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Microsoft tries out refunds for digital Xbox, Windows games

An update lets some gamers get their money back within 14 days and two hours of playtime if they don't like a game.

Microsoft's Xbox One: Try a game, any game.
Sarah Tew/CNET

There's nothing worse than buying a game, especially a $60 one, only to find it's not what you expected. (See: No Man's Sky.)

For PC gamers, the digital download platform Steam already offers a refund window in which you can "return" a digital game. Now, a similar system is coming to Microsoft's Xbox One and to games purchased through Microsoft's Windows app store.

Microsoft's new plan, currently being rolled out to some members of its Insider programs (who are essentially public beta testers), allows for refunds of games within 14 days of purchase, as long as the game has been played for less than two hours. Add-on downloadable content, aka DLC, is not eligible.


The new feature came to light when screenshots of the Insider program update were posted to Reddit on Wednesday. Microsoft later confirmed the limited rollout.

"We're always looking for new ways to improve the customer experience and regularly release new features into the Insider Program to encourage and foster fan feedback, which helps us test and refine features before they reach general availability," Microsoft said. "Earlier today, we enabled self-serve refund pilot testing for digital content via the Xbox and Windows Insider Programs and this testing is presently limited to select Insider members."

There's no word on when the refund policy may expand to all Xbox and Windows gamers.