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Valve to Offer Refund For Every Sold Copy of From Dust? [UPDATED]


Ubisoft’s God game From Dust has been available for less than 24 hours but its purchasers are already being refunded by online distribution giant Steam after a breach of terms by Ubisoft.

The publisher stated that there would be no DRM with the game other than a one-time-activation [2]. However this seems to have turned out to be a big fat lie as the inclusion of metapoint service Uplay demands DRM. Meaning the user would always have to be connected to the internet to log in to Ubisoft’s and play the game

If you purchased the game through Steam, you can request a refund by contacting support here [3] and state your unhappiness with the forced DRM added by Ubisoft. It can take a while for a reply so please be patient.

EDIT: Alternatively, you can contact Ubisoft support here [4] if your initial claim is denied. [Via Ubisoft Support Boards [5]]

If you contact the retailer – or if that’s not an option, Ubisoft Support they can advise you further on the next stages you need to go through if you wish to pursue a refund. 

What’s your take on DRM? Is it a suitable countermeasure to videogame piracy or should companies look for other ways of dealing with it which won’t hurt the paying customers. Let us know in the comment section below.

EDIT- It seems that in light of the massive influx of tickets, Steam Support have been turning down refund requests left and right for MANY users.  Here’s a suggestion from someone who successfully received their refund to increase the likelihood that you’ll receive your $15/dignity back.  [via Rock, Paper, Shotgun [6]]

We are dealing with civil law so it will be different in everyone’s circumstances and there are no absolutes. For instance I used the sale of goods act (uk), but equally you could use consumer protection regulations or the consumer credit act, there are any number of eu laws which are relevant. I don’t doubt a clever enough lawyer could use something really obscue. They are not required by law to give any one any money back – civil law is all about disputes. If you feel strongly that you should be entitled to it back, make your case firmly, with no hint of stroppiness and quote the relavent law to why you feel you deserve your money back. If I wad to tell you what I did, they would get a thousand identical requests and actually use the number of identical requests against you.

So you may feel you are entitled to your money back because the product was mis-sold. You need to check first that it was (here’s a heads up, it wasn’t, so don’t try to follow this one, you’ll get exactly nowhere). First you need to find the law which deals with this – contract law, specifically misrepresentation. You will spend as long as you need before you understand it completely.

Write your email next, save it and read it. Work out how they would get out of it (in this case, it’s very clear in steams T&C that a third party may require this DRM, which is why you’ll get nowhere) and seal up the cracks.

Next you need to know where to send it. There are many people who can cancel your key, I wouldn’t bother with steam, they won’t read your email for a couple of weeks and likely ignore it until you’ve sent two or three.

So that leavesUbisoft and Ubisoft Montpellier. If you’re canny, you’ll manage to avoid customer service. I won’t be publishing anyones personal email addresses, suffice to say if you get out of your chair and use the phone, you’ll easily find the right one.

Send, sit back and await a responce. If you’ve done everything well, enjoy that £11 refund you worked for 3 hours to get – maybe more if you have to do lots of complicated research.

Personally I did it to make a point.

EDIT: And for goodness sake, back up your statements with facts, don’t just write “The laws of misrepresentation say that this product was poorly described”, write:

“According to the misrepresentation act of 1967 and backed up by the 1986 case of Gordon v Selico (link here), when an UBIsoft employee negligently posted false information on the date of xx/yy/zz at http:\whateveritwas.com, I took that to be a factual statement concerning the game and was one of the deciding factors as to my purchase of the game.”

UPDATE (08/24/2011)- It seems armchair activism is taking effect.  Valve has reportedly sent the following emails out to people who have received denied refund tickets:

“Ubisoft has just announced that they are working on a patch that will eliminate the need for any online authentication for From Dust. The patch will release in approximately two weeks.

If you don’t want to wait for the patch or if you haven’t played the game, per Ubisoft’s request, we will issue refunds for this title.

If you would still like your purchase of From Dust refunded, please reply to this ticket.”