Star Trek Online devs mis-advertised latest content bundle, apologise for any confusion

Mis-advertised content has been quietly covered up

September 1, 2020 Players have been reimbursed for a mis-advertised Star Trek Online bundle.

Players in Star Trek Online have been left feeling misguided when a recent bundle of new ships launched with less items than advertised for the MMORPG game. Developer Cryptic Shift had put the content up for an introductory price with certain bonuses, and when the bonuses were found to be absent, responded it was a mistake, and tried to quietly cover it up.

The incident is described on Reddit by user refugeeinaudacity, who goes through the main points of what happened. On August 17, Cryptic Shift put up a blog post outlining what’s in the Cross Faction Support Carrier pack, and the “special introductory pricing discount”. For a special price, you could get the four ships and their corresponding modules, and, importantly, five master keys. This was priced at $100, more than the typical $80, but with the keys, it was also more content.

Come release day, August 20, players who ordered that pack found the keys were missing, and started complaining on the official forums. Cryptic Shift responded by stating the keys were “erroneously advertised” and apologised for any confusion. Afterward, any mention of the keys in the blog advertising the pack had been quietly edited out. Viewing an archived version of the page via the Wayback Machine, you can clearly see “and 5 Master Keys for the price of 8000 ZEN” in the third paragraph, which is absent on the current site’s version.

“Due to an internal error,” the studio tells us, “our recent blog on the Support Carrier Bundle incorrectly advertised that the bundle would contain five master keys. Once we realized the mistake, we quickly updated the blog with the correct information and honored the keys for those who purchased the bundle prior to our blog revision. We apologize for the miscommunication and the confusion it may have caused to our fans.”

In the Reddit thread, aside from the comments suggesting this is legally dubious and likely open to sanction, some mention this is part of a pattern with the studio.

Over half the announcements and blog posts detailing new content had been “factually wrong” says one user. Allegedly, a similar incident to this happened nearly two years ago in the space game. “[Cryptic Studios] removed the Elite Starter Pack – a rather well-received micro-transaction that included account-wide, once-per-toon bonuses – and replaced it with the Elite Services Starter Pack, which has to be bought per-each-toon because apparently the previous offer was too sweet a deal,” said user dtyujb.

Cryptic Studios is working on Magic: The Gathering MMO Magic: Legends, which is set for release in 2021.