Players Who Downloaded Failed Game On Steam Get Free Replacement

After only a few months on the market, Electronic Arts pulled the plug on the monthly subscription fee-based game APB, leaving the game’s few devotees feeling burned. The company is saving face, though, by offering a freebie to those who downloaded APB via Steam.

So instead of being stuck with a dull, disappointing mess plagued with in-game advertising, CVG reports gamers will get to choose from among some excellent alternatives, including Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Spore, The Saboteur, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

Free Mass Effect 2 for APB buyers [CVG via Massively]
(Thanks, Iain!)

Previously: Pay Monthly To Be Bombarded With In-Game Audio Ads


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  1. Tarceinus says:

    You can hate steam for it’s DRM, buginess, etc, but I don’t think you could convince Best Buy or Gamestop to give you a free game just because an MMO tanked on you.

    • grumblingmumbles says:

      What buginess and DRM? The games are tied to your account, simple as that. If you are referring to Assasains Creed 2, that was Ubisofts problem, not Steams.

      • BobOki says:

        I STILL am in the middle of that issue. My code shows up fine on steam but will not work at ubisoft.

      • Preyfar says:

        Steam was notorious for being buggy, faulty and flawed for years. In fact, if you want to see what people thought about Steam, just go read any post where people are discussing Games for Windows Live. The same complaints about it are the same complaints about Steam.

        Steam has evolved an improved, but it’s still not perfect. I and my friends still get constant disconnects to the Steam servers which can affect gameplay, items, savegames and other issues. But for the most part, it’s fairly stable nowadays and solid as a rock.

    • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

      I think people still hold a grudge from it’s early launch problems that lasted for about 5 years and that they had their built in DRM at a time when most games just employed an easily bypassed cd-key. Now the tables have turned and Steam’s DRM is the lesser of two evils.

      I often find games that employ crappy DRM schemes like SecuRom on their physical copies, don’t include those on the Steam version as it’s obviously got it’s own checks. Some still do include their DRM on the steam version, but this is the exact reason I bought Mass Effect from Steam rather than the DVD version as their DRM was quite nasty.

      I personally love Steam these days, while I’d still prefer to buy a hard copy, but most companies are making it damn near impossible with their aggressive copy protection.

      • alstein says:

        Plenty of PC games don’t have DRM. Most of them fall into the indie or strategy categories , but they’re out there.

        Steam DRM is pretty bad, especially if you ever get a billing dispute with Valve, where if you take action they’ll brick all your games. Why I never use the Steam store.

        • hansolo247 says:

          Yea, there’s that…but they are bound by their agreements with publishers…NO RETURNS.

          If you try to circumvent that by trying to screw Valve (as they and only they eat the $) using a chargeback, it would be naive to think they wouldn’t screw you back. Still, nuking all of your games is kind of a jerk move.

          I use Steam and understand the no refunds policy…it has always been that way. Still, they have offered refunds to me in the past when I wanted to get a bundle instead of an individual product.

    • danmac says:

      Just to be clear, it appears that EA, the game’s publisher, is making those other downloads available for free, not Steam itself. That said, Steam is still the distributor, and they should also be lauded for facilitating this exchange of sorts.

    • Pax says:

      Bugs? Never seen any that weren’t due to the game itself.

      DRM? The copy protection of Steam games seems less-intrusive to me, than that of physical-copy-from-the-store games, of late.

      • magus_melchior says:

        There are a few bugs in Steam’s cross-platform cloud support (a PvZ game on PC didn’t transfer accurately to the Mac, for example– I don’t know if that’s an issue with PopCap or Valve), but generally Valve is fanatical about getting things fixed and improved quickly.

        Unfortunately their game production process is a little iffy. Sure, we got L4D2 quick, but HL2E3 has been under construction for years now.

        As for DRM, well, that can be an ideological issue for some people (*cough*Stallman*cough*). Personally I don’t think it’s all that big of a deal unless the game doesn’t function offline.

        • solipsistnation says:

          Cross-platform savegame issues are entirely the fault of the developer, not Valve. Torchlight had the same issue.

    • satoru says:

      To clarify this rebate comes from EA and not from Steam.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Steam is like this shining light of awesomeness among hethen companies. They truly deserve to be placed in the small but elite section of customer-focused companies. I keep reading stories of there actions and routinely saying to myself, “I didn’t even companies WOULD do that!”

  3. dolemite says:

    That’s pretty awesome. I knew that game was destined for failure when I read they were trying to nickel and dime people to death.

    1. Have to buy the game.
    2. Have to pay monthly fees
    3. Have to pay micro transactions
    4. Have to see in-game advertising.

    I think you can have 1 or 2 of those combinations in a game, but not all 4, unless the game is the holy grail of fun, and frankly that game seemed pretty shallow anyhow from what I read.

    • Skellbasher says:

      The game wasn’t the problem. The insolvency of the company was the issue. Realtime Worlds was in trouble way before APB.

    • Preyfar says:

      In game advertising isn’t even that bad if it fits the world. If the ads are seamless… I have no problem. Do I care if the in-game soda is named Fizzy Cola or Pepsi? No. I care when the ads are so blatant that every street corner has 20 Pepsi vending machines.

      Advertising, if done right, can make a world more believable. If done wrong… it becomes painful and obtrusive. For good advertising, just look at any racing or sports came. It’s seamless, because that’s how the crap is in *real* life.

      • Nekoincardine says:

        I have to agree with that, though APB was… Interesting about it. They loaded up ads ONLY during the load times between areas – once every half hour only. Yes, these were full-audio ads, which are stereotypicallly intrusive by comparison, but it’s hard to get angry when the aids specifically paid for the voice chat.

    • Sepp_TB says:

      You’re incorrect.

      Once you bought the game, you could play for a set number of hours (50 if I remember correctly). After that, you could either subscriber monthly, or you could purchase game time in hourly blocks.

      On top of that, if you wanted to use in the in-game voice service, you could do so either by paying an additional monthly fee, or by agreeing to hear in game ads during load screens. If you did not use the in-game voice, it was not an issue either way.

      There were additional micro-transactions I believe, but they were all optional and cosmetic.

      So of the 4 you listed, you could pick from just 1 (and play for only 50 hours, which is a lot of game play compared to many games), 1 + 2, 1+3, 1+2+3, 1+2+4, 1+3+4, or all 4. You didn’t “Have to” do all 4.

      It was complex, probably needlessly so, but misunderstood and not as bad as you presented. For the record, I purchased the game, disliked it greatly, never paid a cent beyond the box price, played maybe 5 hours, and look forward to my new free game =)

      • dolemite says:

        50 hours doesn’t really seem like much in the world of online gaming though. Most games give you a free month anyhow with purchase before your sub kicks in. Just seemed they were trying every “money making” scheme possible…almost like they were looking for more ways to make money on the game than looking at ways to make a great game.

        • Shadowfax says:

          Agreed. 50 hours is nothing. It’s usually at least that to grind up to the top level. So if you consider paying for a game and getting the grind (also known as “crappy work I have to do in order to make the game fun”) for free, but then you have to pay to play the character you’ve just spent a work week + 10 hours OT grinding a good deal, more power to ya.

        • Sepp_TB says:

          APB was a good deal different than most MMOs. Leveling didn’t matter much at all, the gameplay didn’t change radically the more time you spent, you mostly spent time gathering cosmetic upgrades and unlocking slightly more powerful weapons (and it took all of 3-4 hours to get the best weapon), it was more akin to CoD than WoW.
          It may have seemed like they were just trying to find any way possible to make money, but many of us appreciated that we could pay only as much as we wanted to. Most games are $15 a month, whether you play 5 hours a month or 200 hours a month. APB let you pick whether to pay for unlimited monthly play, or just for the hours you wanted to. I was able to play over a couple of months on those 50 hours, with friends when we all had the time, rather than the hours evaporating unused at the end of 30 days. The payment system was different, but it really did make sense of the style of gameplay.

  4. Gruppa says:

    I was in my local Frys yesterday and noticed this game was still on the shelf. I was thinking about flagging someone down and telling them that the game is no longer playable and it would suit them to pull it. Then I got lazy, stopped caring and left.

    • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

      And you needed to illustrate here, for us, your failure to consider others by spending just a few minutes or less of your time to do something for those less informed than you.


    • MMD says:

      The time you spent posting here could have been spent more productively by talking to someone in that store, you know…

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      If it makes you feel any better, no one at a Fry’s store would have done anything. I used to work there many years ago – it’s not so much that I wouldn’t have cared, it was just that I would have been powerless to do anything it.

  5. dark_inchworm says:

    “So instead of being stuck with a dull, disappointing mess plagued with in-game advertising,”

    Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re stuck with that in particular, given that the game itself cannot be played anymore.

    Oh, Phil.

  6. Buddha says:

    I have contacted EA about this and it is for ANY version of APB purchased. Stream, Direct2Drive, Retail etc. Just contact EA suport and they get back to you within 24 hours. You will have to provide proof of your purchase. I.E. email from your digital purchase, or picture of the upc on the retail box.