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Xbox's Refund Policy is Amazing and Sony Should Feel Pressured - From a PlayStation Fan

GeekReply: In case you missed the news, because you’re playing all the amazing games Q1 of this year has to offer, a recent Xbox One dashboard image leaked from an alpha ring of testers. It stated that Microsoft would offer full refunds on their console and Windows 10 titles within fourteen days of purchase and two hours played. Incidentally, this came out shortly after my article on why I prefer PlayStation to Xbox. In that piece, I describe Xbox’s lack of games, Microsoft’s treatment of developers with its ‘Parity Clause,’ and how they’ve failed to take care of gamers as a whole. Well, this recent announcement takes true aim at the latter problem and I love it.

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ninsigma524d ago

I hope they are. It's a big flaw imo for any digital distribution system to not have something like it.

LackTrue4K523d ago

It's a good move. But this will be the down fall of GameStop and other similar stores.
(Sucks for the workers)

V0LT523d ago (Edited 523d ago )

Gamestops failure will be a result of their own stupidity.

subtenko523d ago

The downfall of gamestop would be people stop shopping there all together. Gamestop wouldnt have hate if they were consumer friendly. Yea noone is forcing you to try to get deals there like sell games back or w/e, but they could be much much better than they are...

showtimefolks523d ago

onyoursistersback

i think we are making too big of a issue out of gamestop, most casuals and by that i mean parents,grand parents etc shop at gamestop not bestbuy,target,walmart etc

gamestop's biggest core market are the casuals as we the gamers know most of the times which store is offering the better ideal

gamestop just got way too many stores and and that's why some are closing but if anyone thinks gamestop is going anywhere within next decade or more than they really don't understand how much gamestop makes every quarter

Death523d ago

Gamestop is going to have a hard time combating digital distribution. Used game sales hurt everyone except Gamestop. They refuse to work with devs and publishers with lost profits from used sales which is a big factor in the digital push. They have no one to blame but themselves and their greed. GME stock is down 30% over the past 52 weeks alone and has been on a consistent downward spiral for many years. Shutting down 150 of their 7500 stores is the tip of the iceberg.

NewMonday523d ago (Edited 523d ago )

if this is as advertised then it's a big positive, this alone could make me change platform, not marginal specs.

Sony actually first tried this with PS+ on PS3, but publishers refused, if this is not just for MS published games then it could open the door again for PlayStation to apply the same policy.

Wescyde523d ago

As much as I am not the biggest fan of Gamestop, they still have the best trade in value for games sadly. Occasionally best buy has better but if you are a pro member you can easily make some money and in some cases getting your money back if you have purchased through B2G1 free deals etc. I agree though. Most true gamers do little shopping at GS, thats the only draw back to the trade ins unless you get cash which again no one else allows, but you just get less back.

EatCrow523d ago

Gamestop already has refunds in place.
This will not affect them in that regard.

Gamestop has had every chance to improve. It's not like people have not voiced their concerns and opinions.
Corporate just does not seem to care.

Teflon02523d ago

Gamestop has gameplay guarantee I get to play a game for over a week and if I don't like it or beat it etc, I can bring it back and literally get a different game of the same price or anything and pay the difference. So if I bought a 80cad game after tax about 91cad I get that credit back towards anything pretty much. 2 hours is bs, in persona 5 you literally did one battle and do a few tutorials. I didn't even finish the first dungeon within 8 hours lol. Took like 4 to 5 hours to get to even start doing what I wanted

modelgod522d ago

I don't know why so many disagrees, he's absolutely right. As awkward as it may sound, the policy somewhat seems like an incentive to purchase digital games. Conversely, Gamestop does offer a refund 7 days after purchasing USED games so if you can run thru a game real quick, you can use gamestop as somewhat of your own personal blockbuster. We all know that game stop will become obsolete soon but it remains to be seen if this will be the beginning of the end.

morganfell522d ago

Yeah...another system that relieves people of thought and responsibility for their own actions.

3-4-5522d ago

I've been going to gamestop for 15+ years and I've never had a problem with them...maybe I'm just lucky.

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badz149523d ago

Seriously, why are people talking like refund is the way to go? It's a flawed system and can be abused. You know what is better? GAME DEMOS! Why the hell are devs not doing it anymore? And why aren't more gamers demand it instead of talking about refund?

Krysis523d ago

"GAME DEMOS" a game demo is nothing but a vertical slice of a game that is super polished and in no way details the final quality of the entire game. A game demo itself is a flawed system because a shady developer can easily abuse that system as well.
And as far as the refund system being abused, do you think the companies have evolved into mega corporations by being stupid, NO. Shady yes, but stupid no. There will systems in place to keep abuse to a minimum. Just like any other retail store that offers returns.

badz149523d ago

@Krysis

"a game demo is nothing but a vertical slice of a game that is super polished and in no way details the final quality..."

But a 2 hour gameplay is? And how do you vertical cut a game like for example Telltale's games? Or LEGO games? Or even FPS games? Football games? The gameplay stays the same the whole game and demos are excellent ways to see if it's to your liking or not. Plus, it's easier for platform holder to control the devs instead of consumers as in it's easier to call out devs for false marketing rather than calling out consumers for fraudulent refund claim.

KwietStorm523d ago

I don't disagree with you, not entirely. It's really kind of ridiculous that demos are an endangered species. There's likely several reasons why we don't get demos anymore, whether it be because the retail version of the game is incomplete and they're trying to hide it, or because it didn't fit their schedule, or because they didn't have the resources to actually do it. Making a proper demo is similar to a stage presentation, where it has to be specifically cultivated for that bit of gameplay. That doesn't necessarily work for every studio or game in the confines of their development schedule. Regardless, we should have demos.

That being said, let's not take away the importance of a refund policy. Digital storefronts on consoles aren't what we have on PC, but they've been making improvements over time, and there really isn't any reasonable excuse as to why we haven't had the ability to get a refund after all this time. Preloading was another big step. Digital pricing is another, because a digital game just shouldn't cost the same price as physical, for obvious reasons. Either way, you shouldn't be looking at refunds as replacement for demos.

badz149523d ago (Edited 523d ago )

@KwietStorm

I'm far from against any consumer friendly practice but like I said, I think demos are the ultimate solutions to this and it's a sad situation we're in at the moment because back when not that many people had good connections last gen, demos were aplenty and personally, many times I've made my purchase decisions based on demos, whether I buy the game or not. But just as we entered the new generation, with a lot more people can now afford good connections, and digital distributions are as flourishing as they have ever been, the demos just disappeared from the scene! this is totally not the way I imagined it would be back then. It should have been the other way around! and I think this is the issue that platform holders are suppose to tackle, not going straight for refund policies!

some might say "we now have betas"...sure but betas are a bit different in what they are trying to represent. of course demos are basically glorified portion of the game to attract buyers and there's nothing wrong with that, that's just marketing and a convincing ones at that compared to on-stage demonstrations which are usually questionable in their accuracy towards the actual product. that's why we are always hearing the term "downgrades" now due to these unrealistic stage demos which I can equate to "false marketing" and I think platform holders shouldn't have let this trend took off in the first place. (I'm looking at you, UBISOFT!)

and the issue of refund arises from consumer's own fault, whom which have decided to part ways with their hard earned money towards a product without properly investigating what they are getting themselves into. so what if there's no demos? there are tons of let's play, gameplay and reaction videos online to help you decide but NOPE...let's us all believe the HYPE and throw our money at these developers and publishers and when the product is not exactly as expected or broken, let us all whine and demand the entitlement of REFUNDS! pathetic.

I fully agree that devs should take full responsibility for their games but in this day and age when more often than not, games are released in unfinished states, needing 1st day patches, games botched into small pieces and called as special / ultimate / deluxe edition, DLCs announced before launch, overpriced season passes etc...these practices were the result of gamers who supported them in the first place, so those corporate snakes are looking into more ways to make you believe you're getting more bangs for your buck when in reality you're just getting forcefully penetrated in the rear for being a fan!

what I'm trying to say here is, demos are important and we really need them back and for gamers to be smarter and getting themselves well-informed in their purchases to avoid from having to deal with refund. there's really no need to pre-order any game because those pre-order bonuses are just contents they ripped away from the full game to lure you into thinking you're getting extra. refund policies are nice and all but...it's just sad to see that many are thinking it's the only way to protect themselves from crappy purchases when in reality, those crappy purchases could have been easily avoided with a small effort of watching YT videos! open your eyes and open your minds, people!

Condemnedman523d ago

how can this be bad news?? anyone abusing the system can be banned . haven't you ever purchased a game and wished you could return it.

badz149523d ago

@Condemnedman

never once I said that this is bad news. I even supported it but I see it as one of those things that is wrong with gaming community these days. that includes both providers and consumers

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KwietStorm522d ago

badz if your first sentence in response to me says, "..I think demos are the ultimate solutions to this.." I kinda feel like you didn't read what I said. Refunds are not a replacement for a lack of demos. They can, and should coexist. I even went a little in depth on the demo situation. But that doesn't mean we, as consumers, should be disallowed the right for a refund of an unsatisfactory product. Again, I don't disagree with you a out demos, but *this is not about game demos.* It's about refunds.

ULTp0ltergeist522d ago

Because people want full access to a game and to have enough time to check it's features and gameplay. Instead I would rather have all games have a confined demo months before hand so gamers could at least try the game and can be used as a cheap promotion instead of limited cgi trailer.

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Kyizen523d ago

Would love getting 2 hour free plays of indie games just to try them and not buy them. Hell I could of beat Journey and not paid a dime!

xwabbit523d ago (Edited 523d ago )

Steam did this years ago lol, they even implemented the SAME policy, they didn't even try to change it a bit lol

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CocoaBrother524d ago

I'm all for pro-consumer policies/ideas.

Sony and Nintendo should implement this or a similar policy.

Cmv38523d ago

I think it is a proper consumer friendly idea. To keep it from being abused, i think the time to play should be based on the estimated completion time. I.e. journey is a great game, doesn't take 2 hours to complete. So its window should be no more than 15 minutes. Uncharted could use 2 hours.

SolidGear3523d ago

And similar, a large and open world game such as Witcher 3 or Fallout 4 should be around 5 hours or so.

Kingthrash360523d ago

People are forgetting that devs will hate this and choose no room support xbox because of this.
It is a good idea but 2 hrs is too long. They need a percentage system..like 10% or less.
5 hrs...no. that will scream abuse.

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Dirtnapstor523d ago

I believe a refunding type of policy would become a whipped puppy, detrimental to publishers and developers in the long run. One gamer may love their purchase while another may regret, spouting nonsensical arguments. What justifies a refund then. Just because you regret a purchase doesn't mean you are entitled to a refund. Consumers need to have a sense of accountability for themselves also.
PSN provides a "free weekend" periodically for us to download and play a game. It locks up after the window closes. If I like it, I buy it. If not, I delete it. I don't know why this type of thing couldn't be implemented more often. Then it's entirely on me, and the blame game goes away.
...Or wait for reviews or Redbox it.

Apocalypse Shadow524d ago

Definitely a pro consumer policy if implemented correctly. I'm actually all for it especially after the "No Man's Lies."No one likes to be stuck with a title they don't like or mislead by. It will come down to what can be refunded and how many times a week/month of refunds is considered "abuse."

Playing devil's advocate, all of this could have been solved before implementing a refund policy by just having demos. And not having to pay into services like EA access to demo a game early. You should be able to demo any game like the old days. The lack of demos across the board is why this policy even exists.

And, how many 3rd parties are onboard for this on Xbox? Some games are short, inexpensive arcade style games. It wasn't length that made you play something over and over. It was fun factor and challenge that brought you back. Which is subjective. So, what's the refund policy on a $5.99 game with a 2 hour or less length?

Indy developers, may drop their support for Xbox and only make PlayStation and Nintendo titles because they would end up being hurt by refunds the most. Indy developers aren't rich like Ubisoft, Activision and EA and could fold by too many returns. Has nothing to do with making a great game. Great games are, again, *SUBJECTIVE* Unless Sony and Nintendo implement the same policy giving Indies no where to run.

Will just have to wait and see what happens. Refunds of digital games are a result of not enough demos across all games.I definitely want it to exist though.

gangsta_red524d ago

I agree with demos. I recall the 360 making it a requirement to have demos for your games if they're offered through the digital marketplace. This should have been carried over to the Xbox One and I think if this was the case there would be no need to have a digital refund policy because you could just play the demo to see if you like the game.

I seriously doubt that indie developers will drop Xbox because of this policy because if anything it will make them look bad and an appearance of not only having confidence in their game but probably trying to pull one over on a customer. I keep reading Steam has it (I don't know how it works for them tho) and I am sure Steam has not lost a lot of their indie support.

Apocalypse Shadow523d ago

I agree gangster on the first part. So I won't disagree. The second part I'm not so sure. Again, Indy developers are trying to break into the business and may not be funded by a big publisher. Refunds will kill them.

All someone has to do is stream an Indy developer's game on twitch, poorly review it and get others to not buy it or return it because of a new refund policy. Won't hurt EA. EA has money. But they will go after that twitch streamer in some fashion. The Indy developer, barely making ends meet will have to close.

But just like you and Darth said, all games should be required to have a short demo like on 360. Even the old days had demos in magazines that I loved to pick up. For my game news and a way to try something new. Even the games I wasn't looking for, I still tried them on the disc to see if I would actually like it. Some I did go buy because I was surprised on how fun it was.

Same thing when I was a franchise manager at Game crazy. If a customer wanted to try it, I went over to the Hollywood video side, asked for a rental disc and let the customer play it. Even though I and my guys knew games, it was the customer who had to like it.

Also, what I did was when a new game came out, I popped the game into the demo units that looked like this
http://www.gettyimages.com/...

And as manager, if it was the last one, I would sell that copy with a 10% discount since it was an open copy. But I was a firm believer in "try before you buy" if could get you a playable copy. It's why I hate GameStop. They never let gamers try anything. The demo stations are just for show most of the time.

But the refund policy is only because companies either don't have the resources or time to make a demo or they don't want you to know it's not for everybody resulting in low sales. Same with a video. If a game doesn't have a video, I won't buy it right off. I go look for reviews or a YouTube video to see if I will like it. If there was a demo, i wouldn't have to go off researching the game. But refunds are a last resort but shouldn't be the first. But I do like the option to be there.

Bigpappy523d ago

Whether or not indie get hurt is irrelevant to me. This is consumer protection. Indie make more junk than other developer. Because they are selling the games cheaply doesn't mean they get to play gotcha at my expense.

Why o why523d ago

Bigpappy I think the 2 hour limit hurts indies or indie style games. You could half complete some indie games in that time so I get their angle....its also tru about the gotcha though....we shouldn't have to suffer just because the developer is small... A good middle ground is shortening the limit for indie games, maybe an hour.

The other players should definitely follow microsoft... I'm pleased this seems to be the consensus

Death523d ago

Many indies are larger companies down sizing and taking advantage of the self publishing policies to make a quick buck with the low risk/high reward business model in place for indie games. I'm amused by the people that believe these are just some little guys trying to make it big and be the next Naughty Dog or Bungie studio. The reality is it's simply a better place to make a quick buck without having to waste time on quality work.

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darthv72523d ago (Edited 523d ago )

You got a point. I hadn't really thought about it until lately but... where did the demos go? I can remember being able to demo all sorts of games on 360 and ps3 and now there are some but rather old ones like dead rising 3 (a timed demo with limited number of replays) for example.

I was even able to demo indie games on 360 and I recall there being a discussion about indie demos and how they didnt want that because what if people dont like the game from the demo when that is not indicative of the final product.... that sort of thing happens but at least the consumer got to try before they buy.

I played the nier demo on ps4. I liked it and will get the full game at some point. But it was a nice taste of the game. I wish there was a demo of horizon or gears 4. Games I know I will get at some point but would like to at least whet my appetite.

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freshslicepizza523d ago (Edited 523d ago )

@Apocalypse Shadow
"Playing devil's advocate"

which is your agenda all the time when it comes to microsoft. how ironic, you opned up with a short paragraph praising it and about 4 paragraphs questioning it and telling us why it could be a problem.

"Indy developers, may drop their support for Xbox and only make PlayStation and Nintendo titles because they would end up being hurt by refunds the most."

i'm sure you would be overjoyed about that if it occurred. the real irony of course is you asking about what happened to demos. what happened was the game developers didn't want them as they blamed it could have a negative impact on game sales. so as you can see there is no perfect solution but again you never seem to see things through the eyes of a consumer but rather who you can summarize by comparing companies all because of your anger towards microsoft. which is why you never plays devils advocate for the others as much.

Apocalypse Shadow523d ago (Edited 523d ago )

Never mind moldy Why o why. He shows his true colors every time he posts. It's like talking to a child with him. It's why no one cares what he says most of the time.

He didn't notice that I said I'm all for the refund policy. I'm just wanting to make sure it benefits gamers and developers. And, what is considered abuse should be revealed so as every gamer knows their limits. But I still think there should be demos besides the refund.

Death523d ago

Being worried an indie studio would go under for making shovelware sounds silly at best. Wanting to promote shovelware or placing it under the "pros" column is troubling. Perhaps a refund policy for ALL bad games would help insure we have less bad games to get screwed on. I'm ok with this as should most people that aren't in the business of making bad games.

Stogz523d ago (Edited 523d ago )

Are you at all aware that every statement you make calling others out for being brand warriors and trashing MS can be directly applied to you on 95% of the posts you make here?

On topic this is a decent system and I hope the others follow suit in a similar way.

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Patriot4Life523d ago

Doesn't Steam have a similar policy?

Don't see Indies pulling away from Steam...plus the large percentage of Gamers who buy games and don't like them hardly go through the trouble of refund process, they just let it be a lesson learned and not trust that Dev again.

The only time I could think where people wanted a refund was No Man Skies but TBF that was out of spite to show the developers that you don't lie and over hype a again and expect people to sit down and take it.

shiva1523d ago

There are indies who made games ultra long and $60 who got to reveal their game on E3 stage. Once the game came out it sold in millions pretty fast. The same people were begging for refunds even much faster. NMS.

A consumer should not fight for a refund. A developer should not fight with critics on unfair scoring. A console manufacturer should not fight with consumer, developer and critics to sell their box.

At the end of the day... The community which likes that game will keep it and keep on gaming on it.

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SCW1982524d ago

Agreed, it works awesome on Steam and I am glad Microsoft incorporated it as well. Hopefully Sony follows suit.

V0LT523d ago

Exactly. And if you abuse the system they will certainly let you know.

subtenko523d ago

how? If someone isnt satisfied and it goes according to the policy then they arent holding up their own end.

bluefox755523d ago

I don't think they do. As far as I'm aware you can buy game after game and get refund after refund without any consequence? Maybe I'm wrong.

audiocafe523d ago

Yeah on Steam if they feel that you may be abusing the refund system to play a lot of games for free for two hours they may stop offering the service to you

http://store.steampowered.c...

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BlakHavoc523d ago

I don't get how publishers would be ok with this.

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