If S-E wants to refund the money I paid for the C-E, they can do as they want. If they do make the client freely available and they don't refund the money I paid, I'll be filing a lawsuit.
If a judge were to play this game in its current state they'd probably order SE to refund everyone anyway. You would be awarded your refund, but only because the game isn't fit to pay for. Actually, the judge would probably refund everyone BUT you because you're so selfish. This game is dying and any last ditch effort to salvage or possibly increase the population should be a welcomed change to you. Why it is not, I don't quite understand. Perhaps you want the game all to yourself?
Open beta is a good indicator of how a game will play at release. You're basically asking for a refund for something everyone was invited to take a free trial for. Laughable. If you weren't satisfied, in fact; if you were so disappointed with the game then AND now, why do you continue to play? Any sensible consumer would have tried to return their purchase within the reasonable 30 day period most products like this afford.
Fun fact: 95% of these people who would ask for a refund will still
be playing this game months from now when it is still
F2P. The fact that they'd rather be playing alone rather than enjoying their adventures with other people is a bit alarming... Edited, Mar 11th 2011 1:15am by FilthMcNasty
News flash for you, my good sir/madam.... I haven't really "played" since December. I log in every patch for about an hour, just to see what has changed... but I would hardly consider that to be playing.
As for returning the product within a reasonable 30 day period, I strongly believed that S-E would have some good stuff up it's sleeves when the game launched. In fact, I was one of the many people who was expecting a rather sizable patch the day the game went live (aka the magic patch). When that patch didn't materialize, I continued playing, knowing full well thanks to FFXI's patch history that within 3 months, there would be measurable changes to the game (most notably... CONTENT).
But when the magic patch didn't appear in December, I stopped playing the game. I felt giving the game (and S-E) three months after launch to provide something tangible was more than enough time. Unfortunately, this also put me 60 days over the standard 30-day return policy offered by most companies. So basically, my patience is what screwed me out of returning the game.
Furthermore, I would be able to sue Square-Enix USA (since the game I purchased was published and distributed by the US branch of S-E... therefore the legal jurisdiction is not in Japan, but the US) in the lovely court of small claims. Such lawsuits cost relatively little (just the cost of filing the paperwork) and I can even represent myself. Since I would only be suing for the purchase cost of the product (which is $80), this fits perfectly within the small claims system.
As for the commentary about products being reduced in price all the time, this is very true. However, when you purchase a product, you expect it to have some kind of value attached to it, be it sentimental or monetary. Since people who play FFXIV, even in it's F2P state, must purchase a copy of the game, the value is maintained. Even if the purchase price of the game is 10% of the price I paid for it, there is still a monetary value on the product. By simply allowing the game to be downloaded by anyone and everyone, that monetary value would be reduced to $0. And since S-E has yet to charge a monthly fee for accessing the service, this would show a court that the product they have charged customers for is not worth the cost of purchase, which, when combined with making the client freely available for download with no purchase cost, would make a pretty ironclad case for a court-ordered refund.
You can call me selfish all you want... but the simple fact of the matter is, I would have gotten my refund if I returned the game within 30 days. No paying customer should be punished for giving S-E the benefit of the doubt and then getting the shaft by S-E allowing anyone to download the client for free.
And lastly, if I got a refund, I would not be playing the game until I repurchased it (if ever). The game is, in my opinion, just barely in a playable state and I would not play it even if it made a permanent transition to the F2P model. In response to the accusation that I would rather play the game alone than with other adventurers, this is a false assumption and I find it highly presumptuous of you to make such a bold assumption. Edited, Mar 11th 2011 2:26am by oberonqa