Leading retailer GameStop have announced a new scheme called “Guaranteed to Love It” which represents a significant change in their game return policy.
The scheme will allow gamers to return eligible games for up to 48 hours after the time of purchase. They will receive a full refund, albeit only in store credit and minus any sales tax.
The first game that will be eligible for the scheme is the upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive Days Gone, but GameStop have indicated that more new releases will be added to the scheme thereafter.
The change in policy from GameStop will reverberate through the industry. Allowing customers to claim refunds for games after they can be played is a controversial issue at the moment. Steam have recently changed their refund policy to allow gamers to claim refunds for games which have been played for less than two hours.
In the pre-order market, Nintendo are facing a court case in Germany over their refusal to allow customers to claim refunds for pre-ordered games. Sony have recently changed their PS Store policy to allow gamers to claim refunds after facing the prospect of similar court action.
GameStop may hope that making their returns policy more customer friendly will spark an upturn in their fortunes. The company recently announced a $673 million full year loss as the used games industry declines.
“Today’s announcement is a testament that GameStop is committed to giving power to the players,” a GameStop spokesperson said. “Our ‘Guaranteed to Love It’ trade promotion offers our customers the peace and mind of buying video games inside our retail stores at no risk.”
The company will be well aware that the system is open to abuse. Gamers could, theoretically, complete a game within 48 hours and return it, effectively enjoying a full game for free. Nonetheless, they clearly feel that the risk is worth the game.
The rest of the industry will be watching closely to see the results of the new policy.