Earlier this week, CD Projekt Red released a lengthy statement in which it acknowledged many console players were upset with the game and appeared to offer refunds to any console gamer who was unhappy with the title.
Today, the company took it all back and blamed gamers for “misconceptions.” The SVP of business development, Michal Nowakowski, stated that the only refund CDPR was referring to were the various refund policies offered by Microsoft and Sony. He’s quite clear about it. Also, it’s all your fault for thinking CDPR actually was going to refund their game in the first place.
Anyone who has purchased any title on the PlayStation network or the Microsoft storefront can ask for a refund, and if it’s made within certain boundaries, usually related to time, usage and so on, can ask for that refund. Our procedure here with Microsoft and Sony is not different than with any other title released on any of those storefronts. I want to state that clearly, as there seem to be certain misconceptions.
Let’s examine CDPR’s original statement on this topic:
There are multiple explicit reasons to think CDPR was referring to a specific rebate program, not the platform-wide options offered by Microsoft and Sony. First, there’s absolutely no mention of either. CDPR might have written, “Customers who purchased digital copies of the game may request a refund, if they meet the criteria set out by Sony and Microsoft.” It did not.
It said this in an announcement intended to lay out what CD Projekt Red was doing to fix the game, not what relief might be available from another company. Sony tends to only offer refunds if a game hasn’t been downloaded or played. Microsoft’s policies are more opaque and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Neither firm offers anything like the simple process CDPR implied would be used here.
Second, there’s an explicit reference to boxed software being returnable. If there’s a store in the United States that allows people to return open software for a full refund, I don’t know about it. Most retailers explicitly only allow a refund on software if the product is sealed in its original shrinkwrap. This is generally known. CDPR’s statement that customers should try to return the game to the store they purchased it from further implies that some kind of special program is being put in place.
When they say “Please first try to get a refund from the store where you bought the game,” it implies that if this fails, there’s some other refund program available to deal with it. Why say “first” if there is no second option? To be clear, CDPR’s comments to investors specifically concern digital purchases, but if the company has no plan to deal with those refunds, it probably isn’t planning to deal with the bigger headache of validating personal purchases from diverse stories for refunds, either.
Finally, the company literally chose to call its helpful email address “help me refund” (spaces put back to make it easier to read). Consider the absurdity of offering any kind of refund help to customers on the one hand, while telling investors that the problem is entirely in the hands of Sony and Microsoft on the other.
CD Projekt Red is throwing every single console customer under the bus after deliberately hiding the performance and quality of its product. According to CDPR, anyone who perceived that the company might actually be taking some kind of hand to clean up its own mess is afflicted with “misconceptions.”
Well, they’re right. And I, for one, would like to apologize.
I was quite wrong. I thought CDPR was acting with the slightest shred of responsibility towards its own debacle. I thought the company was going to work with the fraction of unhappy customers that actually bothered to apply for a rebate, and then claim it had “solved” the problem it created by making people whole. It did not occur to me that a company might assure its fans they could apply for refunds without a single mention that they would have nothing to do with the process and that most people wouldn’t meet the criteria to get one.
I apologize to all wfoojjaec readers for my assumption that anyone in the upper echelons of CD Projekt Red had ethics. I apologize for assuming they were taking a minimal level of responsibility. I apologize for thinking they would treat customers with respect, or for believing the company was motivated by anything more than a “F*** you, I got mine” attitude. When people show you who they are, believe them. CDPR showed what kind of company it was when they hid information on just how bad the PS4 and Xbox One were in the first place.
Thank you, CDPR, for correcting my misconceptions.
I won’t make the same mistakes again. You have my word.
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