According to Battle.net user Jax, Activision Blizzard may have mislead consumers in the way its Overwatch Summer Games content was made available. Jax’s claims are founded in correspondence with Citizens Advice, which the user shared in his forum post.
Citizens Advice is a free United Kingdom network that provides citizens monetary, legal and consumer information. Jax contacted the bureaux with concerns he and other players have shared throughout of month of August.
“When it was advertised,” Jax writes, “it was sold with the promise that we would be able to use these in-game Credits to purchase any specific cosmetic items.”
The perceived scandal erupted when players realized that character skins exclusive to the Summer Games event could not be purchased with in-game Credits. As a result, players could only unlock the skins through Summer Loot Boxes; loot can be won by leveling up in-game, or purchased on the appropriate digital store for real-world currency.
Citizens Advice contacted Jax with a fairly bureaucratic response. In its email, Citizen Advice states that, “Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it is a criminal offense to mislead a consumer into a contract with misleading or false advert.” While Citizens Advice confirms that misleading consumers is illegal, it makes no claims for or against Blizzard’s innocence.
Citizens Advice concluded with information on what to do next:
“If you are looking to enforce your rights we suggest you make contact with the trader and get a copy of their complaints procedure. You need to follow the trader’s complaint procedure for a resolution.
“Additionally we suggest you check if the trader is a member of a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme (ADR). ADR is an alternative way to resolve matter’s outside of court. If the trader is a member of a scheme you need to check the terms of reference of that that scheme.
“If the trader does not have a complaints procedure, we suggest that you send a letter detailing your complaint giving the trader a reasonable time to resolve the issue. Template letters can be found on our website.”
Vice President of Blizzard and Game Director for Overwatch Jeff Kaplan has previously responded to complaints made concerning Summer Games loot on the Battle.net forums, stating, “I understand that I am not posting exactly what some of you want to hear right now. But I also hope you can appreciate giving the event some time to play out before fully passing judgement as well.”
Based on information provided by Citizens Advice and Jeff Kaplan himself, unless Jax or other players pursue the issue further, it doesn’t seem like anyone will be getting refunds for “misleading” Overwatch summer loot any time soon.