Steam Experiments With 90-Minute Free Trials for Games

Steam is offering gamers the opportunity to play a game before deciding to spend any money through a new free trial option on select titles.

As Kotaku reports(Opens in a new window), the first game to offer this new Free Trial mode is Dead Space(Opens in a new window). It allows the game to be played for up to 90 minutes without any commitment to make a purchase. Even after a purchase is made, Steam offers a full refund if a title hasn’t been played for more than two hours during the first 14 days.

Steam's 90-minute free trial for games

(Credit: Steam)

It’s currently unclear how Steam will roll out this feature more widely, whether the time limit is adjustable, and just as importantly, how many publishers will decide to use it. The free trial and refund policy combined effectively allow someone to play three-and-a-half hours of a game while still being able to get their money back.

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Free trials for new triple-A games are sure to be popular, and especially so with Steam Deck owners who will appreciate being able to test how well a game runs on the handheld before deciding to buy it. If the trials also allow for smaller downloads, all the better for Steam Deck owners. If this new feature proves especially popular with Steam customers, we could eventually end up in a situation where any publishers opting not to use it start getting called out and pressure placed upon them to do so.

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