For the past few years, developers and publishers have been releasing video games that are broken or shipping without advertised features. In every situation, retailers and publishers alike have been known to tell consumers that all sales are final. Distressed players are then stuck with a game they paid for in full that isn’t in working condition. Not one other industry allows these shady business practices.
If you’re a citizen of the UK, then you’re in luck. According to The Consumer Rights Act 2015, people will be able to return or exchange products purchased that are incomplete or damaged, in any sense of the word.
Here’s a fun tidbit from CitizensAdvice.org.uk created to protect consumer rights.
What do I need to know?
In October, when the Consumer Rights Act comes into force, it will cover:
- what should happen when goods are faulty;
- what should happen when digital content is faulty;
- how services should match up to what has been agreed, and what should happen when they do not, or when they are not provided with reasonable care and skill;
- unfair terms in a contract;
- what happens when a business is acting in a way which isn’t competitive;
- written notice for routine inspections by public enforcers, such as Trading Standards; and
- greater flexibility for public enforcers, such as Trading Standards, to respond to breaches of consumer law, such as seeking redress for consumers who have suffered harm.
This could also mean that if paid services like X-Box Live or PSN struggle to stay powered, that users of both platforms are entitled to compensation of some sort.
PC marketplaces including Steam, Origin, and GoG had refund systems put in place throughout the year, ensuring that gamers could get their money back for products inconsistent with their descriptions. With new laws secured, at least in the UK, people who buy physical copies of games that are broken or unfinished should be entitled to full reimbursement.
I imagine that developers and publishers aren’t too fond of these new rules, but it’s time for them to recognize that gaming is finally emerging from infancy to adolescence, and must adhere to similar rules and regulations other mediums have been bonded to for decades.
Perhaps the new consumer protections will force companies to ensure their products are of utmost quality before arrival. I don’t think anyone wants to witness another Batman: Arkham Knight debacle, right?
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: assassinscreed.ubi.com