H1Z1 refunds from Sony Online Entertainment are being offered to anyone who purchased the online zombie game. The decision was announced officially on the H1Z1 subreddit by SOE president John Semdley, on the heels of the controversy surrounding the controversial air drops in the game.
The H1Z1 refund offer on the subreddit reads as follows.
“If you feel like the airdrops are an issue for you, you may immediately request a refund to firstname.lastname@example.org – this offer applies till Monday and it applies only to people that have purchased the game as of 10:30am Pacific today 1/16/2015 -“
“Please note that this is going through us, not Steam. Which means it’s a little more work so please be patient with the actual refund (it may take a day or two).”
Steam is also honoring the refund; however, gamers that elect to have their H1Z1 refunds processed through Steam will find the funds returned to their Steam wallet.
H1Z1 is an open world, sandbox video game currently available on Steam and will eventually see release on the PlayStation 4. The game runs in the same vein as the popular ARMA 2 mod, DayZ.
The refunds being offered to gamers for their Early Access purchase of H1Z1 is another large bump in the road as publishers, developers, and gamers continue to wrestle with the economic realities that are involved with initiatives such as Steam Early Access, micro transactions, and how it all ties into an economy built upon identity-forming consumerism.
Gamers are a fickle bunch and for many, the idea of a personal identity stems from their ability to control their digital worlds. Hearthstone, the card battle game from Blizzard, is a perfect example of how a seductive tiered pricing system convinces players like Forbes’ Paul Tassi to spend real life money on the game, sometimes in the hundreds. Many publishers have seen this as a way to not only increase the bottom line of games as development continues to grow in both size and cost for large projects such as H1Z1.
Many gamers were elated to hear that the H1Z1 would reward those who spent the time and money on the game to survive in the zombie filled shooter by scavenging for ammo and tools that allow them to craft items to survive. Originally, the game was slated to be developed without any kind of pay-to-win option. This was clearly spelled out in another Reddit post in which SOE President John Smedley made it very clear that “We will NOT be selling Guns, Ammo, Food, Water… i.e. That’s kind of the whole game and it would suck in our opinion if we did that.”
As H1Z1 launched on Steam’s Early Access platform, gamers who wanted to experience the game before a public launch could pay a fee to access the game before completion. Then something changed. Sony offered airdrops into the game for a small fee of real world money. The catch was that these airdrops would be into a public area of the game in which other players will be able to fight you for the package you spent money on. The flare-lit airdrop zone can become a battlefield as someone could wait and kill you and take your package, as the Inquisitr has reported on previously.
This obviously angered some gamers, who were paying for early access to a game that intends to launch as a free game, now find themselves competing with other players who have an advantage of disposable income. The H1Z1 refunds are also being offered with no questions asked to anyone who purchased the game during the time frame mentioned above. While it is good that Sony is offering the refunds, it is sad to see the company go back on their word regardless of the situation.
Let the H1Z1 refunds stand a stark warning to beware of the price of admission to early access games, as there is no guarantee that the game will end up as you hoped, if it ever comes out at all.
[Image Source: GamesPress]