Some Misled Xbox Minecraft Buyers Unable To Get Refunds

It appears that Microsoft will not give full refunds to people who purchased the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft, even when they can't use the game's biggest new feature.

Yesterday, Kotaku reported that in order to use Minecraft's local multi-player mode, you need to have a high-definition television. In response to Kotaku's request for comment, Microsoft verified that, saying "in game prompts alert players of the HD requirements for split-screen multiplayer."

In other words, you won't know about this requirement until you actually play the game. There is no warning or other indication on Xbox Live's marketplace that might suggest you need a high-definition TV to use Minecraft's split-screen (although you can see a warning if you play the demo).

This a problem for a number of gamers, including Kotaku reader Andrew King, who bought the Xbox version of Minecraft expecting to play it with his wife and friends. He says he can't afford a brand new television, and that he had absolutely no clue a high-definition TV was required. And now he says Microsoft won't give him a refund.

"They're telling me that they cannot give me a refund over the item (as I still have the licence, the game works fine, etc, etc)," King said in an email. "They told me that they haven't given a refund to anybody else (even though other people on the Minecraft forums have said they've managed to get a refund), so they can't give me one... If they'd advertised it like that, I would not have bought the game."

Indeed, some gamers have claimed they received full refunds for their copies of the game. But when Kotaku called Microsoft customer support today to see if we could get a refund, they told us it would depend on a number of factors, including which customer service representative was handling the case, and that at most we would get only a portion of our Microsoft Points back.

Right now, the in-game warning looks like this:

And here's the Minecraft listing on Xbox Live:

It's ambiguous. And it's something that Microsoft should change or clarify as soon as possible. I've reached out to Microsoft again to see if they have any plans to make the requirement clear or give refunds to misled gamers. I'll update should they choose to respond.

Elyas Gorogo-Baker contributed to this report.


    Go get 'em ACCC!

    theres no need to refund people for such a small thing its not like they cant play the game the pc version dosnt have split screen its not like there being robbed of the experience

      If people bought it specifically for the split screen component and they are unable to play the split screen component, then by Law they are entitled to a refund.

    There's other reasons people should be mad. You're limited to 1024x1024 world size, which is insanely small, especially in a game like Minecraft where the procedural generation was the coolest thing about the game and essential to the formula. Eventually each map runs out of supplies and you're forced to start a new map just to get more.

      Really? I was actually considering buying it for the splitscreen, despite already owning the PC version. But if the world is that limited, yuck. Takes all the fun out of building entire cities of crap.

      Whoa, really? I think I'll just stick to the PC version then.

    I would REALLY like to know how many people actually DONT have an HD TV.
    I would imagine its a very small amount of people make a huge amount of noise.

    Go on Ebay and buy and HD TV. Thank me later....

      Some people are just dirt poor

        But not poor enough to buy an xbox 360 it seems........

          Some people wouldn't be using their TV's, or own their own TV's ie. teens, family guests, etc. If I was over at my Grandmothers, which is a family gathering location, I wouldn't be able to play split screen with my family, which would turn me off the game really quickly.

      Exactly, it even works on my 24inch PC monitor I have hooked up to my xbox via HDMI, $160, not that expensive lol

    If it was bought for multiplayer and there is no notice that multiplayer won't work until you're in the game, then refunds should be given. Whether you think HDTVs are cheap enough to be affordable or not is irrelevant and completely missing the point.

      the game still has online co op its not like they cant play it at all in co op

        You are still missing the point.

          no im not split screen is a feature of the game not the actual game

            If people bought it specifically for the split screen component and they are unable to play the split screen component, then by Law they are entitled to a refund.

            YOU, sir are missing the point

              if they bought minecraft solely for split screen and dont have a hd tv in this day and age they deserve to be ripped off

                nice argument *sarcasm.* So you're saying poor people deserve to be cheated. Go home, troll.

                  i am home hd tv are so cheap now if they can afford xbox live gold and 1600 points a cheap hd tv isnt all that dear go to cash converters there cheap as and if there dumb enough to pay 1600 points just to play mine craft in co op who is the fool

              So, if someone bought say CoD solely for online play, should they be refunded their money when their gold subscription runs out just because they can't use that specific part of the game?

                That is the point you are trying to make from what I can tell, and also, it does say HDTV 720p right there in the local multiplayer section before you purchase it....

                  Nope not at all. Because they already wouldve known about their gold subscription. Learn some basic consumer rights before you argue.

                  Youre basically putting it this way.

                  If a guy has an HDTV for minecraft and then the TV blows up, youre thinking I would say that the guy deserves a refund for minecraft. You are also missing the point because the whole point of this article is about 'misleading and deceptive conduct.' Look it up, kiddo.

                  It says it supports HDTV. Nowhere does it say you are REQUIRED to own a HDTV to play split-screen.

                exactly so jam it stu

                  i cant get lap dances in the saboteur anymore am i asking EA for a refund no i PLAY the rest of the game Derp

                  No, of course not, because it's a well-known fact of Xbox Live that you pay to play. And if you somehow own an Xbox and don't know that, it's on the back of the box. of every online-enabled game. It's called "a disclaimer".
                  There's no mention of it on the Minecraft description. Yes, it says "Local capabilities 720p", but since when does listing a product's high-end abilities mean anything under that isn't supported? It doesn't work that way with resolution lists on the back of PS3 and 360 boxes, why would it be different here? And for that matter, why do they bother having minimum specs lists on PC games? To tell people with a certain level of hardware that the game probably won't work in the way they expect it to.
                  If I'd bought the game for split-screen co-op and didn't have an HDTV I'd feel royally ripped off, and entitled to a refund.

                No, because online multiplayer games state on the box that they require a Live subscription to be played as such. Dumbass.

                  ...what the buh? I clicked reply to a message way up the page, how did this get all the way down here :/

                Testing, one-two.

                  Ok it's borked. The above was meant for Sam, asking if people whose Live subscriptions run out should be refunded for CoD.

            So was the online mulitplayer in Medal of Honor: heroes 2 , which was removed without warning for Australia. But refunds were still handed out to anyone who bought the game for the advertised online functionality.

      Agreed. It's like when you couldn't play Halo Reach co-op with a 4gb console and they didn't advertise it as such. It's fine if they tell people that an important feature of the game is unavailable without certain requirements, but they didn't in this case.

      Even obvious requirements are usually listed on the back of games (like "Internet connection required for online play"), so I think all the people who bought this game and don't have an HDTV are entitled to a refund... both of them. :)

      ...but seriously, I don't have an HDTV, my wife won't let me buy one :D. My gaming consoles are either gifts or won in competitions (thanks again Kotaku for my PS3!). There are still many people in Australia with SDTVs, or who use their SDTV with their console for the kids, though as MrTaco says, that's entirely beside the point. Do new xboxs even come with HDMI cables now, or are they still only shipped with SD cables?

      I've got an old 40" CRT TV that looks better then most peoples flatscreens (probably because they have no idea how to make them display properly, but you know) and it sits in a huge entertainment center I have on an entire wall, absolutely packed with consoles and games. If I went to buy a new HDTV, I'd have to buy new wires, I'd have to buy a new entertainment center or make one that's even better then this one, I'd have to get rid of all this stuff and replace with the new stuff. That's a lot of money and effort. The fact of the matter is, a majority of people can afford new HDTVs, they're just too stubborn .And goddamn it, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

    What counts as a HD TV? 720p, or do you need 1080?

    You don't have a HD TV but are willing to spend 1600 MS fun-bucks on the XBLA version of Minecraft? AND pay for Live Gold?

    I'm disgusted I breathe the same air as such people.

      The point is that they want to play multiplayer, as advertised, without XBL Gold. I believe they have a fair case.

        And for the last time, it doesn't matter why they don't have an HDTV. They got ripped off, it's a crime.

    I know its fun to poke fun at these backward people and their SDTVs. but Microsoft really do need to offer a refund to people saying this was the sole reason they bought the game (I am assuming that when refunding that somehow the game is removed from your hard drive).

    Those who are playing the game - does the size limit basically stop any of the exploration aspects of the game? That was actually my favourite part.

    Seriously, get an HDTV. There's no freaking excuse in this day and age. If you don't have a HDTV not being able to play Minecraft in split screen should be the least of your problems.

    Also, MCX360 is in 720p? What the hell? Why is it so bloody difficult to render games, especially one as performance un-intensive as Minecraft, this should be in full 1080 seriously.

      "one as performance un-intensive as Minecraft"
      Play moar. MC may be graphically simple but it regularly brings extremely powerful rigs to their knees. 720p is quite adequate for such a graphically simple game.

        I'm on a freaking Macbook with a 9400m. If it can run Minecraft, with a higher resolution texture pack and with the higher grid size at constant 60fps, then I'm pretty damn sure that the Xbox version that SHOULD BE OPTIMISED for the Xbox's hardware config can run it with standard textures and a much lower grid size with a higher resolution.

          Yeah I don't get it either. 360 can run games like Rage, Crysis 2 and the Witcher 2 with little issues. I know the whole procedural generation is resource heavy, but the 360 version is already restricted.

          Its funny because it kind of sounds like xbox's hardware is shit compared to mac xD

    Whether people have, or do not have, an HDTV is completely beside the point. The fact that MS haven't mentioned the split-screen limitations at all before people get in-game is rubbish. If it was a mistake, or an oversight, admit to it and give refunds to those who want them.
    From everything I know about Mojang and Notch, I doubt they would appreciate their community being screwed over my Microsoft. Minecraft is word of mouth and I hope the story gets out there that it's Microsoft, not Mojang, to blame here.

    i didnt have a hd tv when dead risng came out which made the text impossible to read but i lived with it it didnt ruin the rest of the game i didnt go demanding a refund over something so small

      you didnt DESERVE a refund for that. you could still play every aspect of the game. you can play dead rising on any tv, even if yours was crap. that's the point. it's quite stupid to piss off your customers just because they dont have a brand new tv. and I have no idea why they would even have such a feature. it makes no sense. If you can play the game on single player without having an hdtv then you should be able to on split screen, also.

    XB support rep here. You will not get a refund, unforfunately, mostly because it will hit the forums and everybody will be calling/chatting claiming to have no HD and wanting a refund. MS reps have gotten wise to this already.

      exatly what i said to someone before there using it as a excuse to try and get something for nothing its small problem dosnt effect the game

    Please disregard that comment. I don't know what I'm talking about, especially since this is such an unreliable way of communicating public announcements.

    I'm a little suprised that HD is even required for local multiplayer, but it's unfair for those unable to get a refund. I'm gonna buy this later tonight, but for single player mainly. If multiplayer is there, I may check it out, but for the most part i'll be experiencing this solo. Since the requirements were not readily available/visible for those affected, I think afull refund is fair and just. My opinion anyway.

    it does say HDTV 720p there? Given it doesnt mention requiring 720p, but who doesnt have 720p these days anyway?

    wow. i had no idea that so many people know nothing about consumer law. seem to be a lot of know it all's on here that truely know fuck all.

    Come on Microsoft, don't be bastards.. nobody likes a bastard.

    I love that the attitude of opulence and materialism exhibited by people in this thread comes out during Live Below The Line Week. Apparently people just can't fathom the fact that there are families and people out there who don't have the luxury of being able to just go out and spend money on TVs...

    In demo , there is a message that clearly says you need HD for split screen ..that right there is your fine print. Read before you buy..
    Other wise sure its shitty not to say anything anywhere else, but I saw it in the demo . I have HD. Can't do split screen because my XBox doesn't have an hdmi cable ,without that, there's no split screen play on my Xbox for many games.
    Don't point fingers ,read before you buy with any game if your not familiar with how XBox and Microsoft work. Common sense. Sure it sucks. What are ya gonna do.. we already are so spoiled as it is. Besides minecraft is better played alone :) TV all to yourself

    In demo , there is a message that clearly says you need HD for split screen ..that right there is your fine print. Read before you buy..
    Other wise sure its shitty not to say anything anywhere else, but I saw it in the demo . I have HD. Can't do split screen because my XBox doesn't have an hdmi cable ,without that, there's no split screen play on my Xbox for many games.
    Don't point fingers ,read before you buy with any game if your not familiar with how XBox and Microsoft work. Common sense. Sure it sucks. What are ya gonna do.. we already are so spoiled as it is. Besides minecraft is better played alone :) TV all to yourself

    personally i dont see why this is such a huge issue that ppl are arguing!!!!! i bought minecraft yesterday on the understanding that my kids could play two player,we are really annoyed that it wasnt stated before we bought it but non the less they still enjoy playing it solo.It it much better playing it alone and relly when you logically think about you aint playing it alone if your online with your friends anyway......just the other kid in the room is a lil pissed at you lol.At the end off the day my kids still love it so i cant do much about it

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