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Epic Games Store blocking shoppers from buying too many games

If you’re tempted by the discounts Epic Games are reportedly themselves paying for in their Store’s first big sale, be aware that it might stop you from buying many games. Some users are reporting their accounts have been blocked from further purchases until they contact support because they, uh, tried to buy lots of games while they were cheap. That’s anti-fraud protection kicking in, Epic say. But who’d need to complete five separate transactions in a row if the store had a shopping cart? The sale seems to have ruffled the feathers of a few publishers too.

“Sorry, but your account is blocked from making purchases. Please contact customer service,” reads an error message received by Twitch streamer Patrick Boivin, for example, when trying to buy a game during the sale.

He says he’d only bought five games, which doesn’t seem many for a store-wide sale with some big discounts.

“This was a result of our aggressive fraud rules,” Epic PR person Nick Chester told GameRevolution. “If players run into this issue, they should contact player support so we can investigate.”

Love to have to wrestle with customer support because a store doesn’t have basic features like a shopping cart.

It’s wild that Epic are throwing so much money at sales and exclusives for a store so half-baked it locks down your account if you try to buy six games in a much-advertised sale. It’s also not wild, because throwing great wads of cash behind a mediocre product is wholly unremarkable for capitalism. Heck, it’s basically the history of ‘AAA’ games.

Epic’s public feature roadmap lists adding a shopping cart as a “long term” goal over six months away. Those plans may change too, as with the features Epic recently delayed. Yeah yeah, Steam was horrible for its first few years but it launched in 2003 into a very different market.

Epic’s attempt to buy good-will has backfired a little with publishers too. Pre-orders of Borderlands 3, Oxygen Not Incuded, and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, which initially received £10 discounts, have now been temporarily pulled from sale by their publishers. 2K, Klei, and Paradox have not explained their decisions, though I’ll hazard a few guesses. A game going on sale before it even launches devalue its image, potentially making some question its quality or dissuading them from buying now in case it goes cheaper soon. Publishers could also have deals with other stores to not undercut them. You know better than to pre-order anyway, I’m sure.

The sale also brought a snafu for Hades, the early access roguelikelike dungeon-crawler from Bastion developers Supergiant Games. They’ve planned to raise the game’s price from $20 to $25 for a while but bafflingly did that during the sale. That meant it was costing $15 on sale while presented as having a $10 discount, making it look like Supergiant were trying to pull a fast one on us. This is a problem numerous Steam Early Access games have caused in sales over the years so I don’t know how it keeps happening. Supergiant have apologised and reverted the price, now planning to raise it to $25 after the sale ends.

The Epic Mega Sale runs on the Epic Games Store until June 13th.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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