Epic Games is in hot water yet again. Earlier this month, the company was accused of data mining user info from the Steam games store and now fans are accusing Epic Games of illegally removing purchases of the PC version of Detroit: Become Human from their accounts.
The controversy started earlier today when a bug caused the newly announced PC version of Detroit: Become Human to go free on the Epic Games Store in Russia.
When Epic Games realized the bug, it started to remove free copies of the game from user accounts. People were understandably not very happy about this and started to complain to Sergey Galyonkin, the Director of Publishing Strategy at Epic Games.
The reason they were complaining to Galyonkin specifically is because in a December edition of his podcast, he made the following statement about bugged purchases in the Epic Games Store (translated from Russian):
Interviewer: Okay, moving on. What if a bug occurs in your store and the game goes on sale for 5 rubles (less than a cent)? Can the users keep it?
Galyonkin: If the bug was on our side, we are not going to take the game back. If it was the devs' fault, it's up to them to decide.
Many users are claiming that this statement on the podcast is tantamount to an official statement because this particular podcast was meant to introduce the Epic Games Store to the Russian audience and answer any questions they had. Based on this, they believe Epic Games should allow users to keep their free copies of Detroit: Become Human.
Galyonkin addressed these complaints by saying his statement on the podcast didn’t relate to free copies of games and that free games don’t qualify as purchases.
However, some Twitter users who claim to be lawyers are saying that this is still a legitimate purchase for 0 RUB and are threatening to sue Epic Games.
After people started to threaten Epic Games with legal action, these users then reported that their Epic Games purchase history page had become unavailable.
This led these users to speculate that it’s an attempt by Epic Games to remove evidence of what they see as a scam.
Overall, this incident is not a good look for Epic Games and is likely to further erode the wavering trust it has with its users.