Should we show glitchy games the red card?
Buggy, broken video games. It’s something I’ve come to expect, and Fifa 13 is the latest to be plagued by the issue. Usually you just wait for a patch but, when that doesn’t fix all the issues, why can’t you get a refund?
Since Fifa 13 was released there’s been an ever-growing list of bugs reported. Disappearing footballs, invisible players and game crashes. I’ll be honest, I’m not a Fifa fan (I’m more of a shooter and adventure game player). However, we have had complaints sent to us, like this one from Lawrence:
‘The game is in an appalling state with an increasing number of issues the more you play. System crashes are the worst and the game is virtually unplayable. Daily I have been checking the official EA Fifa 13 forum and there are thousands of people complaining that they cannot play at all.’
The game has sold more than six million copies worldwide – this is a big blockbuster of a game from one of the biggest publishers in the industry. Is that what we should expect from Electronic Arts (EA) and the 20th game in the Fifa series?
Game updates fix bugs
It’s becoming all too familiar this gaming generation. Developers seem to be releasing games in the comfort that they can provide post-release software updates to fix glitches. Don’t get me wrong, fixing bugs after games release is certainly a good thing. Yet, if it’s relied upon, it can create a culture of buggy games hitting shop shelves.
And so Fifa 13 is the latest in a long list of ‘broken’ games. But with so many angry gamers fed up with the bugs, this particular video game was picked up by BBC Watchdog. EA Sports was forced to respond in an open letter.
The letter claims that Fifa ‘goes through a rigorous, year-long testing process that logs thousands upon thousands of hours of evaluation to ensure a high quality experience at launch and all season long’. After releasing a ‘major update’ to the game on 19 October, EA says that ‘game crashes and other issues dropped by more than half’.
Fifa 13 game crashes
‘The problems with the game are a joke. What’s the point in having the best football game ever, but you can’t play it!!!!!!’
Hayley (@hpearce10) agreed and now has buyer’s remorse:
‘Can’t believe the amount of things wrong with this game this year. Understand things can go wrong, but this has been crazy. Wish I’d never bought it.’
EA promises that it is committed to addressing ‘necessary fixes to improve the FIFA experience as quickly and effectively as possible’. But for many, it’s too late. So can you take your game back and get a refund?
Refund rights for glitchy games
Unfortunately, your legal position isn’t clear. EA isn’t obliged to provide a refund, and in any normal circumstance you’d take a faulty product back to the retailer. But as the game disc itself isn’t faulty, the retailer may take some persuading. Still, it’s worth giving it a go and telling them the game isn’t fit for purpose or of satisfactory quality under the Sale of Goods Act. Or that it wasn’t created with reasonable care and skill under the Supply of Goods and Services Act.
I think it’s time we stopped accepting such sub-standard products. We need stronger rights to offer us greater protection from glitchy video games, otherwise we’re going to be left with a pile of discs and nothing to play.
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