EBF5: Refund Report

Hey guys, I finally got round to doing something that I’ve been avoiding for a whole year, and that’s reading through people’s reasons for refunding Epic Battle Fantasy 5.

Steam asks users to select a reason for their refund, and also gives them the option to leave a comment. 3.5% of EBF5 units were refunded, and 0.3% were cancelled due to payment issues. Let’s take a look at the reasons for refunds, starting with the most common…

By far the biggest reason for refunds was that the game was “not fun” – this was roughly 50% of the refunds. Some examples include:
“I just found it boring and repetetive.”
“Some parts appealed to me, but others did not.” (puzzles, graphics, music, story, difficulty level, etc)
“The other games in the series are free and more or less just as good.”
“It’s decent but I don’t like it enough for $15.”
“Bought it ’cause it had good reviews but it wasn’t fun or what I expected.”
“I liked the other games but I guess my tastes have changed or I’ve just had enough of it.”

I’m alright with those. I much prefer users admitting that the game isn’t for them and getting a refund, rather than trying to get their money’s worth and leaving a bad review after a few hours of boredom.

Quite a lot of people bought the game before getting their launch-day discount coupon, and wished to purchase it again later. Totally fair.

There was a surprising amount of accidental purchases:
“I don’t really want to play it now, but maybe later.”
“I meant to buy it as a gift for someone.”
“My friend bought it on my account as a joke.”

Many of these accidental purchases were also people not realising that the game was only for Windows.

Altogether, around 20% of the refunds were due to various accidental purchases.

Poor performance was the main refund reason that I expected to see, but it wasn’t that common after all. Maybe around 15-20% of the refunds were due to “low framerate”, “system requirements not met”, “game crashes”, etc. Very few people specified that they could not run the game at all, which was nice to see.

A handful of people said that a lack of controller support was the reason that they refunded the game – but not enough for me to consider adding it. Similarly, a handful of people mentioned a lack of 4k support, or fullscreen mode not working for whatever reason. I can’t support every type of hardware, especially cutting-edge stuff, so I’m not gonna beat myself up about that – and some of these issues could have been resolved by sending me a message anyway.

Overall, I think things went very well, and this feedback was more positive than I expected. A high refund rate is not always a bad thing – it may mean a lot of people are impulse buying your game because it looks good. EBF5’s refund rate is a little bit below the average, from what I recall.

14 thoughts on “EBF5: Refund Report

  1. ShadowsSun

    Working up the courage to read through hundreds of reports from people who ended up not wanting something you made must have been a really terrifying prospect.

    Reply
  2. kui_blader

    Thanks for sharing, it’s very interesting. I don’t have much experience with refunds and I can’t even remember the few games I myself have refunded so it’s nice to know some reasons for refunding a game and which reasons are more recurring.

    (I can’t believe I haven’t thought about 4K though, totally want it now.)

    Reply
  3. Catscarlet

    Windows Only is a big issue. Pls pay attention about that.
    I use a Linux Laptop when not at home. Most of games I bought on Steam can be played by using Proton. Proton solves lots of problems. Some others recommend me of Lutris for games that not in Steam but I haven’t tried yet.
    I tried EBF4 on my laptop and sadly it won’t start with Proton.

    Reply
    1. Matt Roszak Post author

      I’ve heard from a few people that EBF5 works fine using Steam Play/Proton, and if that fails, they can just run it as a Flash file.
      EBF4 doesn’t have those options, but I may revisit it someday.

      I’ve got no plans to fully support Mac and Linux. It’s not worth the trouble for me.

      Reply
  4. Piko

    Well, for what it’s worth… The port from Flash to standalone application performs terrible, and the full screen mode works janky too.

    The browser version scales to any high resolution just fine, but when you hit fullscreen mode it gets blurry beyond reason.

    Comparison:
    Fullscreen mode – https://i.imgur.com/knDE56w.png
    No fullscreen mode – https://i.imgur.com/uuU5FAy.png

    I truly love this game, but would much rather buy a browser version of it on Kongregate or similar, as it just works much better than on Steam.

    Reply
    1. Matt Roszak Post author

      Are you just running the Flash file?
      The Steam version has more resolution options, if you run it as an application.
      Something weird is going on if you’re not getting those.

      Reply
  5. RockOwlGamer

    I know it sucks to read so many reports of why they refunded but know that you have my support

    while the performance can be slowed a bit at times, its still enjoyable to me

    hell EBF 3 still one of my favorite rpgs just because of nostalgia I had when I first played it in high school

    Keep on keeping on my man

    Reply
  6. jie119168

    Sometimes one medal may not occur when its’need has been reached, In version 1.52. And I don’t know whether that bug has been fixed.
    Hope to Make EBF Great Again!

    Reply
  7. jie119168

    Actually in the game, not only on steam.
    I found this bug when I finished Poseidon EPIC defeat medal, while one of my friend found a similar bug when he finished the medal of Secret Farm.
    It makes me wonder whether this might not be occurred just in one single medal.

    Reply
      1. jie119168

        Bug again?!After beating retro rush (the RETRO GAMER medal), I found this medal missing, and still don’t know why.
        Another kind of bug occurred during the battle with PHIOENIX, when I finished my turn and it was time for PHIOENIXs to act, these birds just stopped acting, and nothing happened wherever I clicked. So I had to restart the whole game and retry the retro rush from the first wave!!!

        Reply
        1. Matt Roszak Post author

          I’m aware of the Phoenix bug – but still not sure why it happens.
          I’ll look into the medal one.

          Reply

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