If you need to stop selling your product for some reason, Valve can help you make the necessary changes. This documentation will be helpful if you are cancelling or retiring a game, or if you have lost distribution rights and need to stop selling a title. Our biggest priority is making sure customers are treated fairly, so please follow the steps outlined below.
Before reaching out, take a moment to carefully consider whether or not pulling your game down is actually the right choice. Are you acting based on an emotional response to negative feedback, or is retiring your game the appropriate next step? We take our relationship with customers seriously, so if you choose to cancel development of a game and retire it from the store, we will not republish it again later and we may offer refunds to any users who purchased it.
Here are some details on the process:
- Contact Valve via the developer forums or email@example.com - When you contact us, please provide as much background as possible. How we handle the situation depends on context- how long have you been selling the game? Why do you need to stop selling it? Does it rely on servers or other functions that customers will no longer be able to access? Did you lose the rights to distribute the game? What is your timeline? Once you contact Valve, we’ll hide the purchase option and take other appropriate steps as needed.
- Contact other retailers if you sell your product via Steam key - If your title is no longer sold on Steam, it should also be retired from any other stores where you sell Steam keys, including retail and your own website. It’s not OK to continue selling Steam keys if the game is no longer listed on the Steam store. You will need to get a list of unsold keys from each of your retailers and ban them using the Ban CD Key Tool
- Communicate the change to your customers - It’s important to explain the situation to your customers. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, but do let your users know what to expect, especially if your game relies on hosted servers that customers will no longer be able to access.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: What about Free to Play games?
A: Treating customers fairly is the most important thing to us, so we ask that you give your customers at least 90 days notice before retiring a Free to Play game. You should disable any in-game purchasing, and contact us following the instructions above. Our hope is that customers have fair warning and get a chance to use up any remaining in-game currency or items before your game goes offline.Q: What about refunds?
A: All purchases are covered by the normal Steam refund policy. In some cases, we may choose to extend the option to customers to refund beyond the normal policy, for instance if a new game is cancelled or some promised content or features are not delivered. We may offer refunds to Free-to-Play customers if they haven’t had the opportunity to get value out of their in-game purchases.Q: What if I need to temporarily disable purchases or new installs of my game?
A: If your game is in a state where you simply can’t handle more new customers, such as overloaded game servers, we can temporarily hide the purchase or play option on your store page. Please follow the steps above as appropriate in contacting Valve.