Ubisoft offers freebies and refunds after fans of the Heroes of Might and Magic and Magic 7 Collector’s Edition criticize the company for ‘deceptive’ marketing.
The Heroes of Might and Magic series has been incredibly popular ever since the turn-based strategy games launched in 1995 and it’s why so many fans were keen to get their hands on the recently released Heroes of Might and Magic 7. It’s also why many fans opted to get the Heroes of Might and Magic 7 Collector’s Edition, with the $100 bundle set to come with: an exclusive hero (Solmyr), an added scenario map, a figurine, a pack of tarot cards, a 96 page art book, a soundtrack, two lithographs and, crucially, a physical version of the game.
It’s this physical version of the game that has caused some serious controversy as users who forked out for the collector’s edition in North America were disappointed to find that the North American version of CE does not actually include a CD/DVD version of Heroes of Might and Magic 7 as advertised (though European players do seem to have gotten a physical copy). Instead, wrote one reddit user, “buyers have to issue tickets to Ubisoft to have the game activated on their account”.
This has led Might and Magic fans to accuse Ubisoft of ‘deceptive’ marketing, as the Ubisoft-released image of the Heroes of Might and Magic 7 Collector’s Edition (as visible above) clearly shows a boxed copy of the game, with the box having the PC DVD logo emblazoned on it. Even Ubisoft’s Twitch unboxing of the CE showed a physical disc. One buyer of the CE also noted that the “box was shipped loose in packaging. Lid was off and contents were spilling out when opened. There is a clearly empty spot where the DVD is intended to fit”. The company is also alleged to have changed the online description of the CE so that it said “PC download” and then using this listing as a reason to refuse refunds.
Responding the criticism from Might and Magic fans, Ubisoft has released the following statement:
“Ubisoft regrets any confusion created by the marketing materials from our Might and Magic Heroes VII Collector’s Edition. We understand that some customers in North America were not aware the Collector’s Edition delivered digital versions of the game and soundtrack. Ubisoft apologizes for any frustration and disappointment resulting from these items being in digital format vs. physical format.”
Additionally, Ubisoft is also offering a full refund to those who purchased the CE, along with a free digital version of one of their games either: Far Cry 4, The Crew, Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition, or Zombi. However, it’s important to note that this offer is only available to those who bought the Heroes of Might and Magic 7 Collector’s Edition directly from Ubisoft’s Uplay Shop.
While Ubisoft definitely isn’t the first publisher to do this (Konami was recently criticized for offering Metal Gear Solid V PC discs that only featured Steam installers), the apology and the courtesy game but fans seem to have gone a long way.
Though, there are other issues with Heroes of Might and Magic 7, not just the collector’s edition. Fans of the series, along with several reviews of the game, note that the game suffers from serious bugs such as a ‘wild’ camera, as well disappearing heroes, and some have also reported odd performance issues, with at least some of those performance problems down to Ubisoft’s Uplay overlay and its attempts to run on top of the Steam interface. It’s currently unclear whether Ubisoft plans to address these criticisms too.