Blizzard Cleans Up GAME's Mess

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Blizzard Cleans Up GAME's Mess

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Blizzard is giving away "free" copies of Diablo III to Australian gamers who pre-ordered the title at GAME.

When the Australian branch of GAME entered administration yesterday, it appeared that gamers who had pre-ordered Diablo III (or any other game for that matter) from the company were fresh out of luck. Fortunately, Blizzard, recognizing the opportunity to earn some good press, are footing the bill. Provided gamers have kept their pre-order receipt, they can buy the game again and Blizzard will refund the amount they paid to Game Australia.

As community manager, Lylirra, posted on the official Diablo III forums:

We're aware that some Australian GAME customers have been left out in the cold on what should be the hottest night of the year - the launch of Diablo III. To help with this situation and get these players into the game as soon as possible, we've put the following process in place.
Australian GAME customers with a valid preorder/prepurchase receipt dated before May 15, 2012 can do the following:

1. Purchase the digital version of Diablo III from http://www.diablo3.com now or anytime before May 21, 2012.

2. Download and start playing when the servers go live!

3. Submit your GAME Australia preorder/prepurchase receipt to us before June 30, 2012.

4. Receive a credit from Blizzard, for the amount you paid in advance to GAME Australia for Diablo III. This credit will be applied to the payment method used for the digital purchase.

We'll post further details here on how to submit your GAME Australia receipt to our customer service team as soon as possible. Stay tuned, and we look forward to seeing you in the Burning Hells!

I admit, that cracked my practiced cynicism just a tad, and a tiny tear slid down my reptilian cheek. This is a very cool move on Blizzard's part, and the extra publicity it generates is well-earned.

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Now if only they'd fix that issue where your single player game crashes if your internet connection dies.

Keslen:
Now if only they'd fix that issue where your single player game crashes if your internet connection dies.

you want them to fix your crappy connection?

Well that's some well needed PR for them

Keslen:
Now if only they'd fix that issue where your single player game crashes if your internet connection dies.

I think I've found your problem. You're confusing a single-player game with an online game that can be played on your own.

Do you get mad when Guild Wars 1 boots you off the servers when your connection dies? No? Because it's an online game that you can play on your own if you want?

tony2077:

Keslen:
Now if only they'd fix that issue where your single player game crashes if your internet connection dies.

you want them to fix your crappy connection?

He wants them to fix their totalitarian DRM. Blizzard does understand that LANs exist, right? I mean Starcraft II basically single-handedly killed the LAN party, not to mention the ramifications it had on the tournament scene. Diablo 3 is doing the same. Why does Ubisoft get grated for this but Blizzard gets away with it?

I don't think blizz really cares about the boxed sales as much as getting as many people playing it as possible so they can possibly make more money from the auction thing, I get the feeling blizz is already looking at d3 as a free to play game.

Not really "free" unless the preorder fee was the cost of the full game, no?

Still a pretty good move. They were under no obligation to fulfill GAME Australia's preorders but they still give these guys a discount.

Pretty cool of them, but are they really "footing the bill"? It's a digital download and I doubt that the people that got burned by GAME were too keen on going out to buy it again anyways.

But at any rate, Good Guy Bliz.

Funkamander:
I think I've found your problem. You're confusing a single-player game with an online game that can be played on your own.

Do you get mad when Guild Wars 1 boots you off the servers when your connection dies? No? Because it's an online game that you can play on your own if you want?

So what exactly qualifies a single player game? Is it one where I'm playing all by myself and not including any other people nor intending to ever do so? 'Cause that's what I'm working off of. If you're using something else, let me know so we can work towards some common ground on the terminology.

Of course I don't get annoyed when an MMO (I played one for about three years) kicks me out on a connection blip - the whole point of those games is to connect me to the other players enjoying them with me. That's not the case when all I'm trying to do is battle against a bunch of computer controlled monsters to kill some time.

Keslen:

Funkamander:
I think I've found your problem. You're confusing a single-player game with an online game that can be played on your own.

Do you get mad when Guild Wars 1 boots you off the servers when your connection dies? No? Because it's an online game that you can play on your own if you want?

So what exactly qualifies a single player game? Is it one where I'm playing all by myself and not including any other people nor intending to ever do so? 'Cause that's what I'm working off of. If you're using something else, let me know so we can work towards some common ground on the terminology.

I've not played Diablo 3 at all, but as I understand it you're constantly connected to the auction house - an online feature. You're never playing all by yourself. Doesn't really matter what you 'intend', you're still technically playing with others by design.

Keslen:

Funkamander:
I think I've found your problem. You're confusing a single-player game with an online game that can be played on your own.

Do you get mad when Guild Wars 1 boots you off the servers when your connection dies? No? Because it's an online game that you can play on your own if you want?

So what exactly qualifies a single player game? Is it one where I'm playing all by myself and not including any other people nor intending to ever do so? 'Cause that's what I'm working off of. If you're using something else, let me know so we can work towards some common ground on the terminology.

Of course I don't get annoyed when an MMO (I played one for about three years) kicks me out on a connection blip - the whole point of those games is to connect me to the other players enjoying them with me. That's not the case when all I'm trying to do is battle against a bunch of computer controlled monsters to kill some time.

Guild Wars 1 is exactly like Diablo in that yo ucan always play it with bots instead of real people.

Diablo 3 is an online game as much as TF2 is.

Amnestic:

I've not played Diablo 3 at all, but as I understand it you're constantly connected to the auction house - an online feature. You're never playing all by yourself. Doesn't really matter what you 'intend', you're still technically playing with others by design.

Which is actually what most people complaining about D3 have an issue with; the whole RMAH. Given that the previous installments were very friendly toward the single player option offline, and were quite harsh in blocking any sort of virtual goods/real money exchange, this sudden reversal is unwelcome.

Andy of Comix Inc:

tony2077:

Keslen:
Now if only they'd fix that issue where your single player game crashes if your internet connection dies.

you want them to fix your crappy connection?

He wants them to fix their totalitarian DRM. Blizzard does understand that LANs exist, right? I mean Starcraft II basically single-handedly killed the LAN party, not to mention the ramifications it had on the tournament scene. Diablo 3 is doing the same. Why does Ubisoft get grated for this but Blizzard gets away with it?

how is being online to play this game so evil

Andy of Comix Inc:

tony2077:

Keslen:
Now if only they'd fix that issue where your single player game crashes if your internet connection dies.

you want them to fix your crappy connection?

He wants them to fix their totalitarian DRM. Blizzard does understand that LANs exist, right? I mean Starcraft II basically single-handedly killed the LAN party, not to mention the ramifications it had on the tournament scene. Diablo 3 is doing the same. Why does Ubisoft get grated for this but Blizzard gets away with it?

Because Blizzard does stuff like this?

That and the fact that They at least implements DRM competently?

Worgen:
I don't think blizz really cares about the boxed sales as much as getting as many people playing it as possible so they can possibly make more money from the auction thing, I get the feeling blizz is already looking at d3 as a free to play game.

Well yeah, hence the whole "refund" thing, but if they have an online auction house wouldn't it end up being more 'freemium' in the end?

Grey Carter:
I admit, that cracked my practiced cynicism just a tad, and a tiny tear slid down my reptilian cheek. This is a very cool move on Blizzard's part, and the extra publicity it generates is well-earned.

Wall-a-by a monkey's uncle! You really DO care Grey!

tony2077:
How is being online to play this game so evil?

Being online isn't so evil - I'm sure it offers a lot of usefulness. The unfortunate awkwardness comes when you are kicked out of a world containing absolutely nothing but you and a bunch of computer controlled monsters if your router, ISP or similar should suffer a hiccup.

If you were within a world populated with other players, it'd make sense for the whole game to completely crash in this situation, but if it's nobody but yourself, that feature quickly approaches the realm of asinine. A simple "Service not currently available" error message would suffice if you were attempting to utilize a global service like the Real Money Auction House while you were waiting for the blip to correct itself.

You can't buy this kind of good press...but they basically just did.

sweet, not even off the first page and the blizz hate is in fully effect.

anyway, good move on they're part, regardless the reason behind it

Keslen:

tony2077:
How is being online to play this game so evil?

Being online isn't so evil - I'm sure it offers a lot of usefulness. The unfortunate awkwardness comes when you are kicked out of a world containing absolutely nothing but you and a bunch of computer controlled monsters if your router, ISP or similar should suffer a hiccup.

If you were within a world populated with other players, it'd make sense for the whole game to completely crash in this situation, but if it's nobody but yourself, that feature quickly approaches the realm of asinine. A simple "Service not currently available" error message would suffice if you were attempting to utilize a global service like the Real Money Auction House while you were waiting for the blip to correct itself.

well our house is always online since we have internet tv so i don't get blips so i can't really comment on that part but condemning them for it doesn't make sense

eventhorizon525:

Amnestic:

I've not played Diablo 3 at all, but as I understand it you're constantly connected to the auction house - an online feature. You're never playing all by yourself. Doesn't really matter what you 'intend', you're still technically playing with others by design.

Which is actually what most people complaining about D3 have an issue with; the whole RMAH. Given that the previous installments were very friendly toward the single player option offline, and were quite harsh in blocking any sort of virtual goods/real money exchange, this sudden reversal is unwelcome.

The RMAH from the beginning has been the thing I have the *least* problems with. D2 had RMT out the yin-yang on shady third party sites, and Blizzard couldn't really do much to stop it.

So, they did the sensible thing and cut out the third party black market directly. It was going to happen anyway, why not make it legitimate?

tony2077:
Well our house is always online since we have internet TV so I don't get blips and I can't really comment on that part but condemning them for it doesn't make sense.

They made a choice within development. They looked at a component that was completely irrelevant to the core game play and said "We should make it so that when this component fails, the entire game comes to a screeching halt." and they made that choice knowing full well that this component could fail at any time outside of the player's control.

I'd definitely say that "condemning" is a harsh word for my context, but this is a choice I feel comfortable speaking against. It is also one that I do not feel comfortable supporting with my wallet.

Also, you do get blips. You may not get them very often and your TV is likely programmed to accommodate them so you don't notice them when they occur, but the system has not yet been invented that avoids them completely (at least not for a cost structure which is reasonable to pay).

Granted it's a good PR move, and it makes them appear "cool". But let's not be naive here. They're a business, and they want as many people as possible playing their game. By offering to refund them, they're ensuring that these people will be playing the game, and that they won't be losing customers (especially potential customers for the auction house).

Keslen:

tony2077:
Well our house is always online since we have internet TV so I don't get blips and I can't really comment on that part but condemning them for it doesn't make sense.

They made a choice within development. They looked at a component that was completely irrelevant to the core game play and said "We should make it so that when this component fails, the entire game comes to a screeching halt." and they made that choice knowing full well that this component could fail at any time outside of the player's control.

I'd definitely say that "condemning" is a harsh word for my context, but this is a choice I feel comfortable speaking against. It is also one that I do not feel comfortable supporting with my wallet.

Also, you do get blips. You may not get them very often and your TV is likely programmed to accommodate them so you don't notice them when they occur, but the system has not yet been invented that avoids them completely (at least not for a cost structure which is reasonable to pay).

I'm on the internet right now and i still don't get blips unless i'm downloading something using my full connection. i can play old republic for hours on end without any problems

tony2077:

Andy of Comix Inc:

tony2077:
you want them to fix your crappy connection?

He wants them to fix their totalitarian DRM. Blizzard does understand that LANs exist, right? I mean Starcraft II basically single-handedly killed the LAN party, not to mention the ramifications it had on the tournament scene. Diablo 3 is doing the same. Why does Ubisoft get grated for this but Blizzard gets away with it?

how is being online to play this game so evil

Not everyone has a great internet connection and people should not be punished because of it. The same exact thing happened when Assassins Creed 2 was released. People had to be connected to the internet to play the game. I believe AC2 was patched later on though so people could play it without having to always be connected to the internet.

If someone wants to play the campaign by themselves by making their session private why should they still have to be connected to the internet? Hopefully Blizzard patches in an offline mode in the future.

John Funk:

eventhorizon525:

Amnestic:

I've not played Diablo 3 at all, but as I understand it you're constantly connected to the auction house - an online feature. You're never playing all by yourself. Doesn't really matter what you 'intend', you're still technically playing with others by design.

Which is actually what most people complaining about D3 have an issue with; the whole RMAH. Given that the previous installments were very friendly toward the single player option offline, and were quite harsh in blocking any sort of virtual goods/real money exchange, this sudden reversal is unwelcome.

The RMAH from the beginning has been the thing I have the *least* problems with. D2 had RMT out the yin-yang on shady third party sites, and Blizzard couldn't really do much to stop it.

So, they did the sensible thing and cut out the third party black market directly. It was going to happen anyway, why not make it legitimate?

Guess I just find effectively pay-to-win options disappointing to say the least, since it basically cuts out the feeling of achievement you get from finding/unlocking everything on your own. And while yes people like me don't have to use the money shop, it will effect us none the less, and make the trading scene more frustrating. If you can tie real money value to an item (legitimately), people are going to more often compare items based on those prices, and there is going to be less wiggle room than the more barter or alternative currency method originally employed.

However I can't argue that this isn't the best choice to do from Blizzard's perspective, it does reenforce some (imo) unfortunate trends in gaming.

captcha: easy as cake; well yes, I do think people being able to buy the best items ruins the fun of the game.

--

Nice to see Aussies NOT get fucked over for once.

The order of these instructions is curious. Buy the game again, play our awesome game *thumbs up*, THEN submit your receipt eventually whenever you feel like it, then we'll give you a credit. Ok, what exactly is a credit? Sounds like credit to be used in the auction house. And what if something derps? Well fuck you you bought the game twice, can't return it because it's a PC game.

Fr]anc[is:
Ok, what exactly is a credit? Sounds like credit to be used in the auction house. And what if something derps? Well fuck you you bought the game twice, can't return it because it's a PC game.

4. Receive a credit from Blizzard, for the amount you paid in advance to GAME Australia for Diablo III. This credit will be applied to the payment method used for the digital purchase.

This last line implies that it's a straight up 'refund' to the cost you paid to preorder the game.

Blizzard's Customer Service are generally very good about these kind of things, no matter what personal opinion you have about their games. Were I an Aussie pre-order customer, I wouldn't be concerned.

Good job Blizzard, you guys just earned yourselves a decent amount of credibility. Considering the shitstorm that followed some design choices they could definitely use this.

eventhorizon525:

John Funk:

eventhorizon525:

Which is actually what most people complaining about D3 have an issue with; the whole RMAH. Given that the previous installments were very friendly toward the single player option offline, and were quite harsh in blocking any sort of virtual goods/real money exchange, this sudden reversal is unwelcome.

The RMAH from the beginning has been the thing I have the *least* problems with. D2 had RMT out the yin-yang on shady third party sites, and Blizzard couldn't really do much to stop it.

So, they did the sensible thing and cut out the third party black market directly. It was going to happen anyway, why not make it legitimate?

Guess I just find effectively pay-to-win options disappointing to say the least, since it basically cuts out the feeling of achievement you get from finding/unlocking everything on your own. And while yes people like me don't have to use the money shop, it will effect us none the less, and make the trading scene more frustrating. If you can tie real money value to an item (legitimately), people are going to more often compare items based on those prices, and there is going to be less wiggle room than the more barter or alternative currency method originally employed.

However I can't argue that this isn't the best choice to do from Blizzard's perspective, it does reenforce some (imo) unfortunate trends in gaming.

captcha: easy as cake; well yes, I do think people being able to buy the best items ruins the fun of the game.

The "pay to win" was in Diablo 2, too. It just wasn't official. This is changing nothing except making it safer and funneling money into the community.

While this certainly SOUNDS like a generous offer on Blizzard's part, I don't believe it's that much of a loss, if any, to Blizzard's coffers.

Firstly the player must buy the game directly from Blizzard (thus Blizz gets the full amount). They're likely making more than enough off those sales, now that they don't have to split the money with the retailer, to more than cover any pre-order fees. For example, if the retailer sales the game for $60 with $20 going to the retailer and Blizzard only getting $40 and there was a $10 pre-order fee, this means than NOW Blizzard gets the full $60 and only has to refund $10 back to the player. As long as the fee was low enough to fall within the retailer's portion of the profits Blizzard will actually make MORE than if the GAME sales actually went through.

AND, much like mail-in rebates, the key here is making that "money back" conditional on requiring the customer to mail in their receipts and giving them a month and a half to do it. Most people are lazy. They'll forget to mail it in, or put it off till later, and then one day they'll think about the refund and look at the calendar and OOPS, it's already past the deadline. Too late. That's why mail-in rebate sales are so profitable for companies. The number of buyers go through the roof and most forget to get their refund so the company actually ends up paying out very little but has the increased profits of all the extra customers who've essentially paid full price.

Plus, as mentioned above, it's good PR. A win for Blizzard no matter how you look at it and only a win for those few customers who remember to actually jump through the necessary hoops in time.

Kuala BangoDango:
While this certainly SOUNDS like a generous offer on Blizzard's part, I don't believe it's that much of a loss, if any, to Blizzard's coffers.

Firstly the player must buy the game directly from Blizzard (thus Blizz gets the full amount). They're likely making more than enough off those sales, now that they don't have to split the money with the retailer, to more than cover any pre-order fees. For example, if the retailer sales the game for $60 with $20 going to the retailer and Blizzard only getting $40 and there was a $10 pre-order fee, this means than NOW Blizzard gets the full $60 and only has to refund $10 back to the player. As long as the fee was low enough to fall within the retailer's portion of the profits Blizzard will actually make MORE than if the GAME sales actually went through.

AND, much like mail-in rebates, the key here is making that "money back" conditional on requiring the customer to mail in their receipts and giving them a month and a half to do it. Most people are lazy. They'll forget to mail it in, or put it off till later, and then one day they'll think about the refund and look at the calendar and OOPS, it's already past the deadline. Too late. That's why mail-in rebate sales are so profitable for companies. The number of buyers go through the roof and most forget to get their refund so the company actually ends up paying out very little but has the increased profits of all the extra customers who've essentially paid full price.

Plus, as mentioned above, it's good PR. A win for Blizzard no matter how you look at it and only a win for those few customers who remember to actually jump through the necessary hoops in time.

well you can only blame yourself if you don't mail it in on time since your the one who put it off. doing for the people screwed by this game stuff is a nice PR move which are few and far between

you're awesome blizzard! i dont even want diablo III and... come to think of it, i don't like any of your games, but you're just awesome;D

I can't imagine this cost them over like a couple thousand bucks, even if they receive no money from GAME (or however that works). This is nothing, and has nothing to do with how they make their games.

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