The ability to refund games protects consumers against scams and regretful purchases, but some would be surprised by just how frequently games get refunded. Garry Newman, the creator of Garry’s Mod, revealed that Rust has been refunded over 300,000 times since its release, adding up to a total loss of over $4 million. These stats were revealed on Twitter as Newman told fans that sales statistics were recently added to their backend.
While that may seem like a large number, PCGamesN spoke to Newman who said that refunds only equated to 6% of Rust’s total sales. This is similarly comparable to refund stats of other developers who he has spoken with.
Newman attributes these refunds to the game’s difficulty and mechanics which aren’t easy to learn. The most common reason for Rust’s refunds is that the survival game was “not fun.” He also believes that players use the refund system as a safety net so they can essentially try out the game as a demo.
“I put that down to people using the refund system as a demo,” Newman said. “I think in the long run, people knowing the refund system is there probably gained us more sales than it lost us.”
As Newman pointed out, it’s not all bad news. Rust has already sold over 5.5 million copies since it launched in 2013.