News that Marvel Heroes will be shut down has prompted a wave of refund requests aimed at developer Gazillion Entertainment.
Following the announcement that Disney and Marvel are terminating their contract with Gazillion, thus prompting the game's closure, Gazillion immediately said that any real-money purchases will be removed from Marvel Heroes as soon as possible to prevent players losing money in the title's final weeks.
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However, Kotaku offers multiple examples of players who have attempted to demand a refund from the free-to-play superhero RPG after they have spent money unlocking in-game characters and other content prior to the announcement.
Console players appear to be particularly frustrated, as the game was only released on Xbox One and PS4 earlier this year. One player claims to have spent $400 on Marvel Heroes since July, only to learn the game will now be closed down in December.
According to Kotaku, none of the companies involved - Gazillion, Marvel, Sony and Microsoft - have offered comment on how these refund requests are being handled.
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The site does note that, like many games that sell add-ons, Marvel Heroes includes a clause in its terms of service that make it unlikely Gazillion will be culpable in this instance.
"Gazillion may at any time and from time to time revise, supplement, suspend, modify, or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the System (or any part thereof) with or without notice to you, and terminate all licenses granted in these Terms of Service," it reads.
"You agree that neither Gazillion nor any of its affiliates, licensors, agents, or employees is liable to you or any third party for any revision, supplement, suspension, or discontinuation of the System, and termination of any license. "Gazillion, in its sole discretion, may remove or delete any of your Content when such Content has exceeded a pre-determined time restriction and/or quantity, or when the System, or any component thereof, requires maintenance or upgrades."
Essentially, this rules that Gazillion (or any other free-to-play firm) does not owe its players anything if any content needs to be removed - in this case, that content being the entire game. It's a further example of intangible digital purchases can be, and how the rules of digital ownership are still misunderstood by many consumers.