TR Member Perks!

Yesterday, we and many others spotted that Games Republic had what appeared to be a rather insane deal on the new Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Deluxe Edition for only $15.99, only a few weeks after launch. We’ve seen some pretty hefty and surprising discounts already this Black Friday, with many recent releases hitting 50% off like Battlefield 1Titanfall 2, and others, but nothing like the Deluxe Edition of a new release hitting 80% off.

Many wondered if it was an error, but when it was shared, the Games Republic site was breaking under the pressure of what ultimately turned out to be a human error.

That was our posting of it on our DealRaptor account, although it no longer applies obviously. Today, Games Republic sent a letter out to all those who did manage to buy it apologizing for the situation. One of our readers got in touch with us on Twitter about it, sharing his copy of the letter he received:

Talking with Games Republic, we were able to find out that it was a human error, and that most likely what occurred was that someone meant to enter 15% off and instead put it in the price area, which attached the default ending to the price. Speaking with us, Łukasz Kukawski of Games Republic said the following:

Yes, unfortunately we made a mistake. It was a human error. Doing an 80% discount on a game that’s been on the market for 3 weeks would be a crazy promotion, even for Black Friday. Unfortunately having such huge sale, with so many titles being discounted, there’s always a chance that something can go wrong – and in this case it went wrong. We sincerly apologize all customers who are affected by this situation. I know they are mad that they can’t keep the game, and the whole team behing Games Republic is sorry about that situation. Of course all transactions will be refunded – those made with PayPal should be done almost instantly, those made with credit cards will probably take couple days.
As a small compensation we’re giving all customers who bought the game, a 25% discount for their next purchase on Games Republic, and we’re keeping the free game they received with the purchase (Anomaly 2) on their accounts. I know it’s not the same as getting Civilization VI for bargain, but we hope people will understand. Once again I’d like to apologize via TechRaptor everyone who’s been affected by this situation. We’ll make sure such thing won’t happen again.
Clarifying with him, the 25% coupon will stack with any other discounts on the store, which means that for those impacted there are likely to get some great deals if you want to use it. Additionally, all copies that were sold of Civilization VI during the price bug, including those activated on Steam, are being impacted by this.
Looking at what else you get, Anomoly, isn’t a huge giveaway, as it is what Games Republic (a sister company of 11-Bit Studios) have been using for giveaways and a little toss in for a little while now. Still, it is a free game, even if you decide you don’t want to buy anything else at the store due to the issues or that you want to save the code for the future. If you are wanting to get Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Deluxe Edition with the discount code, that would stack with the 15% off running, taking it down to around $50.
As for what this means to Games Republic? Likely some internal shifts in policy and extra checks added in. It means a significant charge to them, as there will be processing fees to pay for the refunding and the processed payments. Additionally, their site was effectively down for several hours due to the traffic spike from the deal slogging it down with reports of people spending about 30 minutes to try and get the deal. This was happening during one of the biggest sales they have, along with many of their competitors, meaning that many sales were potentially lost.

Disclosure: TechRaptor occasionally uses affiliate links from Games Republic (although there are none in this article, beyond the one in the embedded DealRaptor tweet), and they also provide perks for our “Pack Hunter” membership level.

What do you think of this story? Do you think stores should have to honor when price errors are made? Does the size of the store or company impact your opinion on that? Is what Games Republic giving enough to make up for the error? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.

  • MT Silver

    Too good to be true…

  • That is bullshit! Games republic was the ones that made the error so they should be the ones who bare the consequences. The people that bought the game should be able to keep them. GoG had a similar pricing error a long time ago and they still allowed people to keep the game because they understood that they made the error not the customers. That’s why I support GoG and will not support Games Republic again.

  • 22

    “Do you think stores should have to honor when price errors are made?”

    No. Do you not know the basics of contract law? GR has no legal obligation to do this. The advertised price was an invitation, the customer offers that amount and GR can decide whether or not to agree to it. It’s financially damaging to them to do something like that.

    “Is what Games Republic giving enough to make up for the error?”
    Make up for what? They did nothing wrong. Nobody suffered anything and they were the ones at risk. They didn’t have to do anything.

  • 22

    They should suffer a financial loss due to an error even though they have no legal obligation to do as such because people attempted to take unfair advantage of an error with no regard for the company involved? How selfish.

    “will not support Games Republic again”

    Yeah, I’m sure you were a huge customer of theirs.

  • coboney

    Hey 22,

    I am more inviting there people to discuss the topic in general and it’s also a point there beyond the legal matter in many cases.

    On another note, while I don’t know this area in particular, legal matters in the real world sadly aren’t that cut and dry generally if it goes to a legal battle in common-law based countries. The heavy use of precedents and the fact that such an offer could also arguably constitute GR making an offer to the customer of it for that much. It would also be likely tossed into further disarray by the fact it would be almost certainly a court case with parties in different countries.

  • Sarusig Musicman

    What consequences? You lost nothing, you’re getting a full refund. And 25% off on top, meaning this is still one of the cheapest ways you can get Civ VI.

  • It’s a pretty heavy lost to be sympathized with for sure, but GR has to eat their losses. If in the physical world someone were shopping and they came across an otherwise-legitimate deal, and after buying, no business would be able to require a refund regardless of how much they lose over the deal due to an error.

  • Yeah I got a lot of my games from Games Republic. How do you think I have so much steam games?

  • Doesn’t matter as they should still honor the sale.

  • Jonbo298

    Sadly, the law isn’t always on your side for these situations. My gray area is them going to Valve/Steam and revoking the keys already activated. Comparatively, it’s no different than buying a product in a retail store, taking it home and then the store sends somebody to forcibly take it away (which is illegal on many levels). GR is basically forcibly removing a product you’ve purchased and activated and are (likely) playing at home. If it was only keys not yet activated taken away, it could be argued that it’s similar to buying a product online for in-store pickup but by the time you get there or before you get there, it’s canceled due to a price error, which is legal.

  • 22

    “could also arguably constitute GR making an offer to the customer of it for that much”
    Showing a price is considered an invitation to treat (or invitation to bargain), think of like an advert. The customer then makes an offer to buy the thing at said price; the seller can then accept it if they want. Otherwise they would be legally obliged to fulfil these transactions when there’s a mistake like this (back in 1999 an online store called Argos accidentally put the prices of televisions for £3 and weren’t obliged to fulfil that), when the item is no longer available, etc.

    “It would also be likely tossed into further disarray by the fact it
    would be almost certainly a court case with parties in different
    Pretty sure by this point of international contracts and international online shopping, where the offer and acceptance are has been finalised (otherwise it wouldn’t be able to function). Plus a lot of international contracts will state what jurisdiction the contract is (somewhere in the T&C).

    “I am more inviting there people to discuss the topic in general and it’s
    also a point there beyond the legal matter in many cases.”
    Good point.

  • MadHattie

    The “mistake” was up for well over 12 hours and many people took up to four hours to get this deal. At what point does it become gross negligence or gross irresponsibility? 12 hours? 24 hours? Two days?
    EU law

  • Soap Mactavish

    When will they revoke already activated keys?

  • One thing that is really likely is some kind of legal case, the costs of which could be much more than they potentially lost here. Even if they win, the time and money involved is still a cost unto itself. That’s probably one of the reasons why damn near every company just lets mistakes like these go – it’s cheaper, if only to avoid a lawsuit.

  • Feel sorry for all those people that waited 3 hours to buy it

  • stalemate666

    You do realize this is basically like sending someone into your house to grab a physical game you bought and leaving the money you paid for it in it’s place because they mispriced it.

  • stalemate666

    First of all I personally think this is bullshit, this isn’t some issue noticed at the register (once I bought uncharted 2 for 20 bucks and while he was ringing it up he had someone go and grab all the other copies because they lowered the price on it by accident, that was when it was generally still around 40) they honored that with me but even if they didn’t I could atleast understand since the transaction hadn’t been made, I would still argue false advertising however.

    False advertisement aside (I can see how actual provable mistakes shouldn’t be covered under that, if somehow something that’s worth 300 dollars was advertised as 3 because when you wrote 300 it read it as 3.00) once the transaction is complete that should be that, if the money is paid it should be game over, this would be unenforceable if this was a physical store that you went and bought a copy of it and took it home, they could not send someone to your house to recover the game even with a refund. I’m sure legally this whole thing would be a mess that would take forever to sort out but that’s where I stand personally.

    On the business side I think this was a mistake, a good chunk of people are just going to start pirating their games over this, especially if they waited 4 hours to buy this game at this price, another chunk is just going to not support them and yet another chunk is going to stop recommending their games over this. Boycotts on video games don’t really work because if the game is good people will want to play it and buy it, however with the option of piracy it will do some damage and if they just fixed the error on the site and left things as it was they would get a lot of word of mouth promotion which would probably increase their sales. In the short term this move will probably make them more money but it will probably cost them in the long term.

  • 22

    It isn’t because since the contract wasn’t finalised it was never bought. I don’t think sellers should be punished for a stupid mistake; it would cause serious financial loss to them if they went through, I’m sure. The customers who tried to take unfair advantage of them are getting offers GR has no reason to give; GR was more generous than they needed to be.

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    In a lot of places if they’ve delivered the product, they’re shit out of luck. If they’re asking steam to disable those keys or delete them from accounts? Then they’re engaging in illegal behavior on top of it. Mainly outside of the US in all those cases, on top of that “software licenses” are considered a physical product.

  • MadHattie

    It’s been almost two weeks, your guess is as good as mine.