Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) appears to be pretty popular among HEXUS readers, and peripherals maker Thrustmaster has even designed some new flight sim controls with a beady eye on the game. Visiting Steam, this game was at the top of the front page in prime promotional position (not logged in) today, so it must be doing well overall. However, there is a bit of controversy about Microsoft Flight Simulator (MFS) on Steam with regard to Valve's refund policy.
The issue many are having is not that they want refunds because they have played Microsoft Flight Simulator and they don't like it, but that Steam's refund system doesn't take into account the game's install mechanism.
In brief, Steam gives customers a two hour play window to evaluate a game during which time they can request a refund. However, on first run, Microsoft Flight Simulator wants to download 150GB of files before you play. Steam starts counting away the 2 hours of play time from when the game launcher runs for the first time and for most people 150GB is a hefty and time consuming download that can easily consumer the majority of the 2 hour play test period, if not several more hours.
Eurogamer reports that a reader with uncapped 500MB connection has been in touch to complain that the 150GB payload took three hours to completely download. These three hours were logged as play time.
Apparently Steam's refund policy / mechanism has lead to Microsoft Flight Simulator scoring less well in reader reviews. Several reviews mention the issue and this has lead to the game acquiring a 'mixed' overall review status.
Microsoft Flight Simulator became available yesterday. It costs £60 for the base game, with prices of £80 and £110 for the deluxe and premium deluxe versions, respectively. As an alternative method to try/buy the game, some suggest using the £1 Xbox Game Pass trial for PC and saving the files to transfer to your Steam directories if Steam is your preferred launcher / way to play.