Gothic 4 Issues on Steam

So, people are spitting venom on JoWooD's decision to delay the U.S. release of ArcaniA: Gothic 4.  Apparently, there were some delays impacting shipment of products to retail stores, and JoWooD was pressured to not release the game online prior to the game's release in brick-and-mortar stores.  I can understand the reason behind JoWooD's decision, but I can also understand the anger some people are feeling about getting jerked around by release dates.  
 
My problem here is a little unique.  I am an American, but I am spending some time in Spain this year (I'll be here until Christmas or thereabouts).  I had an issue with Steam initially not allowing me to purchase games (apparently it recognized my IP address as being European, but my credit card as American, or something like that).  Steam worked with me very quickly to get that sorted out.  But oddly enough, I generally have had to wait for European release dates (so when Civ 5 was released in the U.S. earlier than in Europe, I had to wait a few days).  Not a big deal, and nothing I shouldn't expect.  But when it came to this game, where (for once) a European release date was earlier than its U.S. release date, the system seems to be treating me as not European.  I can preload, but I can't actually play the game. 
 
What's making matters worse is that I submitted a ticket to Steam as soon as this happened, and it's been radio silence for over two days.  No response, no "we're looking into it", nothing.  I'd be fine if they just told me that because my situation is a little unique I get games released after they're released EVERYWHERE else.  Just some kind of response letting me know where I stand.  Steam's customer service was very prompt when it came to getting me to spend money with them; when it comes to fixing problems that don't impact their bottom line, the response time seems to be a bit less stellar.  I guess I had been so satisfied with their platform for so long I expected a bit more out of them.  Live and learn. 
 
In the meantime, I guess I'll just entertain myself by burning things in Minecraft
 
EDIT: And now, with no explanation whatsoever, I was given access to the game on Friday night, more or less splitting the difference between the US and European release dates.  Weird.

5 Comments
5 Comments
Posted by mzuckerm

So, people are spitting venom on JoWooD's decision to delay the U.S. release of ArcaniA: Gothic 4.  Apparently, there were some delays impacting shipment of products to retail stores, and JoWooD was pressured to not release the game online prior to the game's release in brick-and-mortar stores.  I can understand the reason behind JoWooD's decision, but I can also understand the anger some people are feeling about getting jerked around by release dates.  
 
My problem here is a little unique.  I am an American, but I am spending some time in Spain this year (I'll be here until Christmas or thereabouts).  I had an issue with Steam initially not allowing me to purchase games (apparently it recognized my IP address as being European, but my credit card as American, or something like that).  Steam worked with me very quickly to get that sorted out.  But oddly enough, I generally have had to wait for European release dates (so when Civ 5 was released in the U.S. earlier than in Europe, I had to wait a few days).  Not a big deal, and nothing I shouldn't expect.  But when it came to this game, where (for once) a European release date was earlier than its U.S. release date, the system seems to be treating me as not European.  I can preload, but I can't actually play the game. 
 
What's making matters worse is that I submitted a ticket to Steam as soon as this happened, and it's been radio silence for over two days.  No response, no "we're looking into it", nothing.  I'd be fine if they just told me that because my situation is a little unique I get games released after they're released EVERYWHERE else.  Just some kind of response letting me know where I stand.  Steam's customer service was very prompt when it came to getting me to spend money with them; when it comes to fixing problems that don't impact their bottom line, the response time seems to be a bit less stellar.  I guess I had been so satisfied with their platform for so long I expected a bit more out of them.  Live and learn. 
 
In the meantime, I guess I'll just entertain myself by burning things in Minecraft
 
EDIT: And now, with no explanation whatsoever, I was given access to the game on Friday night, more or less splitting the difference between the US and European release dates.  Weird.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

I'm regretting mentioning Minecraft to you :)
 
I wonder if their speed in answering is directly related to the rarity of the problem.  If you get the Europe/American discrepancy they probably have a canned reply and a procedure they can follow.  With this, a specific game that's released in Europe before the U.S., it may not be something they deal with often enough for there to be a policy in place, especially for someone in your situation.  
 
I'm interested to know if they eventually answer your question, though. 

Posted by mzuckerm
@ahoodedfigure: I suspect you're right, but I'd still like an answer.  Ignoring me just gives me the impression that the only time they want to hear from me is when I'm shipping them money.  Which may be true, but it's not something I want to see displayed so obviously. 
 
At this point I don't think there's much chance of being able to play before the US version is unlocked.  Unfortunately.
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@mzuckerm:  I know what you mean, and I've been surprised by how varied customer service can be from company to company.  I also find that any company that has some award for outstanding customer service will often rest on its laurels and actually cut staff or reduce coverage, since people won't read the fine print and notice that award came many years ago.
 
It's a bit more complex than any outsiders like us can figure out, probably, since there are a lot of factors that could go into it.  But your viewpoint doesn't need to be complex at all, and you have a right to feel this way.
 
In general there's a weird territorial problem with digital rights and distribution. I know people who use GOG.com, which is completely DRM free and so not terribly concerned about release times or anything, but some people still have to jump through hoops because their banks freak out when they see payments going to Europe all of a sudden.  
 
I want to ask you a bunch of questions about Spain now, but I'm not sure this is the proper place :)
Posted by mzuckerm
@ahoodedfigure: Feel free to ask questions about Spain.  But PM is probably a better venue.