EA Reportedly Giving Out Free Games To APB Owners

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Avatar image for bradnicholson
Posted by BradNicholson (1556 posts) -

So, you bought Realtime Worlds' now-dead MMO APB this summer (whoops!) and now you'd like your money back. Brick-and-mortar isn't going to give you a refund because of piracy and, well, just because, but it's possible that EA will provide you some sort of compensation. In a recent thread on the Steam forums, there are claims that the game's distributor, via its support line, is offering a free EA-published game to disgruntled purchasers of APB. It's also alternatively offering $20 vouchers towards an EA game purchase and, in one case, 4000 BioWare Points for whatever you want to spend them on.

And as if that wasn't enough, it appears as if people who bought digital copies of the game via the EA store are receiving full refunds, according to a recent Gamasutra post. The catch is that you'll have to provide an unlock key, though even that is being called into question.
 

No Caption Provided

As previously reported, Realtime Worlds won't be refunding any real cash to players with funny money locked up in the failed MMO, and to be fair the studio isn't really in any condition to do so, considering the recent closure of its Dundee and Colorado offices. (Realtime doesn't even have a website anymore, as if you needed another indication of how things are going.) So, dealing with EA support is probably the only way to get anything back, and thankfully, the publisher wants to score some brownie points with those who got burned. Give it a shot, if you've got the time. It's not like you'll be busy playing APB or anything!
Avatar image for bradnicholson
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (1556 posts) -

So, you bought Realtime Worlds' now-dead MMO APB this summer (whoops!) and now you'd like your money back. Brick-and-mortar isn't going to give you a refund because of piracy and, well, just because, but it's possible that EA will provide you some sort of compensation. In a recent thread on the Steam forums, there are claims that the game's distributor, via its support line, is offering a free EA-published game to disgruntled purchasers of APB. It's also alternatively offering $20 vouchers towards an EA game purchase and, in one case, 4000 BioWare Points for whatever you want to spend them on.

And as if that wasn't enough, it appears as if people who bought digital copies of the game via the EA store are receiving full refunds, according to a recent Gamasutra post. The catch is that you'll have to provide an unlock key, though even that is being called into question.
 

No Caption Provided

As previously reported, Realtime Worlds won't be refunding any real cash to players with funny money locked up in the failed MMO, and to be fair the studio isn't really in any condition to do so, considering the recent closure of its Dundee and Colorado offices. (Realtime doesn't even have a website anymore, as if you needed another indication of how things are going.) So, dealing with EA support is probably the only way to get anything back, and thankfully, the publisher wants to score some brownie points with those who got burned. Give it a shot, if you've got the time. It's not like you'll be busy playing APB or anything!
Avatar image for yoctoyotta
#2 Edited by yoctoyotta (584 posts) -

Bummer, wasn't "lifetime" subscription an option that some people paid for? Refund for the box or not, that's messed up.
 
PS - First, MFers.

Avatar image for videogames
#3 Posted by Videogames (264 posts) -

Lol.

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#4 Posted by Yanngc33 (4551 posts) -

lol poor APB

Avatar image for sneaky_gopher
#5 Posted by Sneaky_Gopher (104 posts) -

I think the life time subscription was for Star Trek. I wonder how thats doing...

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#6 Posted by Cybexx (1569 posts) -

Is it just me or does the failure of APB and the less-than-stellar Crackdown 2 speak volumes about why and how the original Crackdown succeeded?

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#7 Posted by RedRocketWestie (381 posts) -
@YoctoYotta said:
" Bummer, wasn't "lifetime" subscription an option that some people paid for? That's messed up.  PS - First, MFers. "
Granted, this is always the risk inherent in purchasing "lifetime" subscriptions to games, but there's usually an underlying assumption that the game will last at least a year. Maybe the market has gotten so competitive that we, as consumers, can't take that for granted anymore.
Avatar image for vigorousjammer
#8 Posted by Vigorousjammer (2938 posts) -
@Cybexx said:
" Is it just me or does the failure of APB and the less-than-stellar Crackdown 2 speak volumes about why and how the original Crackdown succeeded? "
Halo 3, baybee
Avatar image for omgmetalgear
#9 Posted by omgmetalgear (145 posts) -

oh noooooes

Avatar image for frsty13
#10 Posted by frsty13 (83 posts) -
@Sneaky_Gopher said:
" I think the life time subscription was for Star Trek. I wonder how thats doing... "
Maybe Jeff should shed some light on this.
Avatar image for sweep
#11 Posted by Sweep (10171 posts) -

I have already been in contact with EA and received my replacement game. Read all about it.

Moderator
Avatar image for dogma
#12 Posted by Dogma (1009 posts) -
@Cybexx: No? How? it's from different developers even if Ruffian Games consisted of many from Realtime Worlds. What exactly do you mean? Do you mean that the team were better as a whole group than a split up one?
Avatar image for lacke
#13 Edited by lacke (376 posts) -

Those are the nicest biggest video game boobs I've seen. 
 
I've played a few doomed mmorpgs and I don't feel sorry for RTW a bit. If you have $300 millions but still can't make an even decent game, then no; you have no one else to blame but yourselves. 
 
EDIT: lol, someone edited the APB page and added 

 After the close of APB EA offered compensation to the people who invested money in APB. Allow people (Who could prove they bought the game.) To pick something from the EA store of equal value. Including,  

Bad Company 2 
Spore 
Dragon Age 
The Sims 
Fifa 10    

Avatar image for sweep
#14 Posted by Sweep (10171 posts) -
@lacke said:
" Those are the nicest biggest video game boobs I've seen. 
 
I've played a few doomed mmorpgs and I don't feel sorry for RTW a bit. If you have $300 millions but still can't make an even decent game, then no; you have no one else to blame but yourselves. 
 
EDIT: lol, someone edited the APB page and added 

 After the close of APB EA offered compensation to the people who invested money in APB. Allow people (Who could prove they bought the game.) To pick something from the EA store of equal value. Including,  

Bad Company 2 
Spore 
Dragon Age 
The Sims 
Fifa 10    

"
Whoever the fuck edited the wiki stole that extract from my thread! Sons of a bitch!
Moderator
Avatar image for raymayne
#15 Posted by Raymayne (1230 posts) -

EA: "Oh, you bought APB?....We're sorry"

Avatar image for milkman
#16 Posted by Milkman (18913 posts) -

It's a nice attempt by EA but I'm sure tons of pirate assholes will try to ruin it for everyone. Good to see EA at least trying here though. 

Avatar image for liquidprince
#17 Posted by LiquidPrince (16859 posts) -

Who's gonna pirate a dead game?

Avatar image for drazat
#18 Posted by Drazat (176 posts) -

Never thought i would say this but good on EA *choke*

Avatar image for osuzoo08
#19 Posted by osuzoo08 (97 posts) -

I was at walmart the other day and saw 4 copy's of APB still on sale for $50. All I could think of was that I hope no one buy's those games. but it is nice to see EA giving some compensation to the people who bought this.

Avatar image for recroulette
#20 Posted by recroulette (5446 posts) -
@frsty13 said:
" @Sneaky_Gopher said:
" I think the life time subscription was for Star Trek. I wonder how thats doing... "
Maybe Jeff should shed some light on this. "
I am also interested in this.
Avatar image for staticvoidmain
#21 Edited by StaticVoidMain (11 posts) -

I saw the RTW guys give a talk at Dundee university. They seemed so passionate about the project, it's a real shame to see such creative peoples dreams dashed like that... 
 
Having said that if I was working for a company that was going under but still allowing gamers to pour money into buying the game or purchasing mickey mouse dollars I'd be blowing that fucking whistle all over the internet as soon as I caught wind of it...  
 
It might cost me a job at another evil empire like Activision( Who I believe put on a jobs fair in Dundee soon after  RTW folded; to pick at its, still warm, corpse)... But you have to have your principals.

Avatar image for crusader8463
#22 Posted by crusader8463 (14757 posts) -

Here's hoping I can find this on some back water shelf for $5 in a few months, and maybe I can get a free full price game out of it. A few local stores I go into still have copies of The Matrix Online sitting on the shelves so I wouldn't be surprised if they had these.

Avatar image for andrewb
#23 Edited by AndrewB (7814 posts) -

How can you pirate an MMO? People who are going to play on shady hacked 3rd party servers are going to do it anyway. I'm sure there could be a system implemented that would allow you to deactivate your key to return a game at retail.
 
Honestly, the whole mess that is APB is a lawsuit in the making. Bankruptcy will get them out of paying customers, but I imagine I'd be pretty pissed off to have any game time I had bought be null and void on the spot. To me, that's called a scam. Money theft. It's not my fault the company sunk more money into making the game than they can create by selling their game. But that's the ignorant view of a consumer, I suppose.

Avatar image for seppli
#24 Posted by Seppli (11232 posts) -

Seems fair.
 
APB sure was a shitty deal for EA though.

Avatar image for jmfinamore
#25 Posted by jmfinamore (1092 posts) -
@AndrewB: I guess the response is that you accept those risks when you buy into a "platform" type game like APB, as awful as it sounds (especially in this unfortunate case). Unless Realtime Worlds can be shown to have misled customers in any way about what their product was or somehow funneled money away from the company to private accounts, I can't imagine there's much of an argument (but I'm no big city lawyer).
 
Some people even have the same opinion of real money scams. If you invest in a scam, then that's your own fault. You don't get out of a traffic ticket for not noticing a red light. But that's a whole different issue. 
Avatar image for pixelgorilla
#26 Posted by PixelGorilla (37 posts) -

This is actually pretty cool of EA. They were just the distributor so realistically they didn't have to do anything for those that bought APB. It's not like there were a ton of APB buyers but still, kudos to them for offering something when they could have said "Not our problem, take it up with Realtime Worlds" 

Avatar image for jozzy
#27 Posted by jozzy (2053 posts) -
@PixelGorilla said:
" This is actually pretty cool of EA. They were just the distributor so realistically they didn't have to do anything for those that bought APB. It's not like there were a ton of APB buyers but still, kudos to them for offering something when they could have said "Not our problem, take it up with Realtime Worlds"  "
I think I read somewhere that they had more than 300k users, so I am guessing quite a few people bought the game (not enough obviously).  That's a lot of free Mass Effect II's :)
 
Shops still selling ths game are either unprofessional or downright evil.
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#28 Posted by mthe1337one (206 posts) -

heh need to tell my friend about this since he's one of the few that bought the game.  pretty sure he spent a good amount of time on it too.

Avatar image for mmmslash
#29 Posted by Mmmslash (2227 posts) -

Just got a copy of BF2 and the expansions.
 
EA, I love you.

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#30 Posted by Cybexx (1569 posts) -
@Dogma: From what I know there are enough of the core Crackdown group that formed Ruffian Games. What I'm insinuating is that the original Crackdown's appeal came more from be included with the Halo 3 beta and good timing because I don't recall a lot of strong competition during its release. It was a janky game but it was a surprise for people with no expectations and collecting agility orbs was pretty fun if you were in the right mindset. 
 
I just find it interesting that APB and Crackdown 2 hit close to one another and they both failed to really capture any real enthusiasm about their products because they are both deeply flawed.  APB has a great character and vehicle editor but beyond that its not a very appealing game and it seems like the developers spent more time figuring out the business model than the game. Crackdown 2 is pretty much the original game with some tweaks here and there.  
 
Crackdown 2 is arguably worse than its predecessor because it made its core objectives multi-parted and more complex but then it repeats them like the first game and the multi-parted objectives make it feel even more repetitive. At least with the first game you could get creative with how you killed your targets and their was at least a sense of impact with who you chose to go after first. 
 
Being a developer myself I know the pressure of deadlines and that a lot of bad choices were out of the developer's hands. I know that there wasn't much time between when Ruffian was formed and Crackdown 2 was released. That is probably why it feels like an expansion pack. But I'm just connecting the dots and bringing their development expertise into question and asking myself why I was excited about APB when all I had seen for so long was the editor, good thing I didn't buy it.
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#31 Posted by Xeiphyer (5837 posts) -

I'm glad that EA is doing this, its a good way to show they care.

Avatar image for brodehouse
#32 Edited by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

This actually works real good for EA.  Even if they don't get paid for those releases, they garner a huge degree of goodwill, and it gets those games into more hands, making it more likely people will buy Dragon Age 2 or Bad Company 3, along with increasing the potential revenue of add-on DLC.  This works so much more effectively for EA than refunds, because they've actually turned the situation into a revenue gain.
 
This can work along with Project Ten Dollar (incentives to buy new), where EA can offer free DLC or discounts on other EA products if you've bought new copies of their games, effectively creating EA customers rather than a video game consumer.  It's similar to the Whiskey idea, of going into business with your audience, rather than doing your business around them.

Avatar image for innovacious
#33 Posted by Innovacious (264 posts) -

I feel i got my moneys worth from the game anyway, playtime was nearing 200 hours.
 
No point me trying to cheat them out of more money and there isnt really anything of theirs i want/dont already have anywho.

Avatar image for devil240z
#34 Posted by Devil240Z (5708 posts) -

I should complain and get a free game. but Im probably too lazy.

Avatar image for dystopiax
#35 Posted by DystopiaX (5661 posts) -

A friend didn't even buy the game, called the support, made up emails, etc., and got a copy of bf:bc2 for free.

Avatar image for kaspar
#36 Posted by Kaspar (161 posts) -
@DystopiaX: Nice to see waht methods people resort to these days.
Avatar image for maddprodigy
#37 Edited by MaddProdigy (1074 posts) -

That game is still on sale! What douchebag at RTW was like "Alright. The games going down, we blew 300 million, it's all bad. So let's sell the rest of the copies to retail before news gets out and refuse refunds, we gotta try to make back every dollar!"
 
I mean, selling the sails as the ship is sinking? Dick move RTW, dick move.

Avatar image for winsord
#38 Posted by Winsord (1531 posts) -

If EA comes through on this, I love them even more than I did before. I bought APB and loved it, but my graphics card died, and when XFX got back to me with my replacement, the servers went down the next day. If they do this, I'll definitely enjoy Dead Space.

Avatar image for stinky2
#39 Posted by Stinky2 (31 posts) -

is the free game worth the shame of admitting to another human being that you bought APB? 
  
i mean you actually have to utter those words to another person, seems unbearable.

Avatar image for mordeaniischaos
#40 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5904 posts) -
@MaddProdigy said:
" That game is still on sale! What douchebag at RTW was like "Alright. The games going down, we blew 300 million, it's all bad. So let's sell the rest of the copies to retail before news gets out and refuse refunds, we gotta try to make back every dollar!"  I mean, selling the sails as the ship is sinking? Dick move RTW, dick move. "
Somehow I doubt that someone actively told the store to put up new copies after the game went down.
Avatar image for infamousbig
#41 Posted by InfamousBIG (3309 posts) -
@Yanngc33 said:
" lol poor APB "
This was one sad, sad game.
Avatar image for jayzilla
#42 Posted by Jayzilla (2703 posts) -

so APB was a multi-million dollar "Gangsta Dress Up Party" for suburban kids? sweet!

Avatar image for max_antrax
#43 Posted by Max_Antrax (119 posts) -

Well APB is not worth 20 bones

Avatar image for cassus
#44 Posted by cassus (401 posts) -

It's a shame this game went the way of the dodo, but not unexpected. I was in the beta, and after about 7 hours or so I knew this game was going to be a shooting star. I read an interview with one of the designers or lead fellas of the company shortly after the game got released and was shot to pieces by reviewers across the globe, and he was constantly being defensive about the game, saying the people who didn't like it didn't know what they were talking about or didn't get what rtw was trying to do with the game. Basically blaming the consumer for failing to understand the game. You don't really see that very often, and it's a good thing, cause that is just ridiculous. Blaming people who don't like a game cause they "don't get it" is about as low as you could probably get. If your GTA clone multiplayer game is harder to grasp than an avant garde art film... You've probably taken one too many wrong turns during the design process. 
 
It's a real bummer, cause people really want a grand theft auto style mp game. Although I think people want more of a sandbox coop style romp more than a structured goodies vs baddies type thing.

Avatar image for handsomedead
#45 Posted by HandsomeDead (11853 posts) -

The disaster rages on.

Avatar image for triple10x
#46 Posted by Triple10X (42 posts) -

That's sad.  This game looked like such an interesting concept at first.

Avatar image for meteora
#47 Posted by Meteora (5844 posts) -

Well, I guess its a smart move by EA. Technically they have nothing to do with APB's demise, so they don't really need to pay refunds, but its a good PR move at any rate. Kudos.

Avatar image for branthog
#48 Posted by Branthog (5777 posts) -

You can't return the game to the store you bought it from, because any store that sells games doesn't give you a 90 day return policy. If you had just bought it a week ago and they went out of business, you sure as hell bet you can get your money refunded almost anywhere.
 
People need to stop being sheep. "Well, a sign at the store says this thing, so that must be ten lawz!".
 
I returned Anarchy Online about a month after it was released, for a full refund, because the game remained unplayable (about 3fps at best, when it could even be connected to . . . and then usually disconnecting players shortly after).

Avatar image for ch13696
#49 Posted by ch13696 (4760 posts) -

Here's the really sad part. Wal-Mart, Gamestop, and Best Buy is still selling the game. I guess they haven't got the word that the game won't run. It's gonna be very unfortunate for the poor sap that buys the game also.

Avatar image for onarum
#50 Posted by onarum (2973 posts) -
@Xeiphyer said:
" I'm glad that EA is doing this, its a good way to show they care. "
They don't, this is just PR, nothing more.

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