On this beautiful Thursday afternoon here in Western Canuckistan, I get to play the role of Customer Service Rep for another Reader Submission here at PRC.net – and boy it isn’t pretty. This time, as always, I’m siding with the customer, as the issue is pretty clear-cut. Longtime Reiza Studios supporter Roman K. obtained a digital download copy of Automobilista thanks to the promotion Reiza held through Valve’s popular Steam platform. Any user who owned Reiza’s previous title, Stock Car Extreme, prior to January 6th 2016 was gifted a copy of Automobilista upon the title’s release. However, as he also participated in the Reiza Studios IndieGoGo campaign last summer, Roman was entitled to an extra copy of Automobilista due to his financial backer level.
That’s where things get interesting.
Hey PRC.net. This may or may not interest you.
I’ve owned Stock Car Extreme for quite some time, more than enough time to qualify for the free copy of Automobilista that Reiza were giving out during that promotion. And I got that, which is fine. But I also contributed to the IndieGoGo campaign at a high enough level to warrant a Steam Key for Automobilista. This would leave me with two copies of Automobilista; one for myself, and one for a friend. I hope you follow.
However, there appears to have been a catch. Because I bought Stock Car Extreme with the same Steam Account and Email as I used to sign up for the crowdfunding campaign, Reiza Studios claim I’m only entitled to one copy of the game. What the hell? I paid for two copies of Automobilista, yet I only have the right to one copy? What is this?
I don’t want to harm Reiza, but there are rules and everybody should follow them. I love their work, but I don’t like situations such as this one. I have already contacted IndieGoGo, but the response I got was the same one IndieGoGo gave you guys when you Emailed them earlier this year.
I think this whole concept Reiza have going on with the free copy of Automobilista is really strange. For example, if you buy a Volkswagen Golf, and then go to a different Volkswagen dealer and try to buy another Golf, they don’t say “oh sorry, you already have a Golf. You’re only allowed one. Here’s your money back.” But that is what’s happening here.
I’m very curious to know if this has happened to other users. If someone already owned Stock Car Extreme – and therefore Automobilista – prior to the crowdfunding campaign, did they receive a spare copy of Automobilista through their crowdfunding contribution as they should have? Or did the receive nothing and merely forgot that they were entitled to two copies of the game? If that is the case, IndieGoGo should close their account for good. That is a clear breach in the rules.
On a side note, I think it would be interesting to see what would have happened if Automobilista was released as a “new” game, and not as a free gift for those who bought Stock Car Extreme last year. Would reception still be as positive? I think not. This studio is dead to me.
Aside from the end comment, I believe you’re in the right on this issue. Congratulations, I guess?
Anyways, I’ll break this one down for our readers in the event that they’re struggling to see what’s going on. It happens from time to time.
I was a damn fool, bought Grid Autosport something like a month before release because I fell for the pre-order bullshit like a true pleb, and was inevitably disappointed by it. That one’s on me. Something like a year later, Green Man Gaming had the complete Grid Autosport bundle – including all DLC – for the crazy price of like $20 CDN. Even though the game isn’t much of a simulator, it was an insanely good deal that was too hard to pass up, and it cut the price of the sizable DLC selection in half. Obviously, the spare Steam key didn’t evaporate into mid-air; I gave it to our boy Maple, because what else are you going to do with an extra copy of Grid Autosport? Hell, I did the same with Forza Motorsport 2 back in the day. I bought the Platinum Edition that came with the extra disc full of all previously released DLC, discovered I had an unopened copy of Forza 2 shoved away in some closet, and gave it to my bro down the street so we could race online together. There was also a time where I had far too much disposable income for a teenager, and I bought my bros a bunch of copies of Test Drive Unlimited 2 – which resulted in many great Xbox Live moments that only kids fresh out of High School will understand.
What I’m getting at, is that this is a totally normal thing to do. Neither Turn 10, Atari, nor Codemasters showed up at my door to take back the extra copy of their game. Yet when Roman tried to do the same thing, he was told he couldn’t. In fact, they actually gave him his money back from the crowdfunding campaign, and booted him from the private beta forums, which is almost nonsensical for the studio to do at this point. Roman wasn’t being an asshole, he was merely entitled to two copies of the game through various means.
- Roman owned Stock Car Extreme on Steam prior to January 6th, 2016, which meant he was entitled to one free copy of Automobilista.
- Roman contributed to the Reiza Studios IndieGoGo campaign, which meant he was entitled to one free copy of Automobilista.
- In theory, Roman should have two copies of Automobilista; one from the Customer Appreciation promo, and one for being a financial backer.
Yet, we’re sitting here both dumbfounded by this. Roman didn’t even do anything wrong, and Reiza drew the line by saying “nope, that’s one free game too many.” Are the boys from Brazil finally starting to realize that you can’t just give away video games for free because from a business perspective it sort of hurts your company, and this is how they’re enforcing it?
I mean, maybe I’m just “that guy” who always sides with the shit disturber, but I can’t figure out what Roman did wrong here. The guy is entitled to two free copies of a game thanks to following extremely simple instructions, and the developer responded by refunding him and booting him from the private forums. Please tell me I’m missing something.