Tuesday, May 19th 2020

Epic Games Store Set To Offer Partial Refunds For Recent Sales

It seems that Epic Games has quietly rolled out a new automated partial refund feature to games purchased via its storefront which later had their price cut in a sale. Studio Mayday founder Joshua Boggs shared an automated email he received from the Epic Games Store on Twitter, which stated that he would receive a partial refund for the difference in the game's price he recently purchased which shortly afterwards went on sale. This is the first we've heard of such a system and Epic Games may well be keeping the update quite to prevent abuse of the system.
Epic Games Store email
You recently placed orders from the Epic Games Store. The price of the game(s) you purchased were recently lowered, so we are issuing partial refunds for the difference(s).
Source: @jboggsie
Add your own comment

11 Comments on Epic Games Store Set To Offer Partial Refunds For Recent Sales

#1
robot zombie
Good on them. It's rare to really see that anywhere.

But I don't see how a person really abuses that. They are required to have bought the game recently, right before the price dropped, in order to collect it. Just kind of a buffer for price drops. Whatever you do to 'abuse' that, you're only making the same 'profit' as anyone else who bought the game on the same day. They're just giving those people the same price everyone else will be paying. You're not getting the game for free, yanno? So it's either you want it or you don't. If you wanted you bought it and lucky you, it actually got cheaper for you after the fact. It's more like a price-match discount. It only means something to people buying the games to play them, and that's exactly who its for.

Not to mention it's automated. People don't even line up. It implies that everyone who buys the game within x amount of time of a price drop will get a discount that reflects the new price, immediately. Meaning it's easy to do an audit on how many refunds are supposed to go out and to who, down to the exact amount. Not sure where the trickery would be.

Unless you're talking about potential exploits. Which I don't think keeping quiet about it would really help with. If there's a way, somebody will do it. And besides the people liable to find those in the first place would already be more up on the current features.

I think it's more likely that if they're being quiet about it, it's probably to test the waters and decide if that's what they really wanna do... or maybe they want to roll it out slowly to better deal with issues, rather than be inundated with junk inquiries about problems that may not even be problems when what they want to do is watch it and see how it does. If for whatever reason it isn't working, or just doesn't work for them, they can rescind it with less of the crazy knee-jerk that certain clusters of people have to stuff like that.
Posted on Reply
#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
This is a charm offensive. Should pull more users away from Steam.
Posted on Reply
#3
robot zombie
btarunr
This is a charm offensive. Should pull more users away from Steam.
Yeah, that's par for the course with them. People complain that they don't have all of these things that Steam has, while others say "Exactly! It's great." Definitely a narrative they'd like to earn for themselves, and have seemingly succeeded at getting, even with all of the political backlash on top. It's as though they know they can't exactly just be Steam, no beating them that way. But what they can do is be that breath of fresh air for people who have for years been complaining to no end about all things Steam. All sorts of things they can do to butter folks up, given the competition's track record. Plenty of ways to differentiate, without even being objectively better.

Cruel irony that sometimes the ones who complain about Steam now direct that towards Epic, even defending Steam at times. I truly don't get the investment in it - I say just take the arrangements that best suit you. I don't think moral games/debates with companies are beneficial. They shouldn't have to win people over that way, and people shouldn't expect to be won over in that way. When it's not about real merit but instead statements and gestures, the door is wide open for open manipulation. And people set themselves up for that, making I think too much of the things these companies who provide entertainment products do. For consumers, they exist to provide quality and value. But that's really a different issue that I don't think anyone will ever get to the bottom of. :laugh: It's hard when there are those inevitable real issues with the services themselves and sometimes I think everything behind the needs for these tactics actually just makes it worse. Makes it hard to know if what you're getting is actually worth it as far as the product itself goes.

Honestly though, this is a small thing. A rare gesture and a good one - we all get that pre-sale buyer's remorse in these interest markets. But I can see them just not saying much because for individuals it's just a simple perk, one reason you might pick them, assuming they both have the same price when you buy. Steam could drop it tomorrow and that's too bad. Epic will save you potentially a nice lil chunk.

So pretty nice, but it is a special-use decision modulator. As part of a bigger picture of things that add to buyer confidence and make them more accessible to people, it could be a very good thing. Things like this probably won't sway that many in themselves. It'd be something that would get brought up a lot, but probably isn't changing anyone's minds. Might buff retention, I suppose. But to the rest it's like a crappy motel trying to offer you gourmet mints. You can use all sorts of quick things to entice someone to come out to the river with you, but if they don't like the water they still won't drink it. It all counts for something. But I can see why they might just not be bothered to make a thing out of it. It's one of those basic, fundamental things. A pleasant superficiality. It makes me wonder what other things they might offer up, though.

I do have to commend them. They knew that people would be highly dubious of them when they came around. So they kept it simple. Nothing dazzling about anything they're doing, and definitely not about their launcher. Lots of free games. A bunch of hot new titles at decent launch prices (promising better payout scheme for devs/pubs on top,) and a peppering of pretty nice perks all along the way. So you could almost forget about them... until a game you want is exclusive. Most will still buy it if they want the game, and then they may see some of the other enticements, with little to really distract them. Maybe you stick around a bit for those and no matter what people say it all seems decently reasonable. Nothing to hate. But maybe nothing to love, either. It'd take more than stuff like that to keep people around. Earning goodwill is still a wise move, though. The worst thing for them right now would be if they fell into that conception people have of them being bad for gaming and bad for gamers. If they can get enough who don't see it that way to buy in and keep things moving, they can maybe survive long enough to prove whether or not anything is going to be getting seriously screwed-up by them... existing in a free market. :P

Anything getting them closer to that is probably worth the cost to them right now. Which is worth considering. It would be one thing if people had to pursue it - a lot of people might not know or bother but it still looks good. Person to person, small difference. But to immediately disburse the difference to say, lumps of even just 10000 people starts looking like a lot of money, just for one popular game. I really wonder how they factor the cost/benefit to make it work for them. I mean, most consumers sort of accept that markets are just like that, that if the price is agreeable to you on any particular day, you buy it because they can always be lower but you can't wait forever. And it's just to have people not waiting to make a purchase they might have made with Epic anyway. I can't picture droves of people lining up to buy a game at Epic just on the prospect of getting a little of that back later. Potentially a very high cost just to quietly do a nice little thing. So I figure maybe they'll tweak the pricing scheme... hide a little of the cost offset away across the whole sales pipeline.

It's funny, if Epic was a person I'd probably just think "Cool, that's super nice!" I dunno, maybe I'm underestimating the power of it in a more political context. I'm glad they're doing it. I will probably benefit at some point. I just don't fully understand it. It's a strange world where you can say something like that about something like this.

Hell, it could just be something they have around for screw ups and we will never see it do anything for anyone outside of isolated cases where something weird happened :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#4
Gungar
robot zombie
I don't think moral games/debates with companies are beneficial.
Of course you don't, or you wouldn't have written that wall of nothing.
Posted on Reply
#5
Vayra86
Gungar
Of course you don't, or you wouldn't have written that wall of nothing.
Walls of truth, my friend.
Posted on Reply
#6
BakerMan1971
Ok so Epic are working hard to win us all back, I am happy to give them a chance the platform is pretty good after all.
We just need the Meerkat comparison site (UK) to do games as well now :)
Posted on Reply
#7
demian_vi
that definitely a tl;dr

Epic has shown again and again their good intentions especially towards game developers and some people still can't give me a break, like Steam vs Epic is a football or religon rivalry
Posted on Reply
#8
robot zombie
Gungar
Of course you don't, or you wouldn't have written that wall of nothing.
Apologies. I have one consolatory chocolate chip cookie for you. All you need to do is pm me a valid mailing address and I will get that out to you ASAP.
demian_vi
that definitely a tl;dr

Epic has shown again and again their good intentions especially towards game developers and some people still can't give me a break, like Steam vs Epic is a football or religon rivalry
See, now thats a reasonable way to address a person. I see you realize me being wordy is not a personal affront and I appreciate it lol

But otherwise, fully agree with you. Personally Im gonna take the offer that works best for me. Sometimes its Epic, other times it isnt. There are enough little ideological wars that are unavoidable without that crap creeping into where you buy your games. I play games to get away from that!
Posted on Reply
#9
Vayra86
demian_vi
that definitely a tl;dr

Epic has shown again and again their good intentions especially towards game developers and some people still can't give me a break, like Steam vs Epic is a football or religon rivalry
Are you seriously getting flak for using EGS from your direct surroundings? Or just keyboard heroes? If its the latter, shrug and move on, but I think you know that :)

If its the former, just punch them in the face. :clap:
Posted on Reply
#10
demian_vi
Vayra86
Are you seriously getting flak for using EGS from your direct surroundings? Or just keyboard heroes? If its the latter, shrug and move on, but I think you know that :)

If its the former, just punch them in the face. :clap:
Just online so yeah it's not a big deal I'm trying to proselytize the former to use the Epic store
Posted on Reply
#11
kapone32
Actually when I used to buy PC games from Amazon.co.uk I used to get rebates if the game I bought new and the price dropped within a given time frame. If I remember correctly I ended up paying $27 Total War Rome 2 at the end of the time frame.
demian_vi
that definitely a tl;dr

Epic has shown again and again their good intentions especially towards game developers and some people still can't give me a break, like Steam vs Epic is a football or religon rivalry
:toast: Here we go again on an objective basis Epic can in no way be seen as bad for PC Gaming. GTA5 free, For Honor Free, a better download app than Steam in some ways and now they re offering partial rebates? Only someone dim witted would actually think that Epic is some evil trying to take over the God of good that is Steam? Competition is good as evidenced by the sudden change in the Steam UI and those changes have also been good.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment