Home Gaming Want a refund on Elite: Dangerous? That’s going to be difficult

Want a refund on Elite: Dangerous? That’s going to be difficult

2 min read


Earlier this week it was revealed that Elite: Dangerous, another extremely interesting space simulator, would be dropping the promised offline mode that made up part of the game’s original Kickstarter pitch. Frontier are completely within their rights to change anything about their game, but some fans were understandably pissed off. That’s become even worse now, as most won’t be able to get a refund.

Following the announcement of their game being always-online, Frontier posted a lengthy Q&A explaining what it meant for the game and it’s backers. Part of that was explaining how backers and fans could get a refund if they were unhappy, although the criteria are surprisingly strict. If you’ve backed the project and played the game at all you’re excluded, and there doesn’t seem to be any way around that. From the game’s weekly newsletter:

We have started responding to requests where there is a clear outcome:

  • Those who have pre-ordered an Elite: Dangerous release version from our online store and have therefore not yet played the game are eligible for a refund.
  • Those who have already been playing the game online in the Alpha and/or Beta phases, regardless of whether they backed the project via Kickstarter or purchased access to Alpha and/or Beta through our online store, are not eligible for a refund.

It’s even tricky for backers of the project who haven’t touched the game to get their money back, as each case has to be sifted through individually and evaluated. That’s an incredibly poor way to treat people who essentially made your game possible, and are only looking for a way out since you didn’t deliver on a feature that was removed at the last second.

I also don’t understand why people who’ve played the game are immediately excluded as well. Beta access to Elite: Dangerous is far from free, and actually costs a lot more than simply pre-ordering the game. Fans have willingly forked over more money to help fund and develop an unfinished product, so why are those same people now barred from getting a refund?

It’s incredible poor form from Frontier, and another reminder that the market of backing theoretical and unfinished games can still be extremely murky at times. I’m still looking forward to the game’s launch in December, but I’m more glad than ever that I haven’t yet handed over a cent of my money.

Last Updated: November 20, 2014


  1. I can understand how they say those who already played can’t get the money back. That’s because those people technically already proved they have internet and are capable of online play and therefore removing offline mode would not actually negatively impact their capability of actually playing the game

    I don’t condone what they are doing. It’s disgusting as they promised 1 thing and are delivering another. But I can understand how they got to their decision logically.

    That being said I am pretty sure the backers should have some form of legal recourse. If they made the purchase or backed the game AFTER a single player offline version was promised then legally they should be able to claim the money back because part of the reason for backing would be the promise of offline which is no longer there.

    Someone’s going to sue. I guarantee it


    • Corrie

      November 20, 2014 at 17:32

      Someone’s going to sue. I guarantee it

      And the backlash isn’t going to be pretty, more negatives than positives, honestly I didn’t even know this game existed before this news but yeah, interesting to see how the dev’s play thing, I’d rather be a good dev and refund those who feel cheated than a bad dev that people despise and hate *cough ubisoft cough*

      This seems more like a way to combat piracy than anything else


      • Sir Rants A Lot is a DADDY

        November 20, 2014 at 17:39

        Exactly. If people aren’t happy with you going back on a promise don’t force them to still tag along.

        I can understand they don’t want to risk losing all the money they have backed to create the game, but then they should stick to their promises.

        Oh well. Let’s see where this goes. I still don’t think it’s cool to get people sucked in like that only to change. I was looking at backing or pre-ordering simply coz of offline. Now I won’t touch this game


  2. Skyblue

    November 20, 2014 at 19:09

    This was one of the few games that actually had me pondering over a pre-order for the first since forever. Think I’ll just take a step back and wait for the day one/patch day fever to pass, check out the reviews first and then make an informed decision as to whether I’m buying or waiting a year for a GOG/Steam sale.

    Dev’s and publishers are ruining my lifelong hobby and I’m off to listen to Prophet OVG preach it.


    • Axon1988

      November 21, 2014 at 08:14

      They have not actually completely given up on a single player offline mode. So who knows. They’ll be looking into it again after release.


  3. LindaJFlynn

    November 20, 2014 at 20:12

  4. Weanerdog

    November 20, 2014 at 20:41

    The thing is that they have spent the money so even if they wanted to they probably could not return the money. That however does not excuse them from pulling the offline mode. The offline mode probably is not viable because they don’t have the time or funding to make it right, but they really should have told everyone that a long time ago.


  5. ollieclark

    November 20, 2014 at 21:53

    To me, the refund policy wording smells of a lawyer’s hand. Frontier will be well aware of the likelyhood of people suing them so they’ll have got the legals to write something for them. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some people who have already played do get refunds at FDs discretion. It would be a bit stupid to offer refunds to anyone who wants one whether they’ve already played online or not. Otherwise everyone like me who pledged a lot of money would just get it all back and buy the pre-order for a 20th of what I originally pledged.


  6. Wyzak

    November 20, 2014 at 22:10

    UPDATE: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1461411552/elite-dangerous/comments

    They have now decided to reopen the shut cases and investigate them in more detail…


    • Rags

      November 21, 2014 at 11:00

      Whats that with the in game advertising?


      • Wyzak

        November 21, 2014 at 11:20

        Yeah, it’s a section from their EULA. Still to be seen whether it will be in-game or not.


  7. Axon1988

    November 21, 2014 at 08:13

    I think this needs a more informed approach. For one, how much time has the average customer who has played beta, spent in game? At what point would you as a company go: Okay this customer has spent X hours in game, this means he / she has clearly played their money’s worth.

    I’d love to know the answers behind that. Frontier has been quite open on the forums. And it does seem like they regret only informing the community now about this decision.

    On an entirely seperate note, there is still a single player and it’s quite amazing that they have worked the technology out in such a way that you only need a constant internet connection of about 10kbps to be able to enjoy the game in solo mode. That’s quite amazing.


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