It doesn't matter that gamers have been able to get more gameplay for their $20 than many $60 titles, the very fact that newcomers don't have to pay has retroactively made the years of free updates disappear like magic. It very smacks of a child who gets jealous at another kid's birthday party -- the kind of "If they get something, I want something" mini-communism attitude that all six-year-olds believe in.
As well as the refund, others are concerned that idiots and hackers will now flood the game, and that there will be too many newbies. There are some good arguments all over the Steam Forums, and around the Web.
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