Some Consumers Say They Were ‘Misled,’ Want Refund for Minecraft on Xbox 360

According to this Kotaku report Microsoft is refusing to give some customers a refund for the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft. Why would people want a refund? Well, yesterday Kotaku uncovered the fact that if you don't own a high definition television set then the game won't allow you to play split-screen multiplayer with friends. And while that might not seem like a big deal, many of the customers who bought the game to play it that way had no idea of the requirement until they actually sat down to play the game in that mode.

That's because no one involved in bringing the game to the Xbox 360 bothered to put some sort of notification of the HD TV requirement in the game's description, advertising, or anywhere else. Kotaku points out that the demo does contain a warning – if you try to play it in local split-screen… The story came to light when one customer named Andrew King emailed them.

A few consumers claim that they have successfully received refunds from Microsoft customer support, but other have not been so lucky, and when Kotaku contacted them the representative they spoke to said that refunds were dependent on a number of factors including who was handling your claim..

You can read the rest of the tale at Kotaku, but the point that customers who feel bamboozled by Microsoft want to convey is that they should have been warned well in advance of purchasing the game. Personally we think Microsoft would look pretty lame if they didn't add a warning somewhere in the description of the game on the Xbox Live Marketplace, within the game demo somewhere during start-up or shortly thereafter on one of the loading screens.

It also wouldn't hurt if someone patched the game to make split-screen multiplayer work for people that don't happen to have a high definition TV either considering how popular Minecraft is as a franchise. You would be surprised how many regular, every day consumers don't own one yet…

Source: Kotaku

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  1. 0
    Wraith108 says:

    They’re either lying didn’t read all the pages or this has since been added but when you go to the game in XBL, under the details tab it explicitly says “To experience a split-screen functionality high-definition television is required.”

  2. 0
    locopuyo says:

    It is hard to game menus and text for SD tvs, it really sucks doing it for split screen on SDTVs.  However, it is just plain lazy to not do it.  Even if it is as terrible as Call of Duty 3 split screen where the text takes up your entire screen every time you pick up a health pack.  At least you can play.

    Ideally they would have came up with separate UI designs for split screen and low definition.  That is what I do with my games.  Then it looks good if you have an HD display and is still playable if you have an SDTV.  

  3. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Thing is, there is a difference between 'looks bad but works' and 'explicitly checks your system and disables game modes'.  The former I agree, buyer beware.. the second is intentional crippling of the game without warning.

  4. 0
    GrimCW says:

    actually there are HDTV's out there for less than an X360 or PS3.. they just aren't big.

    not saying it justifies the purchase, that comes down to use, and need/want factors.

    some people just don't care for the whole "HD" hype, or just don't care to upgrade.  i mean hell, my parents have a small HDTV in their bedroom, but the living room at their house still has the same old tube TV its had for nearly 15 years now. they just haven't had the want or need to upgrade. On the other hand though my grandparents upgraded to a nice big LCD HDTV last year cause their old school massive flat screen (you know, one of those ones where you need to sit nearly dead center just to see the damned picture) kinda started changing colors and having sound problems.

    and tbh i wouldn't have the big ol' plasma i have atm if it weren't for the fact i couldn't find an old tube tv when i was looking that didn't have issues and cost more than an HDTV twice its size. Why would i want one you might ask? Time Crisis 3… nuff said :p the light gun won't work with newer tv's :/

  5. 0
    kagirinai says:

    Do you have any realistic grasp on how spending money works? Even if an HDTV didn't cost more than an XBox (and they do), then what you're saying is: "If you can afford to buy x, then you can afford to buy 2x."

    There's no shortage of people who have to save up to buy something like a gaming console, especially if they want a few games. It's not exactly an impulse buy for everyone.

  6. 0
    kagirinai says:

    As I understand it, it's not that they can't play the game, it's that they can't play a particular mode.

    I'm not sure this qualifies any more for a refund than any other HD issues that have appeared in the last 6 years or so; as I recall, no one was offering refunds for Dead Rising, when the text was illegible in SD, nor for Heavy Rain for similar reasons. And those aren't the only two titles rendered difficult or impossible to play in SD.

    I've got sympathy for these players, but there's a buyer beware aspect that comes with a gaming console. And since HD has started rolling through everyone, that includes a wariness of display compatibility.

  7. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Afford perhaps, but why replace something that is working just fine?  Not everyone is hooked on the gadget cycle, even people who like playing games.

  8. 0
    Craig R. says:

    If you can afford to buy yourself an XBox 360 – a latest generation gaming console – then you can afford to buy yourself an HDTV – a latest generation TV.

  9. 0
    DanHoyt says:

    I completely think they should get a refund, I'm just legitimately curious as to how many people we could be talking about. TVs don't last as long as they used to anyway. My family had the same TV for almost 18 years while I was growing up, but a LCD TV I bought in 2003 started getting fuzzy about five or six years in and when I went to replace it I was only able to buy an HDTV. That's why I remember only being able to buy HDTVs for a few years now.

  10. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Yup, sorry Mojang but whether intentional or not, people need to be informed of those kinds of requirements before the game is sold. Doesn't have to be all over the ad, just one of those annoying asterisk things and 'HD TV Required' in the corner.

    Look at it this way, be reasonable, helpful and understanding and when these people do get an HDTV, which is inevitable at some point, then if you have a good reputation with them that revenue is not lost, merely delayed.

  11. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Yeah, if the specs were not publicized for that particular game mode requirement then there needs to be a refund. Sorry Minecraft/Microsoft… you blew it, and you need to make good to your customers. Love you both, but your customers are right this time.

  12. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    I use  an old computer monitor and a set of cheap PC speakers for my XBOX360, and a tube tv for my NES, and SNES. My older tube tv that replaced is from 1993 and other than the power button not working, it is still in working order. you just need a remote to turnin it off, as any button turns it on, and it is almost 20 years old.

     – W

  13. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Considering most tube tvs last 10-20 years, many people probably have not replaced them yet. I know of a lot of people that have not upgraded their tvs, primarily because they have not had an actual need to do so. How many of those people have 360s is not at issue. The issue is that a number of people do not have HD tvs and should get a refund for a game they cannot play and were never warned that they could not play.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  14. 0
    DanHoyt says:

    I'm actually really curious how many people actually own an Xbox 360 and play it on a TV that is not HD. There can't be that many people out there right? I don't think I've seen anyplace that actually sells non-HDTV's for years and I would think that if you own a 360, you would most likely get an HDTV anyway. So the chances of getting Minecraft on the 360 and not owning a HDTV has got to be pretty slim. Having said that, Microsoft should just give some refunds since it's no that big a deal.

  15. 0
    Prof_Sarcastic says:

    Seems like a poor design choice.  I guess I have the benefit of hindsight, but I've been willing to play games in the past where the text was hard to read.  On the other hand I have never, and will never, upgrade my TV for any particular single game.


  16. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I have been following this on Twitter. According to Notch, he was not aware of the HD requirement. (!/notch/status/200589998909698049 )

    According to 4J (the company that actually made the port), the requirement is because the menus looked like crap on SD tvs and were pretty much useless. (!/4JStudios/status/200212838139179008 )

    Still no word on why there was no information about this in the game description or who was responsible for writing the game description.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  17. 0
    Overcast says:

    "You would be surprised how many regular, every day consumers don't own one yet…"

    Not really, considering i have a tube TV in my living room. That being said, I have a 27 inch LED monitor on my PC along with a newer nVidia card, tons of RAM, etc..  My daughter has a Sony Bravia LCD TV upstairs to play PS3 on though.

    But heck, many of us don't bother to replace items unless the old one breaks, and it depends on the usage. My TV in the living room gets woefully little use, often i wonder why I pay the $5.00 a month for the cable box in there.

    I have a Tube TV in the bedroom too, lol.

    But then I have a nice dishwasher and fridge I paid cash for, plenty of newer tools that were bought with cash.

    I'm totally anti-finance now. I'm SO done with debt, SO VERY done with it. Learned the hard way too – don't have a single dollar of credit card debt, however. I really only owe a couple K in Student Loans and a Mortgage – and that's it.

    But heck, I'm a gamer and a worker for the most part. If I'm not gaming, I'm working on the car, PC, house, etc… So why do I need a newer TV? I watch TV for about 30 min a night as I fall asleep on 98% of days. The tube TV works just fine for that.

    Not worth borrowing for, and I want a nice big one – prices just keep dropping too – why rush?  Just means I keep more cash – no finance or credit card company gets a cut – I wait until the real big ones, maybe 3D come down and just pay cash and done. Patience is profitable, really. Plus, no sense in paying too much for an item that won't get a ton of use, when I can get a 54+ inch for my price range, I'll probably get it – with cash.



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