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About all I can say. Doublefine can go jump in a pit of piss for all I care. Such a cool company. Such a scammy company. 3 cash grab early access burns in a row. Lovely.

TotalBiscuit is not well read up on some of the things he's talking about. Can you really name three early access cash grabs from Double Fine?

- Broken Age is Kickstarter and not Early Access. Lots of people who aren't well informed seem to think this was a failure, when in fact it looks like it was a wise business decision so far. Also, half the game is already released as a comprehensive Act 1, and we believe that Act 2 is on track. Admittedly, it's been a bit of time since last backer update on that front, and we have no way to gauge the Act 2 gameplay quality.

- Massive Chalice is likewise a Kickstarter game and not an Early Access game. It's also showing very well in demos and team streams show so far.

- Amnesia Fortnights are basically fan funded game jams now. They're explicit about what you get and what you don't get for paying for it.

- Hack 'n' Slash is out and good, definitely not a cash grab.

- Gang Beasts is published, not developed, by Double Fine as part of their Double Fine Presents thing. Sure, it's Early Access, but it actually used to be a ModDB released pre alpha, which is still available if you want to try out before you buy. The developer is Boneloaf.

- Spacebase DF-9 is being moved to final release before they wanted. In any closed development it would either have been cancelled now, or we wouldn't have heard anything about it before the 1.0 release suddenly popped up on Steam. Sure, call that a cash grab, if you will.

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I think there should be a way to crowdfund a lawyer and sue Double Fine. What they did is a fraud. They must make refunds to everyone or declare bankruptcy.

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About all I can say. Doublefine can go jump in a pit of piss for all I care. Such a cool company. Such a scammy company. 3 cash grab early access burns in a row. Lovely.

TotalBiscuit is not well read up on some of the things he's talking about. Can you really name three early access cash grabs from Double Fine?

- Broken Age is Kickstarter and not Early Access. Lots of people who aren't well informed seem to think this was a failure, when in fact it looks like it was a wise business decision so far. Also, half the game is already released as a comprehensive Act 1, and we believe that Act 2 is on track. Admittedly, it's been a bit of time since last backer update on that front, and we have no way to gauge the Act 2 gameplay quality.

Uhh... did you watch the last documentary episode? Do you remember when he said, "it's all for love"?

Act 2 is on track? Do you remember when Tim said it was coming in April-May 2014?

Not to mention that the Act 1 release is arguably Early Access in all but name.

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Suejak: That statement was very, very early, and still it wasn't a set plan, just an estimate. Later when they actually had some ground for their estimates, they've given statements of late this year possibly early next year, and they've given us updates on where they are in the process that indicates that they are on track on that.

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Fun pills and sleds for everyone.

I love this guy and I'm only mildly poop-stirring here, but isn't this sort of thing spam and therefore against the Guidelines?

Most of his posts are basically just this one tagline.

I think he's great and should be left as he is and has always been. But any consistent enforcement policy from the moderators should see mods PMing poor Smiles to tell him to knock off the spam.

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True, but he's also kind of disrupting a thread in doing so. Let's try and stay on topic, if we could.

In future, if you happen to have a problem with a specific user, please avoid saying so in a thread, since that could easily lead to a full-on argument - send a PM to a moderator and we'll look into it.

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I personally felt like Smiles was just telling everyone to calm down about this whole thing and not take it so seriously. If someone said that directly, it would be on point. And it being a tagline just seems intended to make it nice and playful instead of demeaning (that's my impression anyway). That being said, Suejak does sort of the opposite thing in a lot of other threads, and I always think those are on point as well, but not everyone agrees...

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US consumer law kind of sucks - Other countries are a different story, however.

That's a really short piece of text linked there, but it's also very specific, so it bears repeating:

Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not accept payment for products or services if:

* they do not intend to supply them

* they intend to supply materially different products or services

* they know, or should have known, they would not be able to supply the products or services within the timeframe indicated or if no timeframe was provided, within a reasonable time.

This part of the law is not intended to cover businesses who genuinely try to meet supply agreements, for example, if:

* the failure to supply was due to something beyond their control, including the act or omission by another person

* they exercised due diligence and took reasonable precautions.

For what it's worth, a poor business model and ineffective resource management doesn't constitute "beyond their control"; so far every explanation provided by DoubleFine has been very much in violation of the above section of Australian Consumer Law; I'm reasonably sure similar conditions apply throughout most of Europe.

Additionally, support for DoubleFine on this issue appears to be every bit as sentimental as the complaints against them; just because people don't like something doesn't make it so (Naturally, this applies to both camps).

The only real fact we know at this stage is that regardless of how this pans out legally this is a PR nightmare for DoubleFine. Die hard supporters will buy DoubleFine products no matter what happens; but they're not the people you need to please to stay in business.

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US consumer law kind of sucks - Other countries are a different story, however.

That's a really short piece of text linked there, but it's also very specific, so it bears repeating:

Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not accept payment for products or services if:

* they do not intend to supply them

* they intend to supply materially different products or services

* they know, or should have known, they would not be able to supply the products or services within the timeframe indicated or if no timeframe was provided, within a reasonable time.

This part of the law is not intended to cover businesses who genuinely try to meet supply agreements, for example, if:

* the failure to supply was due to something beyond their control, including the act or omission by another person

* they exercised due diligence and took reasonable precautions.

For what it's worth, a poor business model and ineffective resource management doesn't constitute "beyond their control"; so far every explanation provided by DoubleFine has been very much in violation of the above section of Australian Consumer Law; I'm reasonably sure similar conditions apply throughout most of Europe .

This is quite a reckless assertion.

I believe this would fail in two ways. Firstly, you would have to establish that DF9 1.0 failed to meet "supply agreements" which is almost impossible since most people speak of promises which not only weren't made but we're specifically worded against being promises.

Secondly, the part you'd really need to look at, assuming you could get past the first problem, is the bit about due diligence and precautions since that's where management cones in. You would have to establish this lack of due diligence etc. And as far as I can see all we have at the moment is hindsight-imbued ideas about what Double Fine should have done better, using limited information. While Double Fine will be able to point to whatever projections they made, how they arrived at them, the sales that they did to attempt to boost revenue, and their own money that they spent on the project when that failed. I think it would be very difficult to establish lack of due diligence and precautions against this backdrop. It certainly isn't a gimme.

I think it would be wiser if we all stopped appealing to law and if a refund is desired, contact Double Fine personally rather than over a public forum which is not the usual place to request a refund, and see what happens.

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I think it would be wiser if we all stopped appealing to law and if a refund is desired, contact Double Fine personally rather than over a public forum which is not the usual place to request a refund, and see what happens.
I've been trying to think of a polite way of saying something like this.

The forum is a place for discussion, not somewhere you should be demanding refunds. If you legitimately do want a refund, then contacting DoubleFine themselves directly would be the best way to go about doing so. Pointing out how they're "legally entitled" to do so is irrelevant, because honestly... they're not.

If, however, you wish to discuss whether DF should be giving refunds, that's a perfectly valid topic of discussion and something I would happily encourage.

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US consumer law kind of sucks - Other countries are a different story, however.

That's a really short piece of text linked there, but it's also very specific, so it bears repeating:

Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not accept payment for products or services if:

* they do not intend to supply them

* they intend to supply materially different products or services

* they know, or should have known, they would not be able to supply the products or services within the timeframe indicated or if no timeframe was provided, within a reasonable time.

This part of the law is not intended to cover businesses who genuinely try to meet supply agreements, for example, if:

* the failure to supply was due to something beyond their control, including the act or omission by another person

* they exercised due diligence and took reasonable precautions.

For what it's worth, a poor business model and ineffective resource management doesn't constitute "beyond their control"; so far every explanation provided by DoubleFine has been very much in violation of the above section of Australian Consumer Law; I'm reasonably sure similar conditions apply throughout most of Europe.

Additionally, support for DoubleFine on this issue appears to be every bit as sentimental as the complaints against them; just because people don't like something doesn't make it so (Naturally, this applies to both camps).

The only real fact we know at this stage is that regardless of how this pans out legally this is a PR nightmare for DoubleFine. Die hard supporters will buy DoubleFine products no matter what happens; but they're not the people you need to please to stay in business.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that DF did in fact supply a product.

You may think the product is shoddy, but the law doesn't guarantee a refund just because the customer thinks the product is shoddy. Sometimes businesses will provide one anyway, out of the kindness of their hearts and a desire to protect their reputation. But I'd be surprised if any court, anywhere in the free world, delivered a ruling based on its judgment of the quality (or lack thereof) of a videogame.

And that's good. Occasionally, I'm baffled when really bad games are commercial successes, or when wonderful games fail to have mass appeal. But all things considered, I'd rather live in a world where it is the job of the markets to judge the quality of video games, than live a world where it is the job of the courts to judge the quality of video games.

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You seem to be ignoring the fact that DF did in fact supply a product.

You may think the product is shoddy, but the law doesn't guarantee a refund just because the customer thinks the product is shoddy. Sometimes businesses will provide one anyway, out of the kindness of their hearts and a desire to protect their reputation. But I'd be surprised if any court, anywhere in the free world, delivered a ruling based on its judgment of the quality (or lack thereof) of a videogame.

And that's good. Occasionally, I'm baffled when really bad games are commercial successes, or when wonderful games fail to have mass appeal. But all things considered, I'd rather live in a world where it is the job of the markets to judge the quality of video games, than live a world where it is the job of the courts to judge the quality of video games.

The problem here, and this is relevant because it's precisely how this thread started, is the cross-application of standards relevant to different countries, cultures and legal systems.

People familiar with the US legal system assert their understanding of US law to counter claims made by people who are familiar with other legal systems. It doesn't matter what US law is, the law in the countries where these products have been purchased is the law that applies to those consumers.

Given everyone is cherry picking to support their arguments, I'll do the same by highlighting one of the items on the ACCCs webpage, linked earlier:

* they intend to supply materially different products or services

This does actually mean if you are given a shoddy product, you are entitled to a refund. Australian consumer law is rabidly pro-consumer. That will make no sense to an American, because it's completely contrary to US consumer law - but that's the reality.

If you want to see how different US consumer law is to Australian consumer law, ask Valve. (Talk about bad timing!)

Can an Australian get a refund out of DoubleFine, a foreign company with no Australian presence? Unlikely - but that's what makes this issue interesting, and it's why this issue is being discussed so intensely.

That supporters of DoubleFine disagree with foreign law or think foreign laws are stupid doesn't have any impact on how those laws are applied overseas.

If this goes to court in any jurisdiction, the outcome won't be decided by how stupid a law is or what good intentions anyone had. The outcome will in fact be decided by hindsight-imbued ideas about what Double Fine should have done better, using limited information - because that is precisely how the legal system works, in all of our countries.

Just because it's a courtroom doesn't mean it will reach the right or just conclusion. It will reach the conclusion with the most convincing argument presented within the parameters and context of the courtroom.

I mean come on, who in their right mind would consider any of our legal systems infallible?

But I digress.

This is ultimately a question of opinion; DoubleFine are of the opinion they have provided a sufficient product, the public haven't even seen that 1.0 product yet and are already prejudiced against it.

The reality is with better communication and management this would not have happened - a fact that has already been acknowledged in as many words by DoubleFine themselves.

This is a problem of their own creation - but it's also one they can still solve.

The results with the release of 1.0 will be interesting.

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* they intend to supply materially different products or services

This does actually mean if you are given a shoddy product, you are entitled to a refund. Australian consumer law is rabidly pro-consumer. That will make no sense to an American, because it's completely contrary to US consumer law - but that's the reality.

The thing is though, 1.0 is not materially different from what they stated will be the final product, since they have always stated that not all of the features that were listed on the proposed feature list will make it into the final game.

Like Darth Marsden said, they aren't legally entitled to supply refunds in any jurisdiction, as there is no fraud, since they were transparent about their development and made no misleading statements, as they were upfront about the possibility that some proposed features would not make it into the game since the beginning.

But, if people are willing to give 1.0 a chance before passing judgement, it would certainly be a nice gesture if Double Fine offered some kind of compensation to the people who truly don't like 1.0 after it's released.

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I have been looking over UK Consumer Rights and the appropriate bill is here

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0161/14161.pdf

In it it states that Digital content should be of "satisfactory quality"

"34 (1) Every contract to supply digital content is to be treated as including a term that the quality of the digital content is satisfactory."

"34 (2) The quality of digital content is satisfactory if it meets the standard that a reasonable person would consider satisfactory, taking account of—

(a) any description of the digital content"

I think DF can get around that one, because they never made any flat claims of what DF-9 will do, however it goes onto say:

"34 (3) The quality of digital content includes its state and condition; and the following aspects (among others) are in appropriate cases aspects of the quality of digital content—

(a) fitness for all the purposes for which digital content of that kind is usually supplied;

(b) freedom from minor defects;"

now DF-9 is a game, games are fun if you could argue that the state DF-9 is in on release is not fun, you could potentially get a refund, or retroactive discount on the game.

freedom from minor defects is a bigger one though, because if on release DF say they are not doing anything on the game anymore, and it has bugs, which could be considered "minor defects"

now the bill does not outright give a consumer the right to a refund, however it does say this

"42 (2) If the digital content does not conform to the contract, the consumer’s rights (and the provisions about them and when they are available) are—

(a) the right to repair or replacement (see section 43);

(b) the right to a price reduction (see section 44)."

(a) I do not think applies, because a repair would constitute a patch, which DF won't do, and a replacement implies it is the specific copy of the digital content which is faulty and another, fully working, copy of the same digital content is possible.

but (b) might be possible

"44 (1) The right to a price reduction is the right to require the trader to reduce the price to the consumer by an appropriate amount (including the right to receive a refund for anything already paid above the reduced amount).

(2) The amount of the reduction may, where appropriate, be the full amount of the price.

(3) A consumer who has that right may only exercise it in one of these situations—

(a) because of section 43(3)(a) the consumer can require neither repair nor replacement of the digital content, or

(b) the consumer has required the trader to repair or replace the digital content, but the trader is in breach of the requirement of section 43(2)(a) to do so within a reasonable time and with out significant inconvenience to the consumer."

43(3)(a) is simply

"43 (3) The consumer cannot require the trader to repair or replace the digital content if that remedy (the repair or the replacement)—

(a) is impossible"

and 43(2)(a) is

"43 (2) If the consumer requires the trader to repair or replace the digital content, the trader must—

(a) do so within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer;"

so it is my judgement that if when the game releases at 1.0, and the game has bugs which DF have said they will not fix, you are within your rights to get a retroactive discount on the game under UK law.

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(a) I do not think applies, because a repair would constitute a patch, which DF won't do, and a replacement implies it is the specific copy of the digital content which is faulty and another, fully working, copy of the same digital content is possible.

[snip]

so it is my judgement that if when the game releases at 1.0, and the game has bugs which DF have said they will not fix, you are within your rights to get a retroactive discount on the game under UK law.

Quick correction - they have never stated they wouldn't fix bugs post release. They have just said that 1.0 would be the last major content update. They regularly issue patches to sort out issues with their released games, particularly in the first few weeks after release and occasionally even longer after that.

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I hope you are right, but everything I have read indicated that there would be no additional work put into DF9 after 1.0.

If you are right, then honestly, I'm actually not too bothered with what they are doing.

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I hope you are right, but everything I have read indicated that there would be no additional work put into DF9 after 1.0.

If you are right, then honestly, I'm actually not too bothered with what they are doing.

They actually specifically said so in the initial 1.0 announcement... here are their post 1.0 plans: "We’re also pleased to announce we’ll be releasing the game’s full Lua source code a short time after 1.0, which will allow the community to create potentially far-ranging mods that add content, new features, and change some fundamental game behaviors. We’ll of course be sticking around a bit for bug fixing and support, but any new content for the game will now be in your hands."

As much as people say they are simply abandoning the project, they are treating this as a 1.0 game release, and as such will be releasing bugfixes and giving support for issues that come up in the aftermath of release. I would agree, it would be very odd if they weren't even issuing patches for a game they are claiming will be a 1.0 release.

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Hiya there! As this game is pretty far from advertised and EU laws states on online shopping:

Under EU law, if the items turn out to be faulty or not as advertised, you have the same 2-year guarantee as if you had bought it in a shop.

When will you begin refunds on EU area?

Cheers Mikael

I'm not happy about what happened either, but this is just immature. You got exactly what was advertised- a game in alpha development. You were fully aware of the risk that the game may not have turned out as was hoped, as was everyone. Because of this, under EU law, you have no claim.

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Hiya there! As this game is pretty far from advertised and EU laws states on online shopping:

Under EU law, if the items turn out to be faulty or not as advertised, you have the same 2-year guarantee as if you had bought it in a shop.

When will you begin refunds on EU area?

Cheers Mikael

I'm not happy about what happened either, but this is just immature. You got exactly what was advertised- a game in alpha development. You were fully aware of the risk that the game may not have turned out as was hoped, as was everyone. Because of this, under EU law, you have no claim.

Hey man, I'm not a big with the heavy-handed appeal-to-law approach either. However I'm willing to entertain a discussion about whether some people believe a refund is appropriate, and regardless people can ask for one if they wish. The best place to do that would be in a private email to DF. Let's not call them immature, though, just for asking the question, even if I don't agree with how it was asked.

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As has already been pointed out, ALL "Early Access" games come with the following caveat from Valve:

When will these games release?

Its up to the developer to determine when they are ready to 'release'. Some developers have a concrete deadline in mind, while others will get a better sense as the development of the game progresses. You should be aware that some teams will be unable to 'finish' their game. So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state.

http://store.steampowered.com/earlyaccessfaq/?snr=1_200_200_Early+Access

Nothing DF (or any other developer) could "promise" trumps the above. Early Access = risk.

Now, whether you're upset or not is something else entirely, but the idea of trawling through legalese with aim of suing anyone is nonsense. You were clearly informed of what you were buying when you bought it. If you didn't bother to read the small print, that's on you.

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Hiya there! As this game is pretty far from advertised and EU laws states on online shopping:

Under EU law, if the items turn out to be faulty or not as advertised, you have the same 2-year guarantee as if you had bought it in a shop.

When will you begin refunds on EU area?

Cheers Mikael

I'm not happy about what happened either, but this is just immature. You got exactly what was advertised- a game in alpha development. You were fully aware of the risk that the game may not have turned out as was hoped, as was everyone. Because of this, under EU law, you have no claim.

Note - What I say applies only to the United Kingdom, please consult your specific country for your relevant consumer protection laws.

Ad hominem aside, the EU rules and the UK Consumer Protection Act are relatively clear, even on Software. How much of a refund you might be entitled to hinges on how much "enjoyment you have derived from the product". If your account only registers let's say 1-2 hours of usage on the game and you put it into storage waiting for it to be more feature complete and now as it exits early access it's deviated materially from the initial scope of development, then you've a reasonable case to request a refund in full for whatever you paid for it at the time of your purchase from the retailer you purchased it from. Not DoubleFine however. You'd need to take this up with the specific retailer.

If however you've been playing the game for 40-80 hours, then the odds of you getting your money back are slim to none.

There's no get out clauses just because it's Alpha and in development, there's no disclaimers that can supersede the Consumer Protection Act in the UK for instance, they can add to, but not take away from. The situation is much the same in NZ/AUS for instance.

I know the laws in the US are terribly anti-consumer but they're not like that elsewhere in the world.

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Hey man, I'm not a big with the heavy-handed appeal-to-law approach either. However I'm willing to entertain a discussion about whether some people believe a refund is appropriate, and regardless people can ask for one if they wish. The best place to do that would be in a private email to DF. Let's not call them immature, though, just for asking the question, even if I don't agree with how it was asked.

The OP wasn't asking questions, he was asserting (incorrectly) that DoubleFine is in violation of EU Law, and then condescendingly stating that refunds ought to begin. That is just silly, and not a constructing way to go about things. If he wants a refund, then he should ask for it in a responsible way.

Ad hominem aside, the EU rules and the UK Consumer Protection Act are relatively clear, even on Software. How much of a refund you might be entitled to hinges on how much “enjoyment you have derived from the product”. If your account only registers let’s say 1-2 hours of usage on the game and you put it into storage waiting for it to be more feature complete and now as it exits early access it’s deviated materially from the initial scope of development, then you’ve a reasonable case to request a refund in full for whatever you paid for it at the time of your purchase from the retailer you purchased it from. Not DoubleFine however. You’d need to take this up with the specific retailer.

Regarding UK law, I really have no knowledge of it. Even if what is stated here is true, I am guessing there is a venue clause in the retailer's user agreement, which would render this point moot. This is just speculation, but I imagine this is the case.

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As said, the retailers EULA is irrelevant. You can't supersede the Consumer Protection Act and revoke those rights. In the same way you can't revoke those rights in NZ/AUS. They would be considered unenforceable (see the sections of most agreements concerning such matters, they include legalese boilerplate which covers them against such cases, allowing them to accept that if it's unenforceable in that area, it doesn't mean it's unenforceable globally, just in that particular area of the globe).

So it would go back to my initial argument about the consumer and how much use they've got from the product, that would effectively be where the litmus test for if a refund is applicable holds up or not.

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As said, the retailers EULA is irrelevant. You can't supersede the Consumer Protection Act and revoke those rights. In the same way you can't revoke those rights in NZ/AUS. They would be considered unenforceable (see the sections of most agreements concerning such matters, they include legalese boilerplate which covers them against such cases, allowing them to accept that if it's unenforceable in that area, it doesn't mean it's unenforceable globally, just in that particular area of the globe).

So it would go back to my initial argument about the consumer and how much use they've got from the product, that would effectively be where the litmus test for if a refund is applicable holds up or not.

Huh. Didn't know that. It seems like if suing a company over 'minor defects' such as bugs was a thing, you'd see a lot more litigation against Apple, Microsoft, et al.

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As said, the retailers EULA is irrelevant. You can't supersede the Consumer Protection Act and revoke those rights. In the same way you can't revoke those rights in NZ/AUS. They would be considered unenforceable (see the sections of most agreements concerning such matters, they include legalese boilerplate which covers them against such cases, allowing them to accept that if it's unenforceable in that area, it doesn't mean it's unenforceable globally, just in that particular area of the globe).

So it would go back to my initial argument about the consumer and how much use they've got from the product, that would effectively be where the litmus test for if a refund is applicable holds up or not.

Huh. Didn't know that. It seems like if suing a company over 'minor defects' such as bugs was a thing, you'd see a lot more litigation against Apple, Microsoft, et al.

It's expensive, for what you get out compared to what it costs. Remember, in most cases the limit of your remedy is the cost of what you bought, and the cost of litigation is going to exceed that by several times over. So it's generally not cost effective to take them to court over it. It only becomes an issue when the software is -extremely- expensive, but then it's usually backed by Service Level Agreements which the company has in place that warrants refunds in the event of severe defect regardless. The cheaper the software, the more anti-consumer the EULA gets, because the less cost-effective litigation becomes.

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As said, the retailers EULA is irrelevant. You can't supersede the Consumer Protection Act and revoke those rights. In the same way you can't revoke those rights in NZ/AUS. They would be considered unenforceable (see the sections of most agreements concerning such matters, they include legalese boilerplate which covers them against such cases, allowing them to accept that if it's unenforceable in that area, it doesn't mean it's unenforceable globally, just in that particular area of the globe).

So it would go back to my initial argument about the consumer and how much use they've got from the product, that would effectively be where the litmus test for if a refund is applicable holds up or not.

Again, I don't know much about UK law. But I can't imagine every clause in the UELA is irrelevant; I am quite sure that if the EULA disclaimed implied warranties, that would not be followed. But a venue clause? I think it would be quite extreme if UK law allowed those to be superseded.

Furthermore, in terms of the "enjoyment of the product" argument claim- that can only be argued if the consumer is misled. If factors that might adversely affect the buyers enjoyment of the product are brought to the attention of the purchaser, then the purchaser is barred from relief. The goal of the law is to prevent misrepresentation. Here, Double Fine clearly indicated that the product was alpha. We all know the risks of that.

I just don't see any reasonable avenue for arguing a legal right to refund, anywhere.

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I know over here there are some limits to what an EULA can do that actually invalidates it entirely or in part. One of the things is that you as consumer cannot be disallowed by EULA is the right to inspect and try to repair your goods whether physical or digital, which includes things like disassembly and code modification for personal use. On the other hand, trying to break encryption on certain things, which includes the media the software come on, is actually a crime, even if it is just for personal use.

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A venue clause only applies in matters of dispute and litigation. Not in matters of enforceability. You're still subject to local legal provisions regardless of where you trade in the world, the many wonders of globalisation at work. That's why for instance US consumer laws don't apply globally, regardless of a venue clause, because in certain countries with strong consumer protections, the consumer protections are always enforced.

On the second point, there's grounds for claiming that the customer was misled if they purchased it, tested it, put it on the shelf on the premise they were waiting for a more feature complete product and then they claim the product has been to some extent abandoned. There's grounds for that and I think it would probably hold water. Simply stating "Well you bought it in Alpha, tough" isn't going to wash, at least if you've only logged 1-2 hours on the game.

Again, it's going to hinge heavily on how long you've spent in the game. In my case, I put in 2 hours total, and then shelved it on the premise I was hoping to see core features like a power system, fully functioning security, maintenance, entertainment and education. Core elements I would contest in such a game. Most of which will be either partly or fully missing at the point of 1.0. I -probably- can obtain a refund once the game exits early access as I can make the argument that the product is "Not fit for it's intended purpose" or has "deviated materially from it's marketed product". I'd rather DoubleFine fixed the game because I wanted this game to -work-, but that's just an illustration of such an argument at work.

There are reasonable avenues, though only where there's strong consumer laws such as NZ/AUS and probably the UK.

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