Steam finally launches free Game Trials after string of broken PC launches
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Featured Image Credit: Naughty Dog/Respawn Entertainment
Steam is finally launching free Game Trials after a string of broken PC launches.
It’s not been a great time for PC launches of late. Most recently, the releases of The Last of Us Part I and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor have been so botched, they resulted in mass refund requests from disgruntled customers.
Sometimes, a review bombing campaign can be done for the worst of reasons, case and point, the Horizon Forbidden West expansion, Burning Shores. However, in the case of The Last of Us Part I, it was a method to make gamers' voices heard by Sony and Naughty Dog.
Not that I necessarily agree with review bombing, but in the case of The Last of Us Part I, it could be argued as a reason why refunds were quickly issued. That being said, despite the dodgy port, it hasn't put Sony off from porting more console exclusives to PC, which should be a good thing.
In the case of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, despite being reviewed quite favourably, it also saw yet another botched PC port and at the centre of the reported issues, was its ill-performing framerate. EA did state that it will release a series of patches to fix those reported issues, but it was too little too late, and yet another review bombing campaign was initiated.
On consoles, having the option to buy physical games is a much easier process, rather than the common codes in boxes for PC. However, physical media across all formats in the rise of the digital age is ever-increasing. For the most part, returning a faulty physical game is easy enough, but that isn't always the case on PC.
It often seems to be somewhat of a wild west when it comes to returning digital games with various storefronts having their own set of rules. For the most part, Steam is one of the more customer-friendly stores and its service is becoming more favourable for the consumer.
As reported by PCGamesN, Steam has begun rolling out trials for select games with the first being the Dead Space remake. Granted, Steam does currently have a policy in place that a game can be returned if played for less than two hours, but at least with a trial, it means that the customer will not initially part with their cash. What’s more, if a refund is requested, that player has to go through a whole process.
The Dead Space trial is 90 minutes, so it means that customers can try the game, for a length not much less than Steam’s two-hour refund requirement, free of risk without parting with cash and not having to go through the refund process. Yet, it’s also worth keeping in mind that the Dead Space trial period ends on 29 May.
Hopefully, as Steam’s trial format rolls out to even more games, other digital storefronts will take notice and it will become a common practice across PC and consoles. At the time of writing, Sony offers trials for select games, but that’s only for PS Plus Premium subscribers.
Sometimes certain games might have a playable demo on various platforms, but that is a rare occurrence in this modern era, unlike in previous generations where demos were plenty and gamers could try before they buy. I wouldn't hold your breath for trials to become more widespread anytime soon, but we can only hope.