treat it like a widget."
Some gamers have echoed Ahmad's sentiments, criticising the trend as "absurd and opportunistic".
"This thread just makes me sad," NeoGaf user Shogun413 wrote. "I view video games as entertainment and a consumable product. I don't ask for a refund if I go see a movie that failed to live up to my expectations.
"Why should a game be any different, especially since a lot of people are just refunding because they didn't like the game and not due to technical issues."
Meanwhile, Hello Games announced on Sunday (28 August) that it has released an "experimental" patch for No Man's Sky via a new Steam branch. The latest PC patch addresses multiple technical issues and bugs including squashing one that "would cause some corrupt save games to not be loaded" and another that caused players to fall through the world and get stuck underground.
The developer also noted that this branch will be updated regularly with additional changes "inbound for Steam, GoG and PS4 in an upcoming patch".
One Reddit user compiled a list of changes observed after getting the game's 1.07 update on PS4.
No Man's Sky is available now for PS4 and PC.