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  • Blog, Gaming - Written by on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 14:12 - 10 Comments

    Blizzard honours GAME’s Diablo III pre-orders

    blog Pre-ordered hit Diablo III from dying Australian video game retailer GAME? Frustrated that you won’t be able to play this year’s biggest game when it launches at 5PM today, as GAME has been blocked from selling Diablo III? Worry no more. Blizzard’s got your back. From the Battle.net forums, via Kotaku:

    “We’re aware that some Australian GAME customers have been left out in the cold on what should be the hottest night of the year — the launch of Diablo III. To help with this situation and get these players into the game as soon as possible, we’ve put the following process in place.

    Australian GAME customers with a valid preorder/prepurchase receipt dated before May 15, 2012 can do the following:
    1. Purchase the digital version of Diablo III from http://www.diablo3.com now or anytime before May 21, 2012.

    2. Download and start playing when the servers go live!

    3. Submit your GAME Australia preorder/prepurchase receipt to us before June 30, 2012.

    4. Receive a credit from Blizzard, for the amount you paid in advance to GAME Australia for Diablo III. This credit will be applied to the payment method used for the digital purchase.

    We’ll post further details here on how to submit your GAME Australia receipt to our customer service team as soon as possible. Stay tuned, and we look forward to seeing you in the Burning Hells!”

    Now that’s customer service worthy of Deckard Cain. Of course, our advice would have been to just have bought Diablo III direct from Blizzard in the first place like the dark demon gods of capitalism would have preferred in the first place (as yours truly did). But then, there are still many people sacrificing themselves on Australia’s retail gaming altar.

    Image credits: Blizzard

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    1. Gav
      Posted 15/05/2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink |

      Its a positive step by Blizzard, but several things still frustrate me.

      First, I, like so many others, preordered the collectors edition, specifically to get the physical copy. Until that is honored, the rest is pointless.

      Second, it does little to get refunds back from GAME, who are the guilty party in all this. They knew this was coming, and did nothing to make the situation better. No warning to staff, no advice to clients, simply stopping the release of games and sucking up their deposits.

      And thirdly, plenty of people will have gone and simply bought a physical copy off the shelves of competitors, and thus have the game allready. Accepted their deposit is lost, and gotten on with their lives. There will be plenty of people that simply want to play the game, so wont be buying the digital copy where they can get that deposit back.

      GAME, even if you somehow trade your way out of this, you’ve lost customers. You would have known this was coming, and have taken the delibrate action to steal from your most loyal customers – those willing to invest in your company over others. The damage has been done, its going to be a hard sell to get that lost custom back when there are so many other options.

      Blizzard, does that commitment to honor pre-order deposits go as far as the $140 full payment some people will have made?

      • Brendan.
        Posted 16/05/2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink |

        “Its a positive step by Blizzard, but several things still frustrate me.”

        Realistically, Blizzard could have simply said “sucks to be you” and not done anything; it’s not their fault a retailer tried to cash in on a launch to try and trade it’s way out of trouble.

        Giving a credit on the game itself is the right thing; it’s a shame that doesn’t cover the full deluxe box set, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

        Nice work, Blizzard.

        • James
          Posted 16/05/2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink |

          +1

          I’ll bet EA wouldn’t have done anything =P

          • SMEMatt
            Posted 16/05/2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

            Actually maybe they might have. What blizzard are effectively doing is converting a number of gamers who buy through physical channels to use there online store just this once and maybe again for all future purchases once they have a first positive experience, compared against the negative experience of having a pre-order cancelled and money deposit withheld. EA are trying to push their new online sales platform and it is very cheap global advertising in their target demographic. I just don’t think EA would have thought to do it first place.

        • Gav
          Posted 16/05/2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink |

          Oh definitely. Blizzard has certainly gotten a healthy amount of good PR out of this, no question. Its a relatively small decision for them, with positive results. As a simple advertising exercise its a win for them for sure, and at very little cost.

          While I ask questions seemingly of Blizzard, my issues arent with them, but with GAME. if it wasnt for them, Blizzard wouldnt have had to do this. If they hadnt, we wouldnt have thought better or worse of them.

          But the frustrations are still there. People pre order for a reason, and to have that reason denied them a day before release hurts on some level. Its only a game, and I dont expect a response from Blizzard that will magically get me a CE edition, my deposit back, and somehow solve world hunger, but I still feel a need to vent. And when there is even a glimmer of hope, why not ask?

          James,

          they wouldnt. Battlefield 3 was a classic example. Windows Vista/7 only game, and you might easily not know until AFTER you had activated the game code. It was in fine print on the box, grey on grey writing so hard to see. Response from them was basically ‘tough luck, you should have better than XP by now’ with no recourse. Couldnt even return the game. And when talking to the games staff about it, they were as surprised as me.

          I just sent a feedback response to them advising that it caught me AND the store staff out. Nobody was aware of the limitation, and at the time there were very few games that were Vista+. All it would have taken was a system compatibility check BEFORE the rego code was activated, and there would have been no fuss. But it was AFTER, which hit a nerve. They have your money, there is no way to get it back.

          As it was, I had the money to get Win 7 anyhow, and had been looking to upgrade a week or so later, so I got the game running, but the experience left me very sour with EA.

    2. seven_tech
      Posted 15/05/2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink |

      With Steam, Battle.Net and the PSN etc. I think we are watching the demise of the physical game store retailer before our very eyes…..

    3. Goddy
      Posted 15/05/2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink |

      A class act by Blizzard. I expected nothing less from them.

    4. Posted 16/05/2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink |

      Past my local Game store yesterday, and noticed they still have ‘display only’ copies of Diablo III on display. Giving people false hope?

    5. Tom
      Posted 16/05/2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink |

      I’m curious why you would advise people to buy direct from Blizzard? It costs 80AUD direct from Blizzard. JB Hifi are selling it for $69, and you can get it from Dick Smith Electronics and Big W for $59.

      There’s your number 1 reason Blizzard are doing this, they’ll get more money out of ex-GAME customers than they otherwise would.

      Australian retail really sucks doesn’t it? Or are you just upset Renae that you got suckered by Blizzard and want to share the pain around?

      • James
        Posted 18/05/2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink |

        “JB Hifi are selling it for $69, and you can get it from Dick Smith Electronics and Big W for $59″

        Big W had it advertised for $58, so JB price-matched for me =)
        EB Games would probably do the same.




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