Last week, Daum Games announced an upcoming change to the game’s cash shop that allows players to sell cash shop items on the marketplace to other players. The change makes cash shop items accessible to players without paying, with the downside of enabling players who pay to effectively buy silver, the in game currency used to purchase most items in game. Many feel that this is pay to win, because it provides an indirect way for players to pay to get better gear, through selling cash shop items for silver, and using that silver to buy better gear from other players.
Many players were upset by this change, and proceeded to protest the change. Most of these protests consisted of complaints on the official forum, and in game protests; however, a considerable amount of players went far enough as to chargeback every single purchase they’ve made in the game thus far, because they felt they were falsely advertised to. Daum had originally said that the game would not be “pay2win” when advertising the game, and many players feel that this upcoming change makes the game pay2win.
The term “pay2win” is very subjective, and many people will argue over whether a game is pay2win. The overwhelming consensus among Black Desert players is that this change does make the game pay2win, however it is subject to a lot of debate. Thus, in a legal sense, it’s very difficult to prove the game was falsely advertised simply off of the fact that they said it wouldn’t be “pay2win”.
In their PM Diary back in January, Daum stated that cash shop items would not be listable on the marketplace at launch. They stated that if cash shop items were to be made listable in the future, there would be limitations put in place. Daum delivered these limitations to some extent, by only allowing players to sell a maximum of 5 cash shop items per week. Many players feel this limitation is too lenient, as it still enables players to spend over $100 per week on silver.
Since the announcement of the upcoming changes last Thursday, there has been no response to the overwhelming amount of negative feedback from players, other than the fact they are reading it, and an edit to the original post defending the changes and why they think it will improve the game.
This morning, several players of the game Black Desert Online have reported receiving an email with the following contents:
Due to recent events regarding our last announcement, we started to see a rise of the amount of chargebacks requested by our players. We feel that any situation involving money requires as much information as possible, and would like to make sure you are aware of what a chargeback is, and what consequences come with it.
First of all, what is a chargeback? A chargeback is requesting a refund from your bank or payment provider, bypassing the company that sold/provided the product. Bear in mind, the selling company will have a chance to investigate and dispute the chargeback.
Chargebacks are broken into two fundamentally different categories: Legitimate and Illegitimate. Legitimate chargebacks are when you contest a payment because you have not received the goods or services you purchased, or because someone stole your credit card. An illegitimate chargeback would be requesting your money back, after using a service for several months and deciding you don’t like it anymore.
In either case, it is understandable why someone would wish to get their money back, however, chargebacks should always be done with caution. A chargeback will not only cause you to lose access to the game, but it can also prevent you from purchasing it in the future. More importantly, we will investigate each chargeback, individually. If the chargeback is proven to be illegitimate, this could go farther than just the denial of your refund. Your Credit Score could be impacted. (“Creditworthiness” attached to each person, this is usually something mortgage companies and financial institutions will look into, before approving credit or offering services).
To conclude, requesting chargebacks should be done after cautious investigation from your part to know all of the possible consequences. Where a finalized chargeback would lead to the withdrawing of your game access, a cancelled chargeback will have no lasting effect on your account.
To allow you time to consider your decision, and fully assess the impact these changes will have on your enjoyment of Black Desert Online, we will not take action on your account until the 22nd August, after which time, any account with outstanding chargebacks will be closed.
The email informs players that they have until August 22 to cancel all outgoing chargebacks, or face a permanent ban of their account. In addition, it explains to them that they will fight the chargebacks, and that illegitimate chargebacks could result in credit score being severely impacted. The email states that users that cancel their outgoing chargebacks will not have actions taken against their account or face any penalties.
It’s important to note that banning accounts of users that chargeback is the industry norm of online games- however, few online game companies have threatened to pursue credit ratings/credit history of players that charge back. Most likely, this is just as intimidation tactic, as it’s not really worth it for Daum to waste time contacting credit agencies regarding illegitimate chargebacks. Most likely, they’ll just ban the accounts in question, and try to fight the cases with credit card companies and Paypal to keep their money.
With that said, credit score is a very serious thing to protect. A bad credit score can in fact hinder your ability to receive a loan, mortgage for housing, or other form of credit. Thus, it’s a thing that certainly may scare players into canceling their chargebacks they made in protest, and just eating the loss.
For players that do decide against canceling their chargebacks, it is strongly recommended that you check your credit score a few months later to ensure that there isn’t any record of this issue, especially if Daum wins the case with your Credit card provider or Paypal. You can check your credit rating for free, and it is generally recommended to check it every year to ensure that you don’t have any false information on your credit report, such as information resulting from identity theft.