The Origin digital distribution service will now offer a money-back guarantee for purchases that don’t satisfy the customer.
EA has been pulling out all the stops to get more attention for its digital sales platform, which launched after Valve’s rival Steam platform was already firmly entrenched.
The company has offered a sale of eight games through the Humble Bundle at a price determined by the customer that has already broken the bundle’s record with over $7 million packages sold, and is donating its cut to charity.
Now EA has revealed the Great Game Guarantee policy, that gives Origin customers an option of a full refund on any games purchased within 24 hours, and seven days if the game hasn’t been played yet.
You may return EA full game downloads (PC or Mac) purchased on Origin for a full refund – within 24 hours after you first launch the game, within seven days from when you purchased it, or within the first seven days after the game’s release date if you pre-ordered it (whichever of these conditions happens first),” reads a statement from EA.
“If something doesn’t work out – you aren’t riveted by the storyline, or sucked in by the action, or even just if the game doesn’t play well with your video card – we’ve got your back.”
A response will be sent to the customer regarding their petition within 48 hours, and the refund sent in 7-10 days after being accepted.
The policy doesn’t apply to third-party games at the moment, which might be a concession made to avoid upsetting developers keen on getting their games on Origin.
In addition, games purchased as part of a bundle or during a promotion may not be eligible for refunds.
Just how this will affect the popularity of the service remains to be seen, but it’s an interesting and risky play that could either wind up frustrating customers that don’t get refunds or effectively making EA published games 24-hour demos if the company isn’t careful about how it accepts or rejects petitions.
The full list of policy exceptions can be found here, but EA seems to be trying to keep things simple – probably a good thing for the success of the policy – and long term health of Origin.