The gaming community never ceases to amaze me. This usually happens when the community comes together to rally around a member that has suffered some kind of an injustice or to promote a worthy charity. However, there is a very vocal group of negative individuals that always starts to complain and protest with the slightest suggestion of something happening that they disagree with. This happened recently with the release of the game No Man’s Sky when gamers realized that the game wasn’t quite what it was advertised as. While that may be the case, if you bought No Man’s Sky, you do not deserve a refund simply because you didn’t like the game.
If you have been following my musings for any amount of time (hell, if you just read the bio I have posted here on the site) you know then that I have been gaming since the early eighties. Back in the day, there was only a couple of print magazines that you could go to in order to find a review of an upcoming game, otherwise your only other option to get news was to talk to a friend who had already purchased the game or you could rent a copy from your local video rental store. The Internet that we know today was still a good fifteen years away, at least, so it was not a resource that could be taken advantage of. That is not the case today, obviously. If you didn’t do your research before buying the game, then your lack of finding out what the game was really like before dropping your hard-earned cash is your fault and your fault alone, not Hello Games.
There were reports that leaked copies of the game were already in the hands of gamers a couple of weeks before the game even hit store shelves officially. In fact, there was a gamer who goes by the screen name “Daymeeuhn” that was able, somehow, to score a leaked PS4 copy of the game and posted videos to the site Daily Motion. Besides being a sort of douche-y thing to do, it invariably gave people the chance to get an early look at the game to see if it would be able to live up to the grand promises that were made about what players would actually be able to do in the game. This was the first chance that people would have to make an informed decision, but if you missed out on that, there would be another chance for you to find out what you needed to know to make an informed purchase.
This time would have been during the first week of the game’s launch on Aug 9, 2016. No Man’s Sky was live-streamed from multiple gamers for thousands of hours. If you had any reservations about what you had read or heard about the game, this was your chance to see if the game was going to live up to the hype. Anyone who has played video games over the last decade has no excuse to not have all of the information about a game before making a purchase. The average citizen in this country has more access to information, in general, than at any other point in the history of man, so there is no excuse for making a poor decision or purchasing a product blindly.
Don’t get me wrong, if you purchased the game for PC and it didn’t work on your machine, then you are entitled to a refund. No questions asked. However, if you played the game for hours and hours and then think that you deserve a refund just because you didn’t like it or you were disappointed in the ending, you need to get over yourself. You don’t get to return a product after you have had the chance to use it thoroughly and then return it used. It’s not fair to the developers, it’s not fair to the publishers and it’s not fair for those of us who did do our homework and decided to wait for a discounted GOTY edition or to those who were early adopters and did so solely to support a fledgling independent game studio and it’s head guy so that in the future the games that they make could be even more spectacular.
Is No Man’s Sky perfect? Not by along shot, but with time it can be. Where were all these people asking for refunds when CAPCOM released that turd Street Fighter V? (Crickets). As a consumer, you vote with your dollars by not purchasing a product. You don’t spend your money on something and then cry after that it was a terrible product when hundreds of people were telling you that it was a terrible product before you purchased it. I haven’t bought a copy of Madden in almost twelve years because in 2004, I was fed up with the (in my opinion) mediocre product that EA had been releasing year after year and decided to take a stand. More gamers need to take my example and do their due diligence before buying games these days instead of acting like entitled jerks when they realized that they bought something that they didn’t like. It just doesn’t work that way, and it shouldn’t.
As a community, we need to stop with the knee-jerk reactions and stop acting like juveniles whenever a slight is even remotely perceived by media companies these days. No one is forcing you to buy a game that you don’t like but it is on you to do a little research and find out if said game is going to live up to your expectations. I don’t buy anything “Day 1” unless it is a franchise that I have faith in. Otherwise, I watch gamers streaming the game on Twitch, I watch reviews from my favorite personalities on YouTube and I read the reviews that people post on Amazon because this is usually where I order my games from. If I don’t like what I see or read, I move on to the next one secure in the knowledge that I did my research and wont get stuck with a game that I will be disappointed in. More of us need to really take a step back and learn this valuable skill and maybe your butt wont get hurt so often.
What’s your thoughts on the No Man’s Sky controversy? Do you think refunds should be allowed or should gamers take more responsibility for bad purchases? Leave your comments below.