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Reader Comments (59)

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:03AM smartstep said

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Sure they should. Selling Tabula Rasa , Lotro basic SoA box , and DCUO without warning is basically a scam imho.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:09AM Fisk said

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@smartstep IMHO Tabula Rasa and closed games are a scam. But with lotro you do get 30 days of VIP time for a new account ( however european boxes no longer works so that is a scam too ) so IMO not really a scam and since the game is still live. DCUO is not f2p yet and i think that there will still be some benefit of having bought the game before.

Just my 2 cents
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 11:11AM Saker said

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@smartstep I agree! Selling closed games is a scam. That's what you get with laissez-faire-style-capitalism. Whatever makes a buck for the corporates and monied-class, that's all that matters.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 5:28PM Kynmarcher said

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@smartstep Not always a scam, some stores simply don't know better. A year ago I went into a JB-HIFI store and saw a CE version of Tabula Rasa on the shelves. Instead of letting some poor sap buy it thinking it would be awesome I walked to the front counter and explained to one of their staff that the game was an MMO and that it had been shut down over a year ago, so the box was worthless.

The staff member in question walked right down the isle, grabbed the box off the shelf, thanked me and walked into the backroom. I assume the box is either still there or was given away/thrown out but... goes to show that not everyone is out there to scam.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 12:04AM Space Cobra said

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@Kynmarcher

Yeah, I gotta agree here. No real "scam" beyond uninformed store stockers not knowing and keeping things on the shelves; There is no buy-back program, since many times, a company goes bankrupt.

Actually, while I have spotted a fair amount of boxes still out on shelves, I still notice many stores, even eventually, do clear these dead items.

And in some cases, like DCUO, personally, I like to have a leg-up in downloading/installing before leaving my PC/Console on to patch up (especially true for PS3, where downloading such a thing has been a marathon-long session).
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 12:07AM Space Cobra said

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@Kynmarcher

Yeah, I gotta agree here. No real "scam" beyond uninformed store stockers not knowing and keeping things on the shelves; There is no buy-back program, since many times, a company goes bankrupt.

Actually, while I have spotted a fair amount of boxes still out on shelves, I still notice many stores, even eventually, do clear these dead items.

And in some cases, like DCUO, personally, I like to have a leg-up in downloading/installing before leaving my PC/Console on to patch up (especially true for PS3, where downloading such a thing has been a marathon-long session).
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:13AM hereafter said

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I think they should pull it unless there's some stringent corporate policy that forbids it, in which case the clerks should be well-informed enough to warn customers OR the return policy should allow for any eventualities.

I remember once years and years ago I found this interesting space fleet type of MMO that looked fun and was on sale (internet high-five if anyone helps me remember what it was; it had both space and ground battles and some fleet construction capability, but I only have vague memories of the box and that's it). Anyway, this was when I was still a kid so my consumer research skills were pretty basic. Thankfully, the guy at the register warned me that it was old and might not even be running anymore, which saved me from using my scant resources on it. So I guess the moral is what I said up top :P

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 9:05AM Birk said

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@hereafter

Hmmm...perhaps Earth & Beyond?

-Birk
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 2:08PM hereafter said

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@Birk

I got excited for a sec, but I'm not sure that was it. I think you could build a whole fleet and the ground combat was more RTS in style with ground units. I'm pretty sure it was an MMO because of the monthly fee, but I don't think it was an RPG as such.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:22AM KDolo said

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you buy PC games in stores?

I don't think it's up to the stores to keep up with F2P switches. For the reasons you state, it's the store's prerogative what they sell and if someone in the MMO community is uninformed enough to make that sort of purchase, they deserve to be separated from their money.

Even allowing for an uninformed purchase, most stores will allow people to return games that don't work or gifts that the recipient did not want. I figure F2P games fall under one of these two categories, if not others.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:34AM Budukahn said

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@KDolo

I find that for a lot of PC Games with an online component especially, those stores who sell them will refuse to give you a refund on the basis that once you use the key they obviously can't then resell the product to someone else.

Unfortunately, since there's basically nobody working retail in video games anymore who knows anything about PC titles, the fact that said game can't actually be played due to the fact the whole service shut down isn't likely to carry much weight with them. Their general failure to lower the prices of their older PC titles to reflect the fact the box has been sitting unsold on the shelf for two years doesn't give me much hope they're paying attention.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:43AM SiML said

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@KDolo

Of course its up to the stores to keep up with F2P changes.
If I can do it as a hobby with pc gaming, then they should bloody well be able to do it considering its their job!.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:53AM KDolo said

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@SiML

Their job is to sell boxes. To them, it doesn't matter what's in them. Buyer beware.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 10:04AM DeadlyAccurate said

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@KDolo So if someone doesn't get up every morning and read Massively, they deserved to be scammed out of their money by a non-working product? The grandparent just trying to buy a game for their grandkid, and all they know is that they like "that Star Wars," deserves to get screwed because they didn't realize SWG is going under? Nice.

The stores have a responsibility to their customers to remove non-working products. But I also agree that the publishers have a responsibility to inform the stores that the product no longer works as intended.

More often than not, games can't be returned once opened, even if the game can't be made to work because no servers are available on which to play it. In any other industry, is it legal to sell a non-working product to an unknowing customer and then refuse to return their money when it doesn't (and can't be made to) work? Whatever happened to warranty laws?
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 11:32AM KDolo said

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@DeadlyAccurate

If a parent or grandparent buys a game for a kid who does know, the kid is not going to open the box and that would be returned.

I don't know where you live but I never have any problem returning even opened games where "the disc didn't work" or whatever.

Also, the MMO gamer is COMPLETELY different than the single player or free online player. Generally the ones who are informed know what they're buying and the ones that aren't get into the game because the the ones that are informed are their friends. Also, those uninformed players quickly become informed players.

And while we're at it, let's be realistic. We're not talking about defective breaks on a Toyota or spinach with e-coli. We're talking about, at most, a $60 investment that went sour. If nothing else, it's a good opportunity to learn for the next time.

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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 4:52PM alinos said

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@KDolo

I'm not sure how it works where you are.

But i know for a fact that EBgames in australia(Gamestop). If they sell you a boxed copy of a game. It's automatically assumed to be opened even if you haven't left the store.

And do you wanna know reason number one for that. any game that doesn't come in a cardboard box, is generally taken out of the plastic case and put into a draw behind the counter. So the game has been opened before the sale has comenced.

and when it comes you cardboard boxes let's just say there are plenty of ways to open them without people knowing.

And no one should suffer a 60 dollar penalty, people wonder why pirates exist it's because when they go out and buy something on a whim. And get stung, they are increasingly less likely to do so again.

Problem is that most game stores keep these thing's on the shelf because they make the PC section actually looks like it exist's
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:28AM Malagarr said

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Honestly, most big store chains do not have the time to keep track of the status of every MMO out there to see which ones are still active and which aren't. It's the responsibility of the publisher to issue a recall on those game boxes. Most stores will not miss a recall of a product. If they do, however, that becomes their problem.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:34AM Eamil said

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@Malagarr

I hadn't thought of that. That's a good point.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:37AM Arctic Frog said

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One of the stores where I usually buy my games are selling Champions Online for about 50 euros. And this is one of the big Scandinavian chains. I lol'd (yes, I actually laughed out loud in the store) when I spotted the box.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:42AM (Unverified) said

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Do people really just go window shopping for mmos? I mean, I atleast check out a few webpages on a game before I go invest some money in them.

With that said, I think it is the publishers responsibilty to inform the merchant that the game needs to be taken off the shelf. The merchant needs to then send out a memo to all of its stores to remove the game off the shelf. I strongly believe the merchant needs to allow returns on mmos that no longer exist or went f2p (unless there is some sort of value left in the game like vip status or something) because we all know there are some store employees that slack off and some games won't be pulled at some stores.

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