Elite: Dangerous, the upcoming open-ended space flight simulator with a 1:1 scale galaxy based on the Milky Way, canceled its offline mode earlier last week to much dismay from fans. In the process of removing what some considered an integral feature, many of the games Kickstarter backers and alpha/beta supporters wanted their money back and things got complicated.
Frontier Developments started offering refunds with a catch. In a an update that detailed the refund process the developers stated that, “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.” Yikes. Basically if you tested the game at all, only to find out that you weren’t going to be getting the product that was promised with an offline mode that you may have needed in order to enjoy the game, you were simply out of luck.
The refund policy caused a bit of a stir in the community, something you don’t exactly want to do when your game is set to launch in only a month. Backlash from the policy after handing out several rejections to refund request has now put the developers in a tight spot where they are now possibly reconsidering their previous stance.
In a post on the Elite: Dangerous forums, Frontier Development’s CEO David Braben made a post that inferred that you might still be able to get your money back:
I want to keep you all updated.
We initially declined some people’s request for refund as our records showed they have already played Elite: Dangerous online. 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.
Making the change to at least consider why people are requesting a refund on a case-by-case basis is a positive step forward, probably one that should have existed from the start. Hopefully this reconsideration marks the end of a messy little saga spurned by their last minute decision to pull the plug on what fans deemed a key feature.
Elite: Dangerous launches on December 16th for PC. Are you delving into deep space with the game when it releases, even after the removal of its offline mode? Were you someone who requested a refund? Let me know what you think of this debacle in the comments below.