EA Beat Valve to Digital Innovation? Huh….

It has been previously noted in the gaming world that the beta of Steam contained lines of code specifically setup to show if you lent out or borrowed a game from a friend. Stop and reread that if you were unaware, but it appears game sharing is in the works for Steam at some point. However, this (as far as I know) has never fully been setup for beta or active versions of the platform as of yet… but while waiting, it seems EA is moving forward to make digital sales more enticing to buy from them… they now have a full refund return policy in Origin.

Calling it the Great Game Guarantee, the guys at EA have made it official as of yesterday, and the short version of this policy is that if you buy a game from them, you have 7 days to decide if you really wanted it or not. If you did not, you can return it. This isn’t a return for store credit, either… whatever means you used to buy the game is where they will place the refund.

The only ways this changes are that when you start up the game, whatever time you have left is now reduced to 24 hours and that pre-orders are from launch, not purchase. The restriction and extension to this both make sense since EA does not want people plowing through their game in a week so they can return it, effectively playing the whole thing for free. Nor do they want pre-orders to stop as people decided the 7-days is more valuable then anything they can offer in bonuses, but overall, it sounds to me like EA is trying to setup Origin like Gamestop setup used games… only this time, doing so isn’t abusing a product maker. (I make no secret in that while I support used games, I do not support how Gamestop abuses the practice to try to cut publishers out of the income-stream.)

Also worth noting, as of right now, this policy does not include anything not published by EA. EA themselves are fully behind it, but I get the impression they are either afraid of the quality of third party games on their platform (and having to eat the refund themselves) or that if they offer this for 3rd party vendors and make them eat the refund they will lose support as the other publishers run to digital platforms that wont allow returns. An interesting situation, to be sure.

Still, I have to hand it to these guys. Best I know, EA is the first digital platform to have a standard return policy… for any platform and/or hardware out there, and it’s something sorely missed in digital retail in general. May others follow their path, including Steam.

Click here to see the full terms of this new policy, if you are interested, and oddly enough, again, thanks Kotaku, for turning a casual look at what is normally just amusing fluff into finding something cool in the digital world.


Origin: Introducing The Origin Great Game Guarantee

Kotaku: Now Origin Does At Least One Thing Better then Steam

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