Let’s face it. Digital games are practically nothing more than a pile of air in the “eyes” of the law and since their purchases are getting more and more popular nowadays, it was just a matter of time before someone addressed the way they’re being sold. The Norwegian Consumer Council has reported Playstation, Nintendo, Steam, and Origin online stores for breaching European consumer law regarding the purchase of digital titles.
According to the Norwegian Consumer Council, several popular online stores don’t offer the “Right of Withdrawal” which in this case is the ability to refund a purchase from the moment they make it until 14 days after receiving the product as GamesIndustry indicates. The online stores that the Norwegian Consumer Council looked into are Battle.net, Origin, Steam, Uplay, Nintendo eShop, PlayStation Store, and Xbox Store. What did they find though? Here’s what the report states:
Steam (owned by Valve Corporation), Origin (owned by Electronic Arts), and PlayStation Store (owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment) are in breach of the right of withdrawal by not getting express consent from the consumer and his acknowledgment that he thereby loses his right of withdrawal.
Nintendo eShop (owned by Nintendo) is in breach of the right of withdrawal by not accepting cancellations of pre-orders before the launch date.
As the council indicates Steam does not mention the right of withdrawal at all during the purchasing process, while Origin and PlayStation Store mention the right of withdrawal without following the formal requirements for this. However, Steam offers refunds for all digital purchases given that you have less of 2 hours of gameplay on the platform, however, there’s no acknowledgment of the policy before the purchase, like the law requires.
It’s always a good thing seeing that even products like digital games must be committed to some kind of legislation. Let’s hope that Sony, Electronic Arts, Valve and Nintendo address the matters they are being reported for, giving consumers transparency over their rights when purchasing a digital title.