I feel the need to take a moment this evening to discuss the recent news that Amazon.com is offering refunds to people upset about the ending to the Mass Effect trilogy. I won’t get into my thoughts on the games ending here as we already had a brief discussion of it in our first podcast. Though I will say that we are going to spend the first 20, or so, minutes of our next podcast directly discussing the ending.
To clarify, a customer of Amazon contacted them asking if he could get a refund for his already opened game because he was “unsatisfied with the ending and the general experience of Mass Effect 3…” This individual claims that he was offered a full refund.
The writers over at Video Game Writers decided to contact Amazon.com and requested a refund for their PC copy of Mass Effect 3 due to being unsatisfied with the game; going on to point at that it was not Amazon’s fault, but the developer’s fault. Amazon reps made it clear that they could offer a refund, but made no promise of it being a full refund.
Now I’m not here to discuss Amazon.com’s policies regarding the return of games. What I feel the need to discuss is the people who would return a game that they played in it’s entirety. Let me get this straight; you buy a game and play it for anywhere from 30-60 hours, then finish it and get upset because the last 10-15 minutes were not what you expected. So, now you feel you’re due a refund? Where does that make any sense?
The value of a game is not determined by the ending. It is determined by the quality of the game. Mass Effect 3 is a beautifully crafted, wonderful game no matter what your opinion of the ending might be. To demand a refund because it did not live up to your expectations is despicable. Would you demand a refund because you did not like how many endings The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King had? How about a refund due to the ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
A piece of fictions value is not determined by the way it ends, but by the content throughout it. Maybe fans should feel cheated by Mass Effect 3’s ending. Perhaps Bioware did wrong the fans in how they ended the trilogy. I personally do not think so, but maybe you think otherwise. But tell me this, do you truly think it is right do demand a refund for 50+ hours of entertainment when only 15 minutes of it pissed you off?