Valve has confirmed that it has not altered its refund policy for Hello Games' divisive sci-fi epic No Man's Sky, following reports refunds were being issued regardless of the amount of time a user had spent playing the game.
The game's listing on Steam now has a message that reads: "The standard Steam refund policy applies to No Man's Sky. There are no special exemptions available." The policy rules state that Valve will offer a refund if "the request is made within fourteen days of purchase, and the title has been played for less than two hours".
This follows a Reddit thread in which users claimed Steam had been offering refunds regardless of playtime on the basis of technical problems and accusations No Man's Sky had been falsely advertised.
The game, developed by a small team in Guildford, allows players to explore a procedurally-generated universe of billions of planets.
The enormous amount of hype that engulfed the game pre-release resulted in some players creating expectations for themselves that weren't met by the final product.
The sizeable backlash against the game from many has once again put digital video game refund policies under the microscope. There have also been reports that users have been getting refunds from Sony and other online stores, but the validity of these claims is currently unclear.
IGN has investigated, asking retailers about their policies. Speaking to the PlayStation UK customer support team, the reply was: "Only people with in-game technical issues can request a refund, and you'll be required to run through a list of troubleshooting options with the customer service representative before your case is passed over to the PlayStation investigation team, who will then decide if your case justifies a refund."
Amazon meanwhile said that refunds were only being offered on a case-by-case basis and refused to go into details.
We quite liked No Man's Sky, saying in our review: "It is a playground in which you have free rein to indulge the human urge to explore and discover, supported by a deep crafting system that keeps players engaged in their journey. Improvements could be made, new features could add greater depth, but Hello Games' achievement here is nothing short of incredible."