Origin Introduces Digital Refunds

Origin

Yup, refunds for online purchased games, even after you tried them! It seems like the good press continues rolling in for Origin, and just a week after their spectacular Humble Bundle too.

EA’s digital distribution service has just introduced a refund program dubbed “The Origin Great Game Guarantee”. If the game you’ve bought simply doesn’t work for you, technical or otherwise, Origin will offer you a full refund via the payment method used for the order. As a bonus, it’s all done through a simple process that doesn’t involve back-and-forth emails with support staff.

This makes Origin the first service to do so, as far as I’m aware. Community favourite Steam doesn’t have it (“we do not offer refunds or exchanges on games”), neither does Green Man Gaming (“The game has not been activated or downloaded” among other conditions) nor GOG.com (“and you have not attempted to download the game”).

There are conditions for a refund, of course.  The full set can be found on this page but here are some of the important points.

[styled_box title=”Terms For A Refund” color=”red”]

  • Valid only for EA published games purchased through Origin.
  • Refund  made within these periods (whichever earlier):
    • 7 days of purchase,
    • 7 days of release for pre-orders, or
    • 24 hours after game is run*.
  • If product is part of a bundle, the refund may include the entire bundle’s contents.
  • Games purchased during special Origin promotions may not be eligible (will be stated if so).
  • Refunds not supported where EA detects fraud or abuse.

*For bundled content, the 24 hours begins “as soon as one game within the bundle is launched.”

EA may revise these conditions at any time so it’s best you give the page another look if you think you’ll need the refund option.

[/styled_box]

The Great Game Guarantee is only valid for 20 countries so far. Regions not listed below can expect to be covered by the end of September, in lieu with the redesigned Origin store that’ll be launching worldwide.

[styled_box title=”Countries Now Supported” color=”red”]

Singapore
Australia
Belgium
Brazil
Denmark
Finland
France
India
Ireland
Italy
Mexico
New Zealand
Netherlands
Norway
Portugal
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
UK
US

[/styled_box]

Despite being a simple implementation, this marks an important precedent in the digital games distribution business. Giving consumers the option to try a game means a lot in a time where demos for AAA games are few and far between. You have to plonk the full deposit down in this instance, but since they’re offering proper refunds instead of store credit, it’s not all that bad.

If the system winds up effective in weeding out abuse, then hopefully other publishers will be willing to join the effort. After all, there’s no devaluation when it comes to “used” digital games.

[Via: Kotaku]
[Sources: Origin, EA Help]

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Ade Putra

Ade thinks there's nothing quite like a good game and a snug headcrab. He grew up with HIDEO KOJIMA's Metal Gear Solid, lives for RPGs, and is waiting for light guns to make their comeback.