Frontier outlines Elite: Dangerous refund policy following offline mode backlash

UPDATE: Rethinks refunds for those who have already played the game.

UPDATE 21/11/2014: Frontier has had a rethink and is looking again at its controversial Elite: Dangerous refund policy.

Posting on the Frontier forum, David Braben said the Cambridge-based company would investigate requests for a refund it had initially denied because people had already played the game.

"We initially declined some people's request for refund as our records showed they have already played Elite: Dangerous online," he wrote.

"After listening to many of the comments I received after my AMA here, we have since re-opened these requests and informed those people that we will be contacting them so that we can fully understand their individual situation before making a more informed decision.

"We will be contacting them each in the next few working days."

Braben's comment was posted yesterday evening after a gargantuan 10,000 post thread packed with heated debate on Frontier's decision not to include an offline mode in the space game.

ORIGINAL STORY: Frontier has moved to clarify its Elite: Dangerous refund policy following the backlash against the game's lack of an offline mode.

Last week Frontier announced Elite: Dangerous requires and internet connection at all times - angering those who had backed the game based on the belief an offline mode would be included.

Do you think people are entitled to a refund?

Many called for a refund on their Kickstarter pledge and alpha and/or beta purchase.

Now, Frontier chief David Braben has said those who have pre-ordered the £35 release version of the game from Frontier's online store, and therefore are yet to play the game, can get a refund.

However, Frontier said it will not refund those who have already played the game.

"We have started responding to requests where there is a clear outcome," Braben wrote in the latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter.

"Those who have pre-ordered an Elite: Dangerous release version from our online store and have therefore not yet played the game are eligible for a refund.

"Those who have already been playing the game online in the Alpha and/or Beta phases, regardless of whether they backed the project via Kickstarter or purchased access to Alpha and/or Beta through our online store, are not eligible for a refund."

That's pretty clear cut, but there seems scope for a refund in other circumstances, too.

"We want to make sure we treat each person's situation with the thoroughness it deserves," Braben added, "and have contacted each of them to ask that they bear with us over the next few working days if their circumstances do not fit either criteria above as we look into individual requests."

The furore over Elite: Dangerous' lack of an offline mode has sparked a debate about the kind of game its developers intended it to be compared to the expectations of backers.

"Many of the conversations we have had during development focussed on backers wanting to play the game without the downside of online - griefing especially - ie a single player experience," Braben said.

"We considered this to be the main issue and focussed on making sure we had a great single-player offering. We have also ensured that the solo play mode has a minimal network requirement (about 10 kbps). "

There's also a debate about whether Elite: Dangerous should be considered a massively multiplayer online game such as World of Warcraft.

"Technically, it has always been," Braben said. "There are already over 100,000 people playing in the same world. We believe that always-online entertainment is already a reality for the majority. We are delivering a truly huge game using the best technology and designed to stand the test of time, played for many years to come and still be relevant."

The last Elite: Dangerous beta build goes live on 22nd November. Elite: Dangerous 1.0 launches on 16th December.

Has Frontier denied you a refund on Elite: Dangerous? If so, I'd love to hear your story.

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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