One of the issues that has come up in the discussions around the UK Government's consultation on consumer rights in digital stuff is the notion of a reasonable remedy. In the case of online games - what's reasonable?
For the background on this see my TN Post: UK Consumers have rights over you
And the very detailed tVPN post: UK Content Rights
In the case of quality issues with digital stuff the consultation document talks about 4 R's: repair, replace, return or reduce price. But would a player of an MMO or other online game want any of these R's if there were certain issues with the game, are there remedies there a more reasonable, more appropriate?
Here's a scenario: you buy a game and get ready to play it on the opening night - the authentication servers are borked all weekend so you just can't get on.
What compensation should the players get?
Note: assume that the consolation makes it through the legislative process and becomes law - in which case it is very likely that there will be a statutory obligation to compensate UK consumers, so I'm asking what compensation not whether there should be (see previous post for that debate).
My assumption is that most players will not want to replace or return the game, the repair will come in virtue of serves and load finally balancing. In some instances, such as a subscription service, it's possible that players may want to claim a reduction in costs in proportion to the time that they could not access the service - but is that really going to make any one happy?
One of the issues of not getting in at launch is that you don't get that launch weekend fun. You also start to fall behind friends / guildees - its not easy to think how that can / should be compensated. A thought is something like and XP bonus that helps speed people through the game so they can catch up - but that feels like tampering and messing with game balence that might work to peoples' detriment. So what to do?