Refunds for Star Citizen are very unlikely under the game's new Terms of Service change

Star Citizen

It just got more difficult to get your money back if you're unsatisfied with the progress of Star Citizen, thanks to a change in the game's Terms of Service earlier this month. 

You could just check out our list of the best space games if you didn't fancy throwing money at a distant promise. 

Released on June 10, the new TOS makes a few tweaks, but there's one clause that stands out as particularly nasty. 

Previously, players could request a refund if Star Citizen if the game wasn't delivered within 18 months of the target date. If you're wondering, the target date is this year, which means refunds couldn't be requested until mid 2018. 

Here's how it was worded in the old TOS:

"RSI [Roberts Space Industries] agrees to use its good faith business efforts to deliver to you the pledge items and the Game on or before the estimated delivery date communicated to you on the Website.  However, you acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a firm promise and may be extended by RSI since unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, you agree that any unearned portion of your Pledge shall not be refundable until and unless RSI has failed to deliver the relevant pledge items and/or the Game to you within eighteen (18) months after the estimated delivery date."

It seems mid 2018 was just a bit too early, though, as the new TOS extends this period indefinitely, saying you can only get a refund if development ceases. Here's the new TOS: 

"RSI agrees to use its good faith business efforts to deliver to you the pledge items and the Game on or before the estimated delivery date communicated to you on the Website.  However, you acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a firm promise and may be extended by RSI since unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, you agree that any unearned portion of your Pledge shall not be refundable until and unless RSI has ceased development and failed to deliver the relevant pledge items and/or the Game to you. (Pledges made under previous Terms of Services continue to be governed by the corresponding clause of the Terms of Services, or of the Commercial Terms, as applicable, which were in effect at the time of making the Pledge)."

Anyone who pledged before June 10 is still bound by the old TOS, fortunately. However, there's another clause in there that also means you're still not guaranteed to see your money back. If your money has been spent during development, which it probably has, it's gone, say the terms. Here's that clause:

"For the avoidance of doubt, in consideration of RSI’s good faith efforts to develop, produce, and deliver the Game with the funds raised, you agree that any Pledge amounts applied against the Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost shall be non-refundable regardless of whether or not RSI is able to complete and deliver the Game and/or the pledge items. In the unlikely event that RSI is not able to deliver the Game and/or the pledge items, RSI agrees to post an audited cost accounting on the Website to fully explain the use of the amounts paid for Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost.  In consideration of the promises by RSI hereunder, you agree that you shall irrevocably waive any claim for refund of any Pledge that has been used for the Game Cost and Pledge Item Cost in accordance with the above."

Thanks, Kotaku.

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Heide Knight avatarRock1m1 avatarJenks avatarAnAuldWolf avatarDimuscul avatarmemnarch avatar+3
Jenks Avatar
1 Year ago

No refund needed for me, can't wait. If you're not sure you want something, don't preorder. On a related note refunds are what killed one of my favorite events, Steam sales, so call me anti-consumer but screw refunds.

memnarch Avatar
1 Year ago

Well that's a step closer to actually being weird. I mean for a $60 game that isn't out yet that would be bad, for something people have dropped real, house-down-payment levels of money on it's an admission that at best they simply can't tell you when most of the modules will even be finished much less to an acceptable standard.

"we spent it, so you can't have it back" isn't an enforceable contract for consumer goods anywhere i know of, i really hope that it doesn't have to be tested, but i suspect it will.

primal Avatar
1 Year ago

What modules?? There all integrated together and have been for about 6 months so things work together

memnarch Avatar
1 Year ago

Sorry to not clear that up, i referred to the modules that had been released prior to integration. If I hadn't then it becomes a point I'll be called on for "demanding the game now". When in reality all I'm suggesting is that the unfinished *elements* of SC are very unlikely to be completed on time/spec and this TOS change only supports that.

Good point, well made.

Aever Avatar
1 Year ago

Again, a ToS that is actually against European Union laws.

Apart from that, we have a game that has raised shitloads of money and that doesn't seem to have any resemblance of an actual release date being sold based on hype and nostalgia rather than being an actual finished product. So, if it's not done, don't sell it.

So, in my opinion this is a text book example for two things:

- don't fucking buy things that aren't done yet

- don't fucking put shit like that in your ToS, it makes you look like EA and is against the laws of most countries, except the Corporate States of America

Mewn Avatar
1 Year ago

I don't know anything about these changes to the terms of service, like most people, or so I suspect, I have never even read them.

I am, however, happy to share that I just today received a refund from Roberts Space Industries based on nothing except that I was unhappy with how the ship worked in the current state of the game.

Considering the game is still in alpha, and this was mostly about my expectations rather than anything they had promised, they could easily have pointed to a number of terms and rejected or at least delayed my request and it would not have been terribly unreasonable.

Instead, I was met by a polite, helpful and efficient customer service representative who sympathized with my situation and issued a full refund without any fuzz. All in a very timely manner that many service organizations, several that charge for providing that service, would do well to match.

As far as I am concerned, this speaks of a company that is unusually focused on providing a great customer experience, even in cases that reduce profitability on the short term for no other reason than to keep the game fun, even the alpha.

ToS appear to be nothing if not a way to protect service providers from lawsuits. Providing a great experience is what really matters. In that respect I would say RSI is doing quite all right, so far.

Heide Knight Avatar
1 Year ago

Great to see more sites with the balls to expose this thievery!

Rock1m1 Avatar
1 Year ago

As a backer and someone who has been following the game for over 2 years now, I'm absolutely satisfied with the progress they are making. People complaining are either from the console camp or who have no idea how game development works. Star Citizen is still in the establishment of the core pillars upon which the entire game will be balanced on. This phase is the longest as well as the most critical part of any game. You see a lot of games with lots of content, however the underlying technology simply falters and messes the entire game up. Every month we are given something substantial in the form of either straight up content which everyone can indentity, or under the hood upgrades which may be invisible to the naked eye, but are much more important in the long run. Content creation doesn't take a lot of time. Also people need to understand that CIG are multi national studios operating in parallel. So just because they are focused on making the core pillars, does not mean the content creation is on hold.

AnAuldWolf Avatar
1 Year ago

"People who're complaining are clearly idiots, and we're not just sheep with a fetish for anachronistic jet fighters in space who'll pay anything to fuel that addiction. Baaaa!!"

Honestly, if you're going to do that, expect to have a mirror raised to you. The amounts of money people are willing to pay to fuel this fetish means that it's a fetish that's more successful than any the porn industry has to offer. You have people putting down, what, $30,000 per ship, regularly?!?

And I've been following it, too. They haven't exactly made a whole lot of meaningful progress. What they have is a whole bunch of PR in the form of fapmercials of shiny spaceships to lure in the exact audience they're laser-targeting this at, along with some incredibly buggy modules. EVE Valkyrie hasn't been around for the blink of an eye by comparison, and has all ready achieved so much more.

Another problem to consider is that Roberts is notorious for mismanagement, projects he's been responsible for have all been miserable failures. The only successful projects he's been involved in are those where he didn't have direct control, and he had to answer to people, and work with other creative minds on an equal level. That's where he's thrived in the past. Here, he's large and in charge, and his history shows that that's asking for a catastrophe.

They're also bringing on all of these high-priced voice actors to fuel the wet dreams Roberts has of being a film maker. Which he's tried multiple times and failed miserably at every time! I mean, all commiserations to him and all for his failures, I can understand that it's hard to lose your dreams like that. But at this point, if he thinks he's able to manage anything, he's delusional.

So, you have two options.

1.) The man leading this is well-meaning, but delusional, and it's all going to crash and burn.

2.) The man making this has realised it's really easy to fool this particular target demographic and he's going for one of the greatest heists of all time!

Neither is desirable.

And let's be sane, here. Here's a Computer Games Fact (!): The Skywind modding team, with volunteers coming and going all the time, has made more progress in one year with a MOD, than RSI has had with a full time development team and THAT MUCH MONEY.

I mean, sure. Let's be generous. Let's say he's just a disillusioned crazy who's gone mad after so many managerial failures. That's really someone who's going to be able to pull this off? Where's the evidence? There is none. As I said, you can't pull the 'ya dunno VIDYA GAMES development' card if a mod (a MOD) is showing better management and more progress than Star Citizen. And frankly, Skywind is even more ambitious than a space sim, too, considering all of the environments they had to create.

The cognitive dissonance here is alarming. I backed Mighty No. 9, but I was ready to air my worries early on with the choices they made about aesthetics and character design. I aired more when I saw the first gameplay videos. And once I'd played the demo I was ready to write it up as money lost.

Some people can't let it go, though.

"He will save us, for he is our saviour! Roberts will give us the space game we all deserve! Let's give him another ten million to help him on his way!"

Let's just see who's right at the end of the day, eh? But at this point, RSI fans are sounding more and more like a religious cult. Too much belief, not enough facts.

Dimuscul Avatar
1 Year ago

I don't think any crowdfunding project should refund money anyway ... that's not the spirit of crowdfunding.