Early FFVII adopters are miffed after accidentally buying a broken, pre-release build.
Square Enix had a bit of a snafu a few days ago when the upcoming PC port of Final Fantasy VII made an unexpected early appearance, becoming briefly available for sale on the company's website. Sadly, since the game wasn't actually ready for primetime yet, it was unplayable - the SecuROM DRM refused to accept the ostensibly legitimate serial numbers customers had purchased. The response was less than enthusiastic, but Square Enix has announced its intent to make amends. Specifically, the company is giving all customers who bought Final Fantasy VII a refund and a free working copy of the game upon release.
In a statement to Kotaku, the developer explained that the erroneous listing was due to a problem during testing of the game's website. Square Enix also made sure to mention that the version sold was a "pre-release build" of the game, giving disappointed audiophiles a glimmer of hope that the final game might use the original soundtrack instead of the inferior MIDI version, which some intrepid file diggers reportedly found in the game's files. Of course, 'pre-release' could also just mean that the DRM doesn't work properly yet.
Square Enix did not mention exactly how many people bought the pre-release game, but claimed it was "a small number of people." Either way, getting Final Fantasy VII for free should assuage most angry early buyers, one of whom even threatened to contact the Better Business Bureau over the issue. The relatively quick and definitive response from the company may have only saved each buyer $12.70, but the public relations value for Square Enix was probably much higher.
While details about the game, like the intended release date, are still under wraps, Square Enix promised to release more information "shortly."