Tying a music game, or any game to subscriptions has its downfalls. Activision is learning a hard lesson about this. The publisher has launched a “voluntary refund program” for Americans who can prove they bought Guitar Hero Live between December 1st, 2017 and January 1st, 2019. You can make a claim until May 1st, 2019.
Activision didn’t say why it was offering refunds, but it’s likely to do with the end of the game’s Guitar Hero TV streaming music service. The company shut down the streaming component at the end of 2018, shrinking the music library from 484 songs to a measly 42 tracks on the disc. This means that you weren’t getting what you paid for. Uh-Oh.
Here’s what happens with these games. The refund page showed up a few weeks after a plaintiff had voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit accusing Activision of false advertising. Robert Fishel bought GHL two years after its 2015 launch, only to find out that Activision was wiping out his ability to use the “vast majority” of songs. So it looks like the refund page is intended to avoid future lawsuits from Fishel (who’s allowed to sue again) as well as other customers.
This is a common problem with games that depend on internet services beyond multiplayer play: if the service goes down, the core game breaks and users aren’t getting what they paid for. And companies don’t usually make a public commitment to running those services for a minimum amount of time. Users never know when things will shut down.
Filed Under: Gaming News