Origin Return Policy Announced

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2013 - 10:37 PM |
Tagged: origin, steam

EA wants Origin to succeed and they acknowledge some of their decisions hindered the distribution platform. They are fighting an uphill battle against Steam who are entrenched with both time and trust. Several years have passed since users felt Valve was forcing software into our taskbar notification area and, apart from release dates, their word is fairly... not demonized... unless it draws ire from some other fan-base.

It is usually the scrappy underdog to find new angles to compete from.

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Origin has the advantage of having a large catalog of first-party titles compared to its main competitor. Just announced, any EA game purchased on Origin is eligible for a full refund within the first 24 hours since it, the game, was first launched. This refund policy is limited to seven days after purchase or, if paid during pre-order, seven days after release.

Steam cannot easily compete on this ground. EA products on Origin make up some of the most visible entries. By far, most items purchases on Steam are not developed by Valve and should require intensive negotiations with multiple publishers. Meanwhile, Origin gains good faith with this policy and can suggest similar initiatives to third-parties content distributors as they sign on without any surprise.

After all users would, by then, expect refunds on Origin.

This is an interesting way for Electronic Arts to release control in exchange for revenue. I hope EA will continue to work with customers rather than fight them with horrific DRM and my-way-or-the-highway policies. Often the seduction of monetizing your control outweighs a rational assessment of how much resources you threw at acquiring said control. Consumers will accept you, just as they accept GoG, even if you are clearly interested in finances... just probably not if you treat them, your customers or potential customers, like enemies. I have said this before.

This is a good move along those lines. Work with your customers and more should come.

Source: Origin
August 20, 2013 | 01:20 AM - Posted by Andrew McP (not verified)

Blimey! The rebranding charm offensive continues; I'm impressed.

7 days though? That seems suicidally generous for most single player games. I like to think I'm a pretty moral person (don't we all, until it matters!) but this policy might test my resolve.

Whatever happens, this is potentially an interesting legal way to demo a new title. I just worry that it'll lose sales and make the new team unpopular where it matters... with accountants and shareholders. Though I guess the flipside of this will be the continuing move to microtransactions with everything. There seems to be no shortage of people prepared to swallow those transaction though, so who knows, overall this policy might work.

August 20, 2013 | 01:46 AM - Posted by HK-47 (not verified)

The time limit 24 hours from when the user first launched the game, or up to 7 days from the date of purchase (if the user never launched the game).

August 20, 2013 | 01:54 AM - Posted by Andrew McP (not verified)

Ah, thanks, that makes a lot more sense. I should read things twice after a long night at work and not enough coffee. :-)

August 20, 2013 | 07:36 AM - Posted by B3L13V3R (not verified)

Thanks for the clarification here as well... I'm actually in the midst of said morning coffee. The 24 hours is still enough time though to "demo" a game where demo's are becoming really rare for any major title. In fact I can't remember the last time I was able to demo a major title on PC.

MOH War Fighter was one of those titles that I became bored with in the first three hours. Not to mention the game play overall was tragic compared to the main title. That would have gone back even though it was only $10.

I love the idea, and it may drive the masses to a new way of using a system like this. Of course you KNOW Steam will have this covered as soon as they can work out the red tape.

August 20, 2013 | 06:39 AM - Posted by YTech

May be a good start to attract new customers as it is difficult to find demo versions before you buy.

They fail to explain exactly when the 24 hours starts. Is it when you make the purchase and begin downloading the executable? Is it when you execute the executable and enjoy more down time because the game is downloading more data-set or updates? What about crashes and down time for technical support?

For today's day, 24 hours is short. But the counter to start within 7 days of your purchase is good.

I feel this will become a MAC vs M$ competition (probably already is). Some people will stay with Steam because it grew on them.

And yes, the DRM is a major issue. It's more or less renting the product than owning/purchasing it.

Time will tell and so far, they seem they're trying hard to change for the better.

August 20, 2013 | 10:21 AM - Posted by SteeloYangster

This is absolutely fantastic news; for a digital vendor to even have a return policy is unimaginable. Ever since Riccitello's ousting, it seems like the new guy is doing a fantastic job of turning around EA's image. I remember reading a few months back that EA was going to make Origin more 'USER FOCUSED' and if this is what they're aiming for, then Steam will certainly have plenty of competition far into the future of PC gaming distribution.

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