EA launched the Humble Origin Bundle last week, which took several big name games and provided them all for basically nothing. Some of the games also work on Steam, and the proceeds of the sale go directly to charity and the Humble Bundle team and not to EA. It's a very nice gesture, and now there's something even nicer, as the Origin Great Game Guarantee was announced earlier in the day. What is the Great Game Guarantee? Well it basically means you can return any full game download on the PC or Mac for a full refund.
No, you aren't seeing anything, and yes, EA is absolutely serious about it. Any PC or Mac game bought on Origin and downloaded to the client can be returned within a certain time period for a full refund. Games have to be returned within 24 hours of first launching, within seven days from the initial purchase, or within seven days of the game's release date if pre-ordered. Whichever condition is met first is the deciding factor, but regardless this is a move not really seen with digital game purchases.
If the game doesn't play well with your system or it just isn't as engrossing as the hype made it seem, or anything else really, then you can get a refund. Simply navigate over to your order history page, click the "request a refund" button, answer some questions, and it's off to EA. Reponses are set to happen within 48 hours, and so long as the requirements are met, you can expect a refund within seven to ten days. Not too shabby, EA, not too shabby.
Any fraud or abuse of the refund process means your request will be denied, which is to be expected. There's probably a way to tell if gamers are trying to cheat the system by finishing a game's single-player within 24 hours and requesting a refund, but nothing has been said on that subject yet.
The Origin Great Game Guarantee is now live in 20 countries, with both it and the improved Origin Store rolling out worldwide in the coming weeks. Full coverage of the Great Game Guarantee is expected by the end of September, and when that happens, EA will have a very generous feature included with Origin. Maybe it's a way to make up for past transgressions, and regardless of what popular opinion is of EA and Origin, this is a fitting example of why competition at any level is a good thing. Now it's time to see if Valve changes its policy on refunds (which doesn't really exist).