The launch of Blizzard's eagerly awaited Warcraft III: Reforged remaster of the classic Warcraft III is shaping up to be a bit of a disaster on all fronts.
Despite spending a decent amount of time in development, including a beta release, the game seems to have been launched half-baked, with a plethora of bugs, and broken feature promises.
But that's not all, as controversy is now brewing on social media with gamers alleging that Blizzard's initial instinct in dealing with the criticism on its forums has not been ethical in the least – but then, given the publisher's history, this won't surprise many.
The gist of the separate but parallel problem to Warcraft III: Reforged's technical issues are Blizzard's apparent efforts to deny refunds to dissatisfied customers, and even ban their accounts on the official forums simply for daring to air their grievances.
“It looks like Blizzard doesn't want people to speak about refunds on their forums in the first two hours of the launch,” a post on Reddit said.
The post is backed up by screenshots from the forums covering a range of issues gamers said they were facing: from being denied a refund because “too much playtime” had been used – when the gamer never even managed to load the technically-challenged game.
Another Blizzard forum user shared that they received a 2-week ban on their main account for criticizing the game and helping others find out how to get a refund.
If all that wasn't enough – Blizzard managed to also impose a controversial copyright stranglehold.
This complaint concerns Blizzard's clampdown on custom maps from the game's previous release, with the giant saying, essentially – “all your IP are belong to us!”
To quote the post: “The intellectual property (IP) of your maps belongs to Blizzard, not you, and they are not required to compensate you in any way if they make use of said IP.”
This also excludes copyrighted material from previous maps, that will be removed, and gives the company free hand in deleting any content they see as “inappropriate.”
As for the ability to get a refund if you pre-ordered this mess – reports now indicate that Blizzard might be backtracking on its original hardline stance, perhaps in no mood to face another backlash.
In the meanwhile, some gamers are questioning the whole concept of pre-ordering games as the root of many problems generated by an industry that's today increasingly arrogantly taking its customers for granted.