Sony Online Entertainment is set to launch the alpha for Everquest Next Landmark later today. Given the increasing reliance on early access purchases and your average gamer’s habit of buying an alpha stage game and then being stricken with buyer’s remorse because it isn’t a finished product, SOE is offering a full refund for anyone not satisfied with the alpha. As John Smedley stated on Twitter:
We will offer a full refund to anyone not satisfied with the Alpha. It’s not confidence. It’s being honest about the fact that Alpha’s aren’t for everyone. Plus we don’t know the kind of problems we expect to see. Things like running it out of North America now. I don’t want any EU players feeling like they got screwed if the streaming has hiccups at first. We just don’t know what we don’t know yet.
It’s actually nice to see a company respond to early buyers with something other than “you should have known what you’re getting into.” Hopefully this quality guarantee will be adopted by other companies, but that is unlikely.