Paradox Interactive has attempted to refund customers affected by its recent price hikes, but is instead opting to provide them with free games and DLC instead.
The offer follows recent controversy around regional price hikes for Paradox's games portfolio, where numerous countries saw the cost of the publisher's games increase by as much as 40%.
CEO Fredrik Wester initially stood by the alterations, attributing them to shifts in the value of certain currencies - something that has also prompted price hikes from Apple and Riot Games - but later assured customers that the original price tags would be restored.
At the time, he warned that it might not be possible to refund customers but promised to donate double the price difference to the UNHCR if that were the case. Now this has extended to free downloads for affected customers.
In a forum post spotted by PC Gamer, senior community manager Escher confirmed the price rollback has been completed for all currencies except US dollars, which were not affected by the original changes. Prices will also remain frozen for three months, but refunding all customers has proved to be difficult.
"After exploring options with our sales partners, we've come to the conclusion that partial refunds (as in, refunding the price difference) aren't practically possible," Escher wrote. "Instead, we will gift everyone who purchased any Paradox product between May 17 and today (including pre-orders of Steel Division: Normandy 44 made before May 17), in any currency except USD (where prices were not changed), a free copy of a full PC game or two DLC, as a gesture of goodwill."
Games on offer include Stellaris, Hearts of Iron IV, Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis IV, Magicka 2, Tryanny. If players already own all of these and the offered DLC, Paradox will credit them with "equivalent giftable keys."
The offer is only valid until August 9th, although Paradox warns it may take up to September 30th to process all requests.
Escher finished with another apology from the publisher: "Finally, we'd like to take the opportunity to once again say we're sorry about our handling of this issue. We value our community and the passion you have for our products, and we know we're lucky to have you. Of course, it should go without saying that as a result of this experience we will be looking at our internal processes to ensure that we can improve for the future."