Your Move, Steam: Origin Offers Full Refunds

By Nathan Grayson on August 20th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Well now, here is something. If you go through every article we’ve ever written about EA’s Origin service (because what else do you have to do on a beautiful, possibility-packed, er, Tuesday), you’ll find that we’ve basically just written a series of pleas. “Come on, EA. Just do something – anything – worthwhile, interesting, or different with your proprietary ball-and-chain,” our posts may as well read. But now, finally, they kinda have. I guess. If you decide you’re not a fan of your purchase within 24 hours, you can simply toss it back into the sea of weird flame wheel logo things from whence it was birthed.

The option comes as part of an Origin policy update, and it might just be one of the most uncharacteristically consumer-friendly things EA has ever done.

“The new Origin Great Game Guarantee works like this: You may return EA full game downloads (PC or Mac) purchased on Origin for a full refund – within 24 hours after you first launch the game, within seven days from when you purchased it, or within the first seven days after the game’s release date if you pre-ordered it (whichever of these conditions happens first).”

“If something doesn’t work out – you aren’t riveted by the storyline, or sucked in by the action, or even just if the game doesn’t play well with your video card – we’ve got your back.”

Wild, right? Steam, by contrast, offers no such guarantee. And the legal fine print – which you can give the magnifying glass treatment to here – is pretty reasonable, though EA can deem certain uses of the policy as abuse of the system. But that makes pretty good sense, given that one could conceivably beat a short game and then return it in the span of a day.

The Origin Far Too Cheerful Corporately Sterilized Friendly Name Guarantee is live in 20 countries right now, and it’ll be worldwide by the end of September. That said, it only applies to EA-published games for now. It’s a pretty huge deal, though, considering that this isn’t really a standard feature for game services in the digital age. But, you know, would’ve been kinda nice if EA had whipped this one up before SimCity dropped the ball and squashed all our hopes and dreams, huh?

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134 Comments »

  1. MaXimillion says:

    Well, I guess this means they can’t afford to botch up a release as badly as they did with SimCity again.

    Steam does give refunds though, although they don’t have such a clearly defined refund policy.

    • Guvornator says:

      But only really for technical reasons, i.e bugs, unplayable games or the publisher misleading customers. What EA are saying is you can return any game, as long as you haven’t completed it, within 24 hours from when you first launched it. Which is pretty cool, frankly. Although for the new Medal of Honor, I wanted to return it as soon as I completed it, thanks to it’s ridiculous “All warriors are brothers” nonsense*.

      Of course to know when you’ve launched, they’ll have to be spying on your computer from afar, which will represent a massive shift on policy on EA’s behalf (cough)…

      • Sheng-ji says:

        To be fair, achievements could be considered “spying on your computer from afar” – it stands to reason that they will keep records of when your account ran it’s games and it could do that server side too as games generally need to shake hands at least once.

      • vedder says:

        I know people who received a refund on Steam for games they bought and liked, but happened to go on sale a couple hours later. They complained and received a refund to be able to repurchase it with sale prices.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        I had Bioshock 1 & 2 refunded from Steam when I bought the pack on sale a while ago. I hadn’t realised Bioshock 2 required GFWL at the time & have a DVD copy of Bioshock anyway.

        Also had a gift copy of Portal 2 refunded when I bought it on sale for a friend & the friend bought it for themselves before they saw the e-mail with the gift.

      • Jenks says:

        Have you ever gotten a refund from Steam?

        I got one for Spore. I bought it on sale long after it was released. During that window, many people that bought it got non working keys that would not register on origin or sporenet or whatever the hell it was called.
        I asked for my money back, Steam told me to contact EA.
        EA told me it wasn’t their problem, I need to contact the store I bought it from.
        Steam then told me I had played the game, so I couldn’t have a refund (note: I had booted the game to the menu, where I repeatedly got errors that I couldn’t connect to the server).
        I told them what was going on, and they told me I should play the game in single player mode.
        I told them I didn’t buy it to play single player
        They told me the game works so I couldn’t have a refund
        I opened a claim with the BBB
        They gave me a refund
        The entire process was around 3 weeks

        Steam gives refunds, take that Origin!

      • Viroso says:

        You’re driving me crazy here. I’m trying to find the reference to that * but I don’t see it anywhere. You better fix that right now.

      • Nick says:

        “the publisher misleading customers”

        They refused to refund me for Aliens Colonial marines on those grounds. I got them to just delete it from my account instead.

      • Noise says:

        http://i.imgur.com/ZlxTSqa.png

        Just pull the law out and they’ll give you a refund

        • waaaaaaaals says:

          You’ve got to love knowing the laws better than the companies who they apply to.

          • Llewyn says:

            Or at least hoping that they won’t bother to check and/or argue about it; the relevant Consumer Protection Regulations almost certainly don’t apply in the example provided.

    • Sam says:

      Steam’s returns policy is not so much a policy as a couple of people who occasionally reply to emails.
      When they’ll allow a return is inconsistent, and often accompanied by some kind of “but this is the only return we’ll allow on this account” threat. It’s definitely not a consumer-friendly arrangement.

      • Svardskampe says:

        Steam support is the lousiest excuse for support I have ever met. I changed ISP because of their crappy support and they were more professional than steams

    • fish99 says:

      Just going from memory here, but isn’t the rule on Steam you can have only one refund ever per account?

    • Optimaximal says:

      Steam’s EULA only gives the right-to-cancel pre-orders to users in the EU, because it falls under EU law.

    • StephanieDavidson says:

      my buddy’s mother makes $61/hr on the internet. She has been fired for ten months but last month her paycheck was $12901 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more… http://www.Day37.com

    • Syra says:

      If you’re protected by consumer law steam has to give you your refund.

      I bought the full spectrum warrior sequel a while ago (loved it on xbox) and it simply would not launch or upon doing so would crash immediately when I attempted to change resolutions (which defaulted at 640×480, so I complained and they told me they couldn’t refund it because I had played it.

      I then quoted the 7 day cool off period the UK government enforces for online purchases (if you no longer want it for any reason as long as it is in its original condition etc) and they begrudgingly gave me my money back – yes they said it was a personal favour and only this one time blah blah but it is there if you need it, just lawyer up.

  2. DougyM says:

    EA really is trying to improve their reputation and as a consumer not blinded by loyatly to Steam i welcome it. Time for Steam to step up and match this example…

    Wonder how the anti EA crowd will turn this into a negative.

    • gunny1993 says:

      I for one would happily use origin more if any of the games they made were worth me double clicking an icon.

      • godgoo says:

        I know I shouldn’t bite, I really do, but that is an utterly ridiculous statement isn’t it?

        Mass Effect series- not worth clicking on an icon for, Mirrors edge- no dice (puns!), Sim City Series, The Sims, Dragon Age, Burnout- all void of any discernible value whatsoever… How about System Shock 2?

        Good grief.

        • Shodex says:

          This. I hate EA as much as the next guy, but half the reason I hate them is because they buy all my favourite franchises. Sadly they usually also have a hand in ruining said franchise, a la Ultima.

          RIP Origin.

        • bruibrui1 says:

          @godgoo: The only good game you listed there is System Shock 2. Which is available on GOG.

          I also don’t have a Steam account, as I never buy anything with DRM, for moral reasons. But at least Steam has a relevant number of games which are good enough that I acquired them through other channels. Origin doesn’t.

          But good move on the returns policy. Of course if you buy a DRM-free game you can resell it anywhere and anytime you want; so it is not THAT impressive. But better than I expected from EA I must say.

          • godgoo says:

            Oh dear, it seems I’ve experienced many hours of enjoyment from games that are categorically, universally not ‘good’ whilst simultaneously displaying questionable morals by enduring various forms of DRM. I must be a total plebeian philistine.

          • bruibrui1 says:

            @godgoo: Hmm, isn’t it funny…

            There was a post by a guy saying that HE PERSONALLY does not like the games on Origin. You reply and generalize by saying that this is an “utterly ridiculous statement”. Then I generalize in the opposite way, and say that all the games there are bad. Now you complain about the fact that I generalized.

            Maybe there is a little truth in you calling yourself a philistine.

        • Shooop says:

          System Shock 2?

          You can and should get that on GoG.com. The other games on that list are ones you can easily find superior alternatives to.

    • Chalky says:

      EA justifying the existence of Origin by actually trying to compete with Steam in terms of service rather than just by slapping “origin exclusive” on a bunch of their titles certainly is refreshing. Hopefully they’ll find that people look at Origin more favourably when it’s something they’ve chosen because they think it’s better rather than had forced upon them.

      More competition in the market is going to improve things for everyone and Origin has never tried to actually compete until now.

      • subedii says:

        Basically this.

        My dislike of what EA was doing with Origin was never about “it’s EA therefore bad”, it’s because EA was trying to use exclusivity as a bludgeon instead of actually competing with Steam’s featuresets. There was a presumption on their part (one they’ve now acknowledged) that as long as they forced you to use Origin, that would be enough. But they could only do this with their own titles, and no real 3rd parties were jumping at the chance to integrate Origin instead of Steamworks. They didn’t really understand that a lot of devs chose to use Steamworks over other competing solutions (like GFWL, and we’ve all seen what happened to that) because it gave them the best functionality.

        In that respect, Origin has a long way to go, but this is a good start. Granted it’s less about the system itself, more about the storefront policy, but it’s still something.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Indeed, like how I eventually warmed up to GFWL, Origin has the potential to not completely suck. They just need to work harder at not sucking. That said, I am wary of encouraging things like microtransactions in PvZ2, or idiotic unnecessary exclusives splitting franchises between Origin and elsewhere, and it seems like EA has a loooooooong way to go before I’m willing to use Origin.

    • Branthog says:

      It isn’t a negative. It just isn’t as big of a deal as it would seem. I do hope to see more competition between Steam, GoG, Desura, Origin, D2D, Impulse, whatever else is out there, though. And on merits that matter to consumers rather than “we are winning because only we have BF4!” or “only we have TF2!”, which is scummy.

    • DarkFenix says:

      This isn’t a bad thing, but a single positive move amid years of anti-consumer policy doesn’t make them saints, or even tolerable in my books. I haven’t bought anything on Origin, I will continue to not do so.

    • Derpa says:

      Wait, EA still has rep?

    • Lemming says:

      “Time for Steam to step up and match this example…”

      Oh, please. Here’s a free latee to go with your enima. Origin would have to do a hell of a lot more before Steam has to ‘step up’.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      “I prefer to shop at Origin, because, when I buy a crappy, overpriced game on their service, I can possibly, maybe, if they don’t think I played it too much or violated other terms that make my refund intelligible, potentially get issued a refund!”

      I like how it’s not sales prices, robust service, or anything else that people are touting as EA’s one-up on Steam, but that you might be able to refund a game within 24-hours. Wow. That’s some… great competition.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think competition is a good thing, but is this really something to get all that excited over?

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Step up and match this example? The only game on Steam that this would be applicable to is CS: GO, and pretty much everyone knows what they are getting into with that game. Everything else in the Valve catalog is either extremely cheap by now or free to play.

      Unless EA can extend this policy to every game (which is unlikely, since they would have to convince every other publisher to add this to their contract,) this is only going to increase customer confusion. Just look at Valve, they give separate keys for one bundle of games (The Orange Box) and now everyone expects separate keys for every deep discounted bundle they buy.

    • Shooop says:

      I have no problem calling this a good and welcome move. But that’s because my dislike of EA is not so much about Origin but about the games EA’s been churning out.

  3. Yachmenev says:

    Well, of course EA can do this since it’s almost only their own games they sell, but it would be trickier for Steam to do it, since more then 95% of the games they sell are other developers/publishers games. Or does Mr Article Writer have any proposed solution for how to handle that difference? :)

    • Kaira- says:

      As far as I’m reading the fine print, the game must be released by EA.

      • Milky1985 says:

        People are saying it must have been bought on origin yourself as well (if you register the key from a different store then no go), which makes sense.

        Not sure if if this is the case, either way its a good move.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          You would have to ask for your refund from the place you gave your money too, if you bought a faulty iphone from carphone warehouse, you couldn’t get a refund for it from the apple store.

    • Svant says:

      There are ways to do it, for example since there is a time-limit to the whole deal Steam could keep the money for the time-limit and when a sale is final, i.e. no refunds possible, the money gets forwarded to the publisher/developer.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Don’t Google and Apple have a similar refund policy on apps? Or is that per developer?

  4. gunny1993 says:

    It’s a good move, unfortunately for them steam has 2 kings.

  5. Xocrates says:

    “would’ve been kinda nice if EA had whipped this one up before SimCity dropped the ball”

    Odds are, this only exists because SimCity dropped the ball.

    Of course, this means that the reason Steam doesn’t do this (yet?) is because Valve has released consistently good games. Which is an interesting thought.

    • Branthog says:

      Agreed. I have spent tens upon tens of thousands of dollars on games in my life time and I have never felt as disappointed and ripped off as I did five hours after buying Sim City, which I then uninstalled and never touched again (nor have I touched Origin again since then, either).

    • MadTinkerer says:

      There are two games I’ve ever wanted my money back after buying on Steam. One was that Ubisoft game they said wouldn’t have DRM and then did before they fixed it (proving how ridiculously unnecessary UPlay is), which was all Ubisoft’s fault. The other is the obscure Indie platformer Eternity’s Child which I ended up changing my mind and want to keep as a reminder of it’s multiple cascading failures and how not to make an Indie platforming game. Plus there’s no way to get a copy of Eternity’s Child now: if it was a physical copy it’d be a collector’s item just because of rarity (certainly not because of quality!).

      (My favorite part of E.C. is how the creator was the sort who was willing to start internet fights with people who gave critical reviews. And there were many critical reviews because the game obviously had zero play testing.)

      Other than those two, all of the ~1000 games I’ve bought on Steam I’ve enjoyed without reservation.

  6. bglamb says:

    I didn’t like Sim City within 24 hours of buying it. Can I return it please?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      With a polite and well worded email, you probably could, assuming you didn’t take the free game and haven’t logged a load of playtime.

  7. Alexander says:

    They’ll probably dial it back to a few hours after enough people abuse it, but still, nice move EA.

  8. mlaskus says:

    That’s nice, but they need to fix some fundamental issues before I consider buying any more games there.
    Playing a coop game with a friend on Origin usually involves a few hours of troubleshooting to even connect only to find out that the overlay doesn’t work and we can’t chat.
    I’m forced to used a localized version of their shop.
    When downloading a game on Origin I have to restart the client every few minutes for it continue downloading.

    • Guvornator says:

      “When downloading a game on Origin I have to restart the client every few minutes for it continue downloading.”

      I’ve never had this issue. Over 2 different pcs, one of which was rubbish (because I broke it, in HP’s defence), It still worked, although for a long time the download speed wasn’t as high as Steam. This maybe a “your pc/internet” issue, not an origin issue

      • Shinan says:

        I did not have this issue when I got Mass Effect 3 but with the Humble Origin Bundle I had the issue with Battlefield 3. I think it is related to problems with connectivity. But I think it was on Origin’s end with the extra load they got from it. (Since nothing else had any problems on my end at the very same time)

        Why Origin doesn’t support automatically reconnecting and resuming download after losing connection however. I don’t know. Maybe because they still live in the 90s.

        • stoopiduk says:

          Of the half a dozen friends I know that grabbed the Origin bundle, six of them had trouble with downloading at least one of the games from origin, Steam keys worked fine.

          I’m amazed that the press didn’t jump on the “EA tries new good guy publicity move, held back by old server issues” angle.

          I should journalise.

      • mlaskus says:

        It’s an Origin issue, quite a few people have the same problem, thought as Shinan says, I hadn’t encountered this problem earlier, so this could be related to high load after the humble sale.

        Before the humble bundle, a friend of mine could not download Mass Effect 3 at all. Their support didn’t even bother replying.

        • Guvornator says:

          I stand corrected. I didn’t get as far as downloading for the Humble Bundle, as the redeem code tool wouldn’t connect for me…

          • mlaskus says:

            Had this problem too, in-client code redemption wouldn’t work at all for me. I had much better luck doing it through some origin website. I don’t remember which one though. My browser history from that day is a mess of ea/origin websites. One of them allowed me to redeem codes but was horribly slow about it, another one worked really well, activated everything within seconds.

            You could try this one, the only one I found in my browser history:
            https://www.origin.com/account

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Steam’s download speeds are sometimes misreported. I’ve seen several times where it claims to be downloading well above my ISPs provided rate (ie- faster than my internet)

        • Grey Poupon says:

          That has more to do with compressing the data and reporting the uncompressed transfer rate rather than actually lying about how much bits are being moved.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Oh I’m not implying that it’s intentional or a lie, it’s just misreported by the Steam client.

    • MaXimillion says:

      I wish more people complained about the forced localization of Origin. It’s one of the main reasons I dislike the service.

      • mlaskus says:

        Oh yeah, it’s the worst thing. Connectivity and download issues are a bugger but making a reliable infrastructure is non trivial and I assume they are working to correct that. With forced localization, someone at EA, made a decision to make us use their terribly localized interfaces, fuck personal preference or people travelling abroad. Well fuck them back I say, I’m not using their shop until that changes.

  9. ViktorBerg says:

    EA doing something right? Welp, time to check if the pigs are flying.

  10. XhomeB says:

    Well… consider me shocked. In a good way. EA making Steam look bad is honestly something I would have never expected.
    Should anyone ask “What have the Origins ever done for us?!”, we’ll just provide a link to this article.

  11. Setroc says:

    I recently tried tried to get a refund on steam for a pre-ordered game that wasn’t yet released. Well, 2 weeks after lodging my first request and after having my first request for a refund denied, they eventually refunded me… with store credit.

    So thumbs up to EA, I don’t particularly like origin and am generally happy with steam, but in terms of customer service origin is so far ahead, and steam’s is frankly unacceptable.

  12. Stevostin says:

    It’s certainly a good thing but it’s very important that people understand well what steam brought on the table that Origin doesn’t.

    Steam separates the service (game library managament, social networking, workshop, etc) from steam and buying from steam. Steam provides free steam serials on request to game publisher so that they can includes them in every copy they sold outside of steam, so that the game can be owned on steam even if bought elsewhere. Even if not all game do need the workshops or tf2 hats, a good deal of customer want to have all their games in one place.

    Now it’s important to realize we are lucky on this. It was absolutely backward thinking from what every big company typically do. A platform like steam was so far typically used to locked users on a shop. Coming after that Origin had to comply somehow and you can buy BF3 on other shop (but not on steam…).

    Personnally I’ll consider buying anything on origin when I can have it with a Steam key. I can get why I would need Origin for Battlefield but not for Mass Effect, typically, and if they want to force my hand they’ll get nothing from me.

    • ViktorBerg says:

      You will never get Steam keys from Origin products. Same reason as why you don’t get Steam keys at GoG. They’re competitors.

      Also, while I do not like Origin just yet, competition to Steam is GOOD. Monopoly is always bad for the consumer, and having all your games be bound to Steam is a TERRIBLE idea.

      Also, Steam does the opposite of trying to separate the social stuff from the game stuff – it actually itegrates them. While I like using Steam Chat, some people don’t.

      • Branthog says:

        All of these digital retailers need to stop with the exclusive bullshit. Every digital retailer should offer the same titles. Instead of competing on exclusivity, they should be competing on price, customer service, experience, user interface, reputation, reliability, and so on. The same way every grocery store in your city probably carries the same floor wax, but you have probably chosen one particular store that you do all your shopping in for various reasons other than “because they are the only people on the planet who carry my favorite floor wax and soda”.

        • subedii says:

          As far as I’m aware, you can buy Valve games on other stores, such as Impulse, GreenManGaming, and Gamefly. Naturally any game that’s tied to Steamworks is still tied to Steamworks, but given the past year or so, they are seriously competing on price and deals. A lot of these stores seem to pre-empt Valve’s summer sale now with their own beforehand.

          Likewise with EA games and Origin.

        • Christo4 says:

          This can be applied to consoles too.

    • A Pair of Pliers says:

      Isn’t this something that Origin / EA already does? If you buy an EA game on Steam, you’ll be able to use the CD-key you get there in Origin. If you buy an EA game from a retailer, you can activate the CD-key on Origin. It’s even backwards compatible with their catalog up to a certain point. Sure, that’s limited to only EA titles, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible for 3rd parties — aside from Origin not being that big amongst them and publishers leaning much more towards Steam than Origin.

      And even then, aren’t all the “AAA” games that come with a Steam key Steamworks products to begin with? There’s no way to run them without Steam. To me it seems only indies have optional Steam keys on their products. (which certainly is something they have over Origin, but it isn’t that massive advantage IMO.)

  13. int says:

    I’d settle for the option of having a game deleted from my library. I have asked Steam but they can’t do it.

    APB, how do I hate thee? I hate thee so much.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      Hehe! I always wondered if anyone else shared my pain with APB.

    • MarcP says:

      On the off chance you’re not aware of this workaround already: make a new “garbage bin” category, throw your unwanted games in there, collapse the menu so you never see it again.

  14. 2gudtoulouse says:

    Aren’t they supposed to do this anyway under EU law?

    Like I know steam are a bit shitty with it but I thuoght they were supposed to have changed that?

  15. Branthog says:

    Steam offers refunds. Just not as an advertised standard policy. If you politely request a refund and have a justifiable reason, they’ll often refund your game. And, unlike Origin, they’ll do it whether it is a Valve game or someone else’s that was purchased through Steam’s sight.

    Anyway, I wish they’d had this six months ago so I could have gotten my $90 back from Sim City after the five unpleasant hours I ever spent with it.

    Anyway, it’s not that huge of a deal. Good on them for offering it, but it is only EA titles and they would obviously not do it if someone proved to have a history of buying games and returning them in a day, to avoid abuse. Further, there is no physical product involved. Nothing to manufacture. It’s just a stream of bits. Delete them from the guy’s account and give him his money back. Improves their loyalty to you, makes them more likely to buy a game from you in the future again, and costs them absolutely nothing (though I know people STILL remain locked in this ancient mindset that every transfer of bits not paid for at full price is a lost full-price sale).

    • MarcP says:

      Some people do have that mindset, just like some people have the mindset no transfer of bits unpaid for at full price is ever a lost full-price sale. Most sensible folks know the answer is somewhere between those two extremes.

      The idea people will be more likely to buy your games in the future out of loyalty holds about as much water as the ethical piracy argument (buy content you enjoyed). Sure, there’s a minority who does that. Meanwhile, a much bigger group will use the money saved to spend it on stuff they can’t get for free, not your games specifically, and not even video games at all sometimes.

    • diamondmx says:

      I say this as a fan of Steam in general.

      Steam’s refund policy is abysmal. It’s arbitrary and anti-consumer at it’s core. Even in cases where it’s clearly the developer at fault, Steam is extremely reluctant to issue a refund, and they will make it out as them doing you a one-time favour.

      This should at least apply some pressure to Steam and other retailers to start allowing people to return defective or substandard games.

    • Moraven says:

      I was trying to get Trine during the midweek madness. In my cart and in paypal, the game was still discounted.

      When I got to the confirmation, the price was at full price (probably at the end of the sale and the timer ticked over).

      Even replying to any response from Steam within 5 minutes it still took 2-3 days for a full response. 5 days for the first response. Few more to get a Steam Wallet credit, not a full refund.

      And this was after only as a “one-time” gesture since I have had no other problems with my account in the past. That is how they treat your customers of 10 years and thousands of dollars.

      Between the big companies I have found Blizzard the best customer support, other than long queue times during spikes (patch release, expansion release, etc). But my issue is resolved and they respect you.

  16. Zogtee says:

    It’s a good move, no one can argue against that. That said, “you can return it if it’s rubbish” probably isn’t going to make people flock around Origin. Let’s see Steam match it, though. :)

    Edit: What, only EA titles? Well, pfft.

  17. AbyssUK says:

    erm wait a minute isn’t this european law anyway now… it isn’t a question if steam are going to do it or not they will have to in the EU or not be able to sell there. Indeed as Branthog says they do allow refunds already they just don’t have a user friendly system for doing it.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Steam is going to the Geman court soon. But yeah, Consumer rites in the EU should allow you return any “property” with 14 days of sale.
      It’s the definition of “property” that’s the issue.

      • diamondmx says:

        Where did you find news saying Steam was going to court over this soon? That sounds like interesting news.

      • fish99 says:

        Speaking of courts, the EU ruled you should be able to sell digital games separate from your account, but Steam have done nothing to implement it, and won’t until someone sues them.

        Having said that, if it was implemented it would probably push up new game prices dramatically.

  18. Lobotomist says:

    Well , since they sold me like 8 AA games for 5$ (via humble bundle) , i am quite ok with them.
    Even installed Orgin (gasp!)

    So keep on the right track EA, maybe there is a hope for you and me…

    And yes Mirror Edge rules !

  19. nasenbluten says:

    I’m sure they are going to go back on their word rather quickly.

    Most game campaigns only last for 5-6 hours, and the storylines and gameplay sometimes simply suck. How about you finish the game in a day and request the refund?

    • MarcP says:

      I’m guessing they’re betting most people who have that amount of free time, the willpower to devote it all to a video game and the willingness to do it all in one day just for a refund would be in a tight enough financial spot they’d pirate it anyway.

  20. Spoon Of Doom says:

    What is happening? First reviving Mirror’s Edge, then the bundle with EA donating all income, now this… Are they not the bad guys anymore? Is this the episode where the villain has a change of heart and joins the gang of heroes to save the earth and find the dragonballs? I’m so confused…

    • diamondmx says:

      Well, don’t go moving back in with them yet. I remember those words being said when they last released Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space, and tried repairing the terrible reputation they had while Activision strode proudly into Worst Game Publisher.

      It lasted for a year or two, maybe?

      • Spoon Of Doom says:

        But it was a rather good year or two. I really liked Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space. Bad Company wasn’t too bad, either (hur hur).

        But of course you’re right – even though I’m a tad more optimistic about them than three months ago, I’m staying cautious, as there’s no guarantee they won’t turn evil again in the blink of an eye. Would be glad if they improved though, because they own a buttload of IPs that has a lot of potential if treated well.

    • DrScuttles says:

      Didn’t that happen with about half the villains of Dragonball? And then there was that nonsense Vegeta / Bulma pairing. And everyone turning Super Saiyan.
      I guess what I’m saying is that I’m worried about the time when Goten went Super Saiyan. Only instead of Goten I mean EA. And Valve is training up for some afterlife competition and oh this makes no sense anymore.
      Just like the cartoon I guess.

      • Spoon Of Doom says:

        And how about when Steam fused with Origin while Uplay and GOG trained in a chamber with very slow passage of time to defeat GFWL? And when did Steam lose its tail anyway? Can’t find anything about that on RPS.

        • DrScuttles says:

          After that time it used the magical Nyoi-bo-deearemm stick to leave GOG stranded on the moon. Which was later blown up by Green Man Gaming to protect the gentle townfolk from Steam, but no-one seems to acknowledge what happened to the people on it.
          You miss one episode of this shit and you’re totally lost, I tells you.

          • Spoon Of Doom says:

            To be fair, a lot of episodes are just shouting and talking during the climactic sale, so you still have a chance to follow the overall story if you miss one of those. But the specifics of how Origin was suddenly able to absorb Indie Royale and defeat the Humble Bundle will be a mystery for you, that’s true.

  21. ghling says:

    So, EA doing something right with origin? And introduce that with a policy update? Better check that policy update word by word, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some rather unpleasant changes in that update too.

  22. psaldorn says:

    It took me 5 days to download ME3 last week, they blame it on the humble bundle popularity. What. A. Service.

    • Pissant_irl says:

      It wasnt just that week, the client consistently will pause itself on my comp it took me the guts of a week to get BF3 & Addons downloaded about a month ago….24hours is nowhere near enough!

    • Moraven says:

      Not like Steam has had problems in the past with major updates and releases…

  23. takfar says:

    To be fair, I did get a refund on Steam, once. I had preordered RAGE and, upon launch, the game had terrible issues with my video card. Textures loading slowly made the game look like ass. I contacted Steam, and within a couple days they refunded it directly on the credit card. After a few months, when the game had been patched up and heavily discounted in a sale, I bought it again.

    And yea… If this had been in effect during the Sim City disaster, I would probably have asked for a refund. Especially considering that, having preordered the special edition, I played the damn thing for exactly a week and never touched it again.

  24. Trinnet says:

    It’s encouraging to see EA make moves like this – if they’re going to compete with Steam it needs to be on the service they offer to consumers rather than simply exclusives.

  25. Malibu Stacey says:

    From the “Origin Great Game Guarantee Policy” as linked above.

    Full game digital downloads (PC/Mac) published by “Electronic Arts” (collectively Electronic Arts Inc. if you reside in the United States, Canada or Japan and EA Swiss Sarl if you reside in any other country) and purchased on the Origin Store (Origin.com and purchases within the Origin gaming application) may be eligible for a refund

    So only it only covers EA games. And it does say “may be eligible for a refund”.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Is there such thing as an Origin exclusive game that is not from EA?

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Watch out, Steam! Origin’s bringing the competition! Not by offering better sales. Not by offering a better service. Not by providing a better client. Not by adding more community features. No, none of that stuff.

      Origin will crush Steam with the spectacular service/branding/marketing/hype-machine that is: being able to refund EA games bought from Origin within 24-hours of installing or 7 days of purchase if EA deems your refund eligible.

      Yeah, that’s right, Gabe Newell! You better be scared! Since when has Steam ever offered a refund on Valve games bought from Steam and within 24-hours of install and/or 7-days of purchase? (other restrictions may apply, see terms and conditions, EA reserves the rights to refuse any and all refunds for any reason)

  26. MellowKrogoth says:

    This is why competition is good (even though having multiple game libraries/clients is annoying as Hell).

  27. Zunt says:

    The UK’s Distance Selling Regulations, which say you can cancel an online order up to 7 days after the goods arrive, have an exclusion for “CDs, DVDs or software if you’ve broken the seal on the wrapping”. I think if you’ve purchased but not actually installed a Steam game then you could probably argue the case.

  28. Jason Moyer says:

    I use Origin and Uplay fairly regularly, and as DRM I actually don’t find either of them any more annoying/intrusive than Steam is. They’re not GFWL here, with the nonsensical “game has to be open while patches download” and “have to log in each and every time you want to play a GFWL game even if the Live service is running” stuff.

    However, where they fail miserably, in my humble opinion (sorry just finished a My So-Called Life marathon session), is in their storefronts. First, the main storefront is multi-platform – if I’m actually in the Origin or Uplay client doing something, why not just automatically send me to a platform-specific front end with options to look at games for other platforms if I want to. Second, Origin regularly has decent sales on items with basically no advertising whatsoever, even if you include the annoying pop-up window that it insists on displaying everytime you launch it (after it’s spent an hour downloading an update at 1/50th of my broadband speed). Right now Origin is sponsoring a fantastic charity-drive on the Humble site, and there’s no mention of it on Origin anywhere.

    Anyway, I know people hate having to use multiple platforms to access their games, but Origin in particular has a perfectly fine library interface imho. I like that you can select items and hide them from your main library without having to fiddle with subfolders (that, in Steam, appear at the top of your library for some reason). Their in-client customer service has been great when I’ve had to deal with them – I contacted them because my key for The Saboteur would not register on Origin when their website said it would, and within minutes a representative had given me a new key and registered it for me, also adding a voucher for a discount on a game for my trouble even though I insisted I hadn’t really had any. In all honesty, the only genuine troubles I’ve had with Origin games have been game-specific – for instance, the hilariously long time it takes for Bioware games to verify that you do, in fact, own legal copies of all of your DLC even though it’s checked that every single time you’ve launched the game.

    • Spoon Of Doom says:

      I agree about Origin – it has it’s quirks and the shop is meh, but all in all it’s not that bad.

      But Uplay? Don’t get me started on Uplay! Oh, you already did. Let me tell you my favourite experience with Uplay. (Angry rant following)
      I’ve grabbed a couple of games from cheap sales which resided in my Uplay library – five or so. Then I bought Blood Dragon on Steam, which required Uplay as well. And all was well as long as I used Steam to launch the game (or to launch the Uplay launcher, to be precise, which is a whole different topic for a rant). But once, I decided to start Uplay directly and launch the game from there, and then everything exploded. I couldn’t launch Blood Dragon any more because it insisted that I didn’t own the game. I’ve reinstalled the game via Steam, because Uplay didn’t even give me a way to download it, but no dice. Another reinstall later, I decided to download Uplay and try to reinstall that. But apparently, there was something off about the version, and it would neither launch any of my games or self update properly. I then decided to uninstall Uplay properly before reinstalling, but for some reason it wouldn’t let me do that before uninstalling all other Uplay games. After that, I reinstalled Uplay+Blood Dragon through Steam again and finally got it working and Uplay even suddenly agreed that I owned the game again. I could, probably, spend half a day redownloading the other games and maybe even play them, but I haven’t tried yet. I’m scared.

      This got me so angry that I not only wrote sternly worded, but (mostly) not offensive updates on Twitter and their Facebook page, but even hit enter to submit them before calming down and deleting the text as I usually tend to do.
      Clearly this is purely anecdotal evidence and it was probably a weird kind of error that at most three other people in the universe will ever experience, but the memory leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when I think about Uplay. I’ve had technical hiccups with Steam and Origin as well, but neither ever gave me errors as to which games my account owns. Which is kind of an important thing in digital stores.

      And this is not even commenting on the other games taking ages before appearing in my Uplay library or some of them disappearing for a couple of days for no reason.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        That is a weird issue. I wonder if uninstalling the Steam version and downloading it through UPlay would have worked…although I guess that wouldn’t be possible if the UPlay client didn’t think you owned it.

        Oh and a second example of issues with Origin games that are game-specific, in addition to the Bioware one, is BF3 requiring you to create a Battlelog account and to launch the game through a website after initially launching it in Origin in order to play the singleplayer campaign. I spent ages installing BF3+all DLC from a DVD then doing the requisite patching and by the time I finally realized I couldn’t try the campaign without jumping through more hurdles I just uninstalled the damn thing.

        Edit: I just launched the standalone UPlay client, and it downloaded an update. I dunno if it’s a new feature, but I was able to launch my Steam copy of Blood Dragon without an issue! It even had appropriate dialog noting that it was going to launch Steam and that it was synchronizing save data with the Steam cloud. Worked flawlessly, if you can believe that.

        • Spoon Of Doom says:

          Oh, I do believe that. As I said, I don’t think that was a common error. I really believe that most people never experience problems even remotely like this, but for me personally this left a crack in my trust for the platform. Also, I really like to rant about stuff :)

          By the way, I tried downloading it from Uplay, but as you suspected, it didn’t work because Uplay wanted me to buy it again instead. Really weird issue.

  29. djbriandamage says:

    Let’s be fair. Saying that they “kinda have” done something significant is a disservice. This is a huge step in the right direction toward customer service. The only games I’ve gotten refunds for on Steam were inoperable despite my PC meeting the minimum system requirements – a policy like Origin’s would have saved me time and trouble.

  30. sirflimflam says:

    That said, it only applies to EA-published games for now.
    And it only ever will. This will never happen with games out of EA’s direct control. I’m glad they’re doing it regardless, but Valve isn’t going to do anything to match it. They already practically give away their own games all the time.

  31. Jimbo says:

    Well that’s stupid. Not quite as stupid as Electronic Boutique’s 10-day No Fuss refund policy used to be (I think I paid for one game the entire time that was running) but stupid nonetheless.

    Oh hang on, the small print basically says they can just decide not to give you a refund if they want, so this is meaningless.

  32. PCGamingsucks says:

    I tried to get a refund on Nascar 2013: The Game on steam. Not happening despite it being an utter mess of a game don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway in their email valve had this to say on refunds:

    “As with most software products, we do not offer refunds or exchanges for purchases made on our website or through the Steam Client. This includes, but is not limited to, games, Early Access Games, software, gifted or traded purchases, downloadable content, subscriptions, and in-game items/currency.

    We will make an exception and refund titles that are still listed as available for Pre-Purchase on our website. The refund request must be received prior to the official release date for the item. You can see when a pre-purchased title is scheduled to officially unlock by viewing the green information bar on its store page.

    This only applies to preorders purchased from your account; preordered titles received or sent through the Steam Trading system cannot be refunded. We do not offer refunds for Early Access Games.

    Please review Section 3 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement for more information.
    http://www.steampowered.com/index.php?area=subscriber_agreement

    • Jason Moyer says:

      This is going to sound awful, and probably not helpful since you could have saved money by waiting for it to be fixed and on sale much later, but give N2013 a couple patches. I’m running the beta builds and while there are still issues galore it’s slowly getting better (although, I still don’t understand why the AI was somehow better during the early access period than after it was patched for release). I’m not really confident in the AI ever being completely up-to-snuff, but when the lobby is implemented it will at least be worth trying the multiplayer again as the driving itself is pretty good, just the “finding someone, artificial or real, to race with” bit is lacking big time.

  33. Don Reba says:

    Come on, EA, clean up your act, so that I won´t have a burden on my conscience when I buy the inevitably Origin-tied Mirror’s Edge 2.

  34. Lev Astov says:

    The Origin logo is essentially the hurricane symbol. Wonder what that means.

  35. Megakoresh says:

    OMG… consumer friendly EA? Am I dreaming? Maybe I should start buying games on Origin after all…

    Edit: Obviously only EA games, but still. They make plenty of games to make this a good practice. Risk-free pre-orders is a blast. It’s one of the best thing about this news.

    Uplay is still a WAY better program though, Origin glitches and fucks up more than it is actually working right. But this is a big plus they are doing. I hope they do continue with this to change people’s attitudes a little.

    I think all it would take is a couple of good new IPs with fair business models. Or good old IPs like Dragon Age or Dead Space. If they make a good Dragon Age and Dead Space 4 and release them with some consumer-friendly goodies like free DLC or whatever, that would be enough to pull them from people’s blacklists, I think.

    Especially Dead Space, since they fucked up the third one pretty badly with stupid microtransactions that actually ARE forced, you can’t buy that stuff with in-game currency, as well as Pre-order bonuses which made the game so much easier and a bad PC port with horrible textures and resolution issues (and bugged Vsync because of bad physics). And then they said it didn’t bloody sell well to make a new one. So if they go back on that word and actually make a good Dead Space 4, that would be a major plus for them I think. They need to show they recognize their PAST mistakes, not only make new good things for the future.

  36. bstard says:

    EA! EA! EA! EA! Come on, the firm is crap. It doesnt matter they wear pink fluffy underwear now.

  37. Wisq says:

    I worry that this policy will be abused by some enterprising customers to essentially rent games on Origin, rushing through them and then claiming to be dissatisfied and returning them. If done by a large portion of customers, this could potentially cause exactly the same sort of harm to the industry that Game / GameStop / EB Games / etc. have done via mass organised used game trading:

    * Shorter games are quickly played and then refunded / traded in;
    * Otherwise short games are needlessly padded out with junk content to prevent / delay them being refunded / traded in;
    * More withheld content to be sold as DLC, to encourage people to hang on to titles;
    * Token mediocre multiplayer modes on singleplayer games;
    * A tighter quality threshold above which you make good money (people buy it and want to keep it forever), and below which you make very little (people refund it / trade it in), ultimately leading to …
    * Even less risk-taking in the games market, for fear that experimentation might make you dip below that threshold.

    And as far as the “your move, Steam” argument goes: I’m pretty sure I’ve saved way more via Steam’s deep discounts than I’ll ever save by them giving me the ability to return games.

    Frankly, I’d prefer that people learn to read reviews and think carefully before they preorder (if they preorder at all), rather than giving them an infinite supply of “get out of jail free” cards. Most people still don’t even glance at reviews before they pick up games, which is how titles like “Aliens: Colonial Marines” end up the top selling game on Steam. And even with a refund policy, I’m betting a lot of those sales would still stick, either because people aren’t aware of the policy, or because they have enough money that they just don’t care, or any number of other reasons (forgetfulness/procrastination etc.). In the end, all this does is to send a message to game publishers that you can get away with pretty much anything, so long as you take an established franchise and market the hell out of it. Not the message we want to be sending.

  38. soopytwist says:

    Steam does do refunds. Blood Dragon wouldn’t work through Steam so I asked for a refund and they gave me one, into my Steam Wallet. Bought the game direct on Origin instead and used the Steam credit to buy Bioshock Infinite.

    • Moraven says:

      While a refund to Steam Credit is nice, and you will probably use it, it still is not a full refund.

      All this does is save them money on payment processing. They are trying to make as much money as possible and having a refund policy like this does that.

  39. strangeloup says:

    It’s not a bad move, but I think I’m going to cut out the middleman by not buying any EA games in the first place.

    • fiendling says:

      A very sound policy, one I now follow as well.

      It does help, of course, that EA hasn’t made any decent games since their implementation of Origin exclusivity.

      Fortunately, on the improbable chance of a relapse, their last batch of tolerable games are still available on Steam. There is no need to install Origin at all.

  40. Tuor says:

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day…

    But it’s still a broken clock.

  41. DrGonzo says:

    You can already get refunds on Steam, that headline is a bit baity isn’t it?

  42. Rikard Peterson says:

    Cool. I wonder a bit what they’d define as abuse, though. Would it be in the spirit of the thing to think of the policy as having access to a demo of the game before buying? Probably not, as that could get expensive for them because of the banks’ fees and such things.

    Changing the system to actually allow games to be demoed for 24 hours before paying (instead of offering refunds) could save game developers the cost of creating a demo…

  43. Artificial says:

    EA are great at making it look like they’re doing something good when really it’s very double sided. Origin prices are absolutely extortionate, you’d have to be silly to buy a game from the store.

  44. Shooop says:

    Are there any strings attached? I’d genuinely love to hear some feedback from anyone who’s taken them up on this offer because it does sound too good to be true.

  45. satsui says:

    When the new CEO came on board and said he was going to turn things around, I had one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” thoughts. This is rather surprising and a good step towards that.

  46. goettel says:

    Competition: it works, bitches.

  47. TechnicalBen says:

    “You may return EA full game downloads”
    This is either the nicest thing they have done for gamers ever, or…

    “You may return EA full game downloads”
    “You may return… full game downloads”
    “You may return… game downloads”
    “…may return… game downloads”
    “…return… game downloads”
    “…return… downloads”
    “RETURN DOWNLOADS”
    The most horrid attact at logic, computer technitians and science?

  48. sophof says:

    Wow, this almost sounds like… competition? Could it be, has hell frozen over?

  49. chabuhi says:

    It used to be nearly impossible to get a refund from Steam, but I’ve found they have become much more reasonable about it so long as the request is reasonable. Then again I don’t often request refunds, which explains the lingering presence of Buccaneers in my library.

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