Unforetold: Witchstone - Refunds and Delisting

HiddenX

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Recent announcements from the developer that Steam will approve refund requests for anyone who puchased the game before the recent price decrease to $9.99. Game is also being delisted from the Steam store:

Unforetold: Witchstone, Refunds and Delisting

Dear community,

For any among you that are not yet aware, we have suspended the production of Unforetold: Witchstone indefinitely. The combination of poor sales and a primary funding source falling through for us at a critical time meant that we could no longer support our amazing team. As a result, we were forced to let most of our people go and halt production, leaving Unforetold: Witchstone in an unfinished state. This was an incredibly difficult time for all of us, and we understand the disappointment that you, our players, felt.

As mentioned in our previous statement, we have been speaking with Steam since before this news became public about possible solutions for those that already purchased the game. We thank you all for your patience, and are happy to say that, after concluding our talks with Steam, they have agreed to offer the following:


  1. If you purchased the game before the price drop to $9.99 USD, Steam should now approve your refund request. In order to submit a request, please log in to Steam support and select "View complete purchase history," then select Unforetold: Witchstone and choose "I have a a question about this purchase."
  2. If you purchased the game after the price drop, Steam's normal refund policies will still apply.
We also stated that we were keeping the game on Steam due to legal obligations, even though it was not our preference. Since then, we have reached an agreement with previous financial partners regarding the continued presence of the game on Steam. As such, as of March 27th, 2024, the game will be delisted from Steam. This means that:


  1. The game will no longer be available for purchase on the Steam marketplace.
  2. Those of you that own the game and choose not to refund it will continue to have access to it in your Steam library.
Thank you again to everyone for your patience as we sought solutions for this matter. Your support has meant the world to us, and this decision was not one made lightly. We ask that you please do not hesitate to request a refund if it is right for you. More than anything, we value the feedback you provided as we worked together on content and fixes for Unforetold: Witchstone; feedback that we will continue to carry with us to all future endeavors.

All the best,
Spearhead Games
Thanks Daveyd!

More information.
 
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Note also that if you want a refund make sure to follow the instructions. Do not submit a refund request the normal way. People on the forums were reporting that their refund requests get denied, presumably because Steam ordinarily automates it to check your playtime and purchase date (which normally has to be less than 2 hours played and less than 2 weeks from date of purchase to qualify for a refund).

So make sure to request a refund by using the "I have a question about this purchase" so an actual person will read your request.
 
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This is how it should always be, so good on them for being legit. A shame that being legit around the Early Access culture is a rarity, but at least Spearhead Games are doing their part, which is to be respected.

If fully refunding customers when the product is not delivered within an agreed timeframe (or ever) becomes a lawfully enforced practice, I may even go back to supporting games in Early Access/Kickstart.
 
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It may involve extra work and such yet I believe that in the long run this was the right way to go. And it might serve as notice/warning to other products that are forever lingering on the proverbial fence.
 
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I'm very surprised at this! Aren't there many (and I mean several hundred if not thousands) of abandoned EA games out there? Is Steam planning to do refunds for all of them?
 
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I'm very surprised at this! Aren't there many (and I mean several hundred if not thousands) of abandoned EA games out there? Is Steam planning to do refunds for all of them?
I don't think there are many games where the devs announced they were discontinuing work less than 8 weeks after uploading it. I'm pretty sure the timing of it is why Steam is making an exception here.
 
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I'm very surprised at this! Aren't there many (and I mean several hundred if not thousands) of abandoned EA games out there? Is Steam planning to do refunds for all of them?
I highly doubt Steam is eating the cost. The developer probably agreed to some special arrangement where they've returned some money to Steam (or agreed to forfeit their payment), to cover the copies that get refunded. So that's likely the difference here.
 
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And as I understand it, the initiative for this came from the developer, not from Steam. So I guess it won't automatically affect what happens to the other abandoned EA's.
 
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Well, so far it did not work for me. I followed the instructions to the letter and even referenced the message, I had my request denied twice more. I read some others were more lucky, I have no idea why mine was denied (less than 1 hour played but more than 2 weeks - obviously - owned). At this point I'll let them have the money (30 bucks, who cares?), and boycott Steam (no more new games, obviously I am going to play the ones I have, LOL) for the future. GOG will get my money.
 
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I highly doubt Steam is eating the cost. The developer probably agreed to some special arrangement where they've returned some money to Steam (or agreed to forfeit their payment), to cover the copies that get refunded. So that's likely the difference here.
Must be forfeiting - they don't have any money to pay with.

@mbpopolano24 Boycott Steam because Spearhead posted a message saying there would be refunds? Has Steam actually said anything about this yet?
 
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Just letting you all know that a Discord friend who owned the game had it fully refunded within 48 hours using the method indicated by Spearhead Games, from what they tell me with no additional hurdles or interactions from their part, other than the initial 30 seconds it took them to follow the clear instructions that were laid out; they had owned the game for 1 month and played about 5 hours at the time of the refund request.

As far as I can tell, everyone is being honest and straightforward about it, which again, is very welcome.

Edit: Proof was shared too Witchstone refund.jpg
 
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At best I'd think steam would only consider refunds if there were clearly fraudulent activities. And even then it would likely be a case by case basis. I'm pleased that the designers did something for the consumers, in this instance.
 
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I don't think they had much of a choice in this case. They would have lost credibility if they hadn't agreed to refund a game that was abandoned 2 months after release.
 
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Well, I did get my refund approved this morning. I had purchased it on day one and played for ~12 hours.
 
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