I gotta be honest, I’m still trying to figure out what PWE prompted to send out 2,000 ZEN as compensation for a broken seal discount. It’s just weird. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for all of the Xbox players that received the compensation, and depending on the size of your account 2,000 ZEN might not even be significant. It’s still 20$ voluntarily handed out from the company to selected players. They already did reimburse lost seals and reran the event. Additionally sending out ZEN seems over the top.
Similar Mess-Ups Haven’t Been Compensated so Far
Especially considering what type of business model PWE runs, it’s really surprising. Let’s just say they generally care about dollars more than games and players. This month they closed studios because they weren’t profitable and here’s how they’ve handled similar mess-ups in the past.
- In December 2015 right before the studio’s closure for the holidays, PWE banned a bunch of players that had done nothing wrong. They managed to unban them quickly with no compensation whatsoever although some players missed a day of the Winter Festival due to the mistake.
- In December 2016 Starlight Parcels weren’t working correctly. Thanks to a massive effort from dev “Miasmat”, players got compensated with the parcels they had lost.
- On Black Friday 2015 a charge bonus promotion didn’t return the rewards as advertised. It took two weeks, but users eventually got what they had paid for.
- In Summer of 2015 a charge bonus promotion didn’t return the rewards as advertised. It took more than four months for PWE to deliver what users had paid for.
- In May 2017 PWE banned an unspecified amount of innocents for botting. They never admitted their mistake, but compensated players with two weeks of VIP behind the scenes.
So that’s your history. The most you could wish for so far was 500 ZEN for getting freaking banned without any reason. And now they are paying four times as much for an ingame event that didn’t fully deliver what was advertised? Yeah, that sounds totally reasonable. I mean, what is going on here?
The first explanation is that someone inside PWE actually decided that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and that they had to do something to regain some trust from customers. But based on the company’s profile and the extent of the mess-up, that’s kind of unlikely. It’s not completely out of the question, but wouldn’t you want to announce something like that publicly and show everyone what generous company you are? “Here, we’ve granted you 2,000 ZEN for the broken seal discount.” Applause, praise, approval, win. The only reasonable explanation of not going public is that this wasn’t some general change of policy. It’s a one-time thing that won’t likely repeat.
Is the Console Version in Trouble?
Which brings us to the next questions: What did trigger it? One troubling answer is that the console version of the game is in trouble. It’s bleeding players, the mood in the population is negative, and the devs desperately try to turn things around. But then again: PWE normally is more than happy to just milk dying games. And it can be questioned whether 20$ are able to turn a broken game into a profitable. On top of that, there are no indications other than the usual doomsayers that the game is actually dying.
That’s why I think it makes some sense to talk about what Uncensored regular “TheHappyLion” said on the message board. This could have to do a lot with Microsoft. I don’t really see why PWE voluntarily would compensate players with ZEN based on what happened. But if complaints at Microsoft, not only because of the seal incident, have started to pile up, they might have actually pressured PWE to show some goodwill. In the end it’s all speculation, but how this unfolded and compares to similar situations I just don’t think the company really liked sending out the compensation.
I mean, if PWE suddenly starts paying ZEN for all their mistakes going forward, I wouldn’t mind. But for now I don’t buy into a full-blown change of approach when it comes to dealing with mess-ups.
*** UPDATE *** After the initial post we’ve received confirmation that the compensation has also been handed out on the PS4. Additionally users have been granted 2,000 ZEN for other cases on PC. This admittedly does not fit my “Microsoft” theory and would hint at a general policy change.
What’s your take? Was PWE pressured or does this really mean the company is changing? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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