No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

March 7, 2013 -

Well, the good news is that EA's official Twitter for its digital distribution service Origin has confirmed that you will not be banned if you ask for a refund on your purchase of SimCity in light of the fact that you probably can't play it.

The bad news is that you more than likely ain't getting that refund.

So, what's a gamer to do?

Well, you can sign this new petition over at change.org that asks EA to remove SimCity's "always on" DRM and discontinue its use for all future games.

From the petition:

"When I, And millions of other people, buy a game that has a single-player experience. We expect it to work regardless of our connectivity to the internet, or quality of our connection. EA has made this impossible, so many people with an unstable connection will not even be able to play the game in the first place, let alone anyone who wants to play on the go/with no internet connection."

Yeah, that could have used another draft or two but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

As of this writing, the petition has 22,700 signatures.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Been waiting a long time on this one - but I think I'll have to skip. I'm kinda tired of EA's broken and crappy DRM.

Luckily, there are other good city builder games out there too.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Right, that's totally going to get EA to completely change their game.  Good luck with that...

I don't understand this.  You knew going in this was going to happen.  You knew the game required an online connection all the time.  You had to have known that there would be issues with the launch.  There has never been an online game that didn't have launch issues with the servers in the history of the world, and there never will be.  Granted, I didn't think it would be quite as bad as it turned out to be, but still.  You had to have known what you were getting into buying this game.

Frankly, it's really hard to feel sympathy for the people who bought this game.  You know EA's reputation for shit like this.

Stop. Buying. Their. Shit.
 

 

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Thank goodness this game is Origin exclusive, thus removing it from my consideration entirely and preventing me from getting caught up in all this bullshit.  ;)

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Calling it "DRM" is silly. Yes it has the effect of making it harder to steal the game, but the fact is that SimCity - like Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 before it - were built from the ground up to be "connected" experiences.

It's certainly the case that EA has monumentally screwed up this launch, and the inability to obtain refunds is certainly worth reporting. But it's not "always on DRM." It's "games as service," which is new and likely here to stay, and what we OUGHT to be talking about is how companies can avoid debacles like this in the future if they really do want to provide a service instead of a game.

Alexander Sliwinski at Joystiq said it best, in my opinion: if you go into a restaurant to review it, you simultaneously review both the food and the service. In this case, SimCity is the food, and the online experience provided by Origin is the service. Just like eating at a restaurant, the two are inseparable and should be equally important - both in the eyes of the reviewer, and to the establishment providing the "meal".

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Its DRM. Don't get caught up in their excuses, mis-truths, and out right lies. They make up reasons for why these things exist but everyone knows the REAL reason its there is so that they can try and prevent piracy(to the detriment of the legal paying players). Plenty of games have online modes and social features but at the same time do NOT require you to be online at all times, especially if all you want to do is enjoy the single player mode.  The lines they feed you about trying to create a better experience is nothing more than a way of trying to convince players that there's a reason for all this BS because they KNOW that bad DRM can ruin game sales (which it sounds like they may soon be experiencing); its basically just damage control.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Starcraft 2 did it right though you can also have an "offline" profile and play freely as you wish when you wish.

And when the service is not wanted, nor needed for full function, then what? Its more like going to a salad bar seeking a simple salad like you've always known and having someone force items on your tray without your consent or want for those items but they're required to eat there all of a sudden and without virtually any warning.

 

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Calling it "DRM" is silly. Yes it has the effect of making it harder to steal the game, but the fact is that SimCity - like Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 before it - were built from the ground up to be "connected" experiences.

I think many people think that's just an excuse. StarCraft and Diablo 2 both had strong online play, combined with truly offline solo play, as well as offline LAN play. The new aspects of the "connected" experience in these new titles is no more extensive than the features that existed in the old titles. The online features have been grafted onto the solo portion-- in effect, removing it.

The so-called enhancement is the justification for always-on. The real reason is DRM. Publishers know that people are willing to give up online multiplayer in order to pirate a game. Always on takes this option away, since there is no offline solo play.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

The issue with buying digital products directly from the source is that your being cheated. 

  • Your buying the game directly from the company who released it
  • There is no shipping or handling
  • There is no other fees involved getting the product to various stores

Your literally overpaying for what you pay for. Origin or rather EA wants to be its own store and digital provider only problem is they have no idea on how to talk or handle customers. That's why many people with poor social skills such as geniuses, geeks, nerds or whatever you want to call them find it hard to talk to people and chances are you're going to drive people away.

Imagine if Stanley Woo worked at a local store and treats you as he does? Chances are you're going to shop elsewhere.

EA has been on the record they love to rip off customers. Origin is a sink hole and it isn't even worth it.

On the other hand Steam though it takes a literal week to get a response from customer service chances are as a customer you'll get your way and leave happy. You can trade games with other people on the service and the Steam Client is always improving whether its Steam Cloud or Steam Guard. 

With EA's reputation I do not think they could ever be a contender of being massive digital retailer. There is just a stigma about EA that you cannot separate from it regardless of how progressive they are or their attacks on conservatives with marketing campaigns to appease their core customer.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

A petition won't get them to change anything, but Amazon no longer selling the game will hurt them more than anything. Maybe get more place to stop selling it until this gets sorted out, and they'll be forced to listen.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

I'm actually hoping that the low ratings on amazon will get their attention. The game has already been blasted with one star ratings and that may scare off plenty of customers even when Amazon starts selling the game again.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

I've read several posts from people saying they got refunds.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

For digital purchases?  Where?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Not entirely sure but I did notice a post where someone asked to be contacted back through an option, and the representative that called him back quickly gave the refund. I also found an image of an australian customer scoring a refund through australian customer law. Apparently if they don't state there might be server problems on the box, that law gives you refund rights. http://i.imgur.com/VEJIVmk.jpg

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

I would like to know this as well. Chances are if a company is refunding digital purchases it is doing this at a loss to keep customer satisfaction up. A company doing this does deserve a shout out but I think the OP is confusing a box purchase with a digital purchase. 

I hope I am mistaken.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

To be honest i cant say for sure, the posts i read just said "I got a refund, you should ask for one too", which implies digital, or he might have said "I took mine back to the store.... etc"

But I cant say for sure.

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

While their policy and EULA may allow them to get away with selling a non-functional product in the US without the possibility of refund, I believe that the UK may take a much dimmer legal view of that position. Should be an interesting show. Where's my popcorn?

Hans

Re: No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

Some states also have protection for consumers regarding this. Not sure which ones or how many, but i've read of several states adopting policies to protect from online scams that include legal backing in such situations as seeking a refund for a non functional digital product.

 
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