Govt plans new consumer rights laws for digital games

Govt plans new consumer rights laws for digital games
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

May 9th 2013 at 10:05AM

Users could be able to claim money back for faulty or inaccessible online content and apps

The UK Government is planning new consumer rights measures to allow people to claim for compensation for faulty digital games.

As reported by the BBC, new proposals outlined in the Queen’s Speech yesterday would make it easier for consumers to get their money back if online content and mobile apps are repeatedly inaccessible, keep freezing or have constant bugs.

The laws would also apply to digital music and film content, with consumers for example able to claim for a replacement or compensation should a stream be unwatchable.

The proposed measures specifically state consumers will be able to get:

•    Compensation if a game bought online is repeatedly inaccessible or it keeps freezing
•    A replacement or money back for apps which continually freeze or have constant bugs
•    A replacement or money back for a film streamed online which is unwatchable

The move should help clear up some of the confusion that currently surrounds digital rights, in which in many cases users do not technically own the content themselves, just the rights to use it.

The proposals come shortly after the release of games such as SimCity, which became nearly unplayable for a number of users during the first few days of launch as servers struggled with the amount of players logging on at once.

As Develop reported at the time, EA Origin’s customer support refused refunds due to the server issues, as it did not consider the situation an “exceptional circumstance”.