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When an online game shuts down its servers.

11-09-2015, 06:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,294
When an online game shuts down its servers.

One of the online games I play had stopped receiving support some time ago, and it appears that the servers were shut down for good last night. The only responses from customer support that players were receiving (back before support just stopped responding) was that new content was being developed. Now it looks like the whole thing has been shut down, with no announcement or forewarning.

My question is about IAP in situations like this. The game was of the typical freemium design, utilizing a premium in-game currency to purchase various things, and they allowed purchasing right up until the end. It's entirely posssible that players could have made purchases only moments before the servers were shut down.

In looking at Apple's terms and conditions, it states: "Once a consumable In App Purchase is acquired and received by you, Apple shall be without liability to you in the event of any loss, destruction, or damage." I believe that Apple would likely refund IAPs of in-game currencies made just prior to a game shutting down its servers without any warning. Perhaps not immediately, as they would likely investigate the issue first, but I imagine they would side with the customer in such a situation.

So here's the question: If Apple were to offer refunds for IAPs made in an online game just prior to the game's servers being shut down without any forewarning, how big do you think that window would be? Only for IAPs made the day before? The week before? A month? Or do you think Apple would simply hold firm to the "not my problem" stance?
11-09-2015, 06:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 11,190
Pretty much zero.

If you bought the game, and it was unplayable from square one, Apple might give you a refund as the game does not work as designed.

If you bought the game and were able to play it at all, they don't care. If you have never gotten a refund before, the game had just recently been shut off and/or there are promises in the App Store description that have not been met, then you are more likely to get a refund.

I've had a lot of games end due to this situation, even before iOS.

Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post

Worst idea ever!