I was in the middle of working on a post about Symbiosis when I came across some information regarding Diablo III that was so awesome that I had to stop and share. While everyone in the world has been battling full servers, error 37 and a myriad of other Diablo III launch issues, I wanted to take a minute and highlight a truly amazing step that Blizzard has taken for their Australian clientele. I do not know if you are aware of the troubles that GAME Australia has recently faced, but they have recently (and rather untimely for Australia’s Diablo playerbase) entered into “Administration”. From what I can tell, this is relatively equivalent to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy here in the United States.
It seems that it’s an attempt by the company to enter into re-orginization, and in the process adjust (or erase) many of their debts, so that they can continue operations. What that means is that the company becomes protected from their creditors while an attempt is made to see if the company can be salvaged – or if they need to go into a full on bankruptcy (chapter 7 here in the US) and liquidate/cease to exist. It is not uncommon for a bankruptcy to be assigned a trustee (in this case administrator) to continue the business operations while a company is undergoing a bankruptcy. It is also not uncommon for unsecured creditors to basically have to kiss all or part of their investments, inventory or funds goodbye.
What is so unfortunate in this situation is that everyone who put down any amount of money for a pre-order of Diablo III, be it a reserve amount or a payment in full, fell into the category of an “unsecured creditor” in this circumstance – as the Administrator determined that GAME would not be receiving any copies of Diablo for sale (the reasoning for this makes a lot of sense – the cliff’s notes version is that likely the Administrator is preventing the purchase of any additional assets, or accrual of additional debt, to protect GAME’s current creditors). Unfortunately, what this meant for Australia’s GAME customers is that they were pretty much left in the cold, holding a claim for the funds that they paid, with nary a hope of ever receiving a nickel of it back.
But then Blizzard did something that I honestly cannot say I’ve seen any other third party company do in a Bankruptcy – they stepped up and protected their customers. Or, to put it another way, Blizzard stepped in and cleaned up a giant mess that GAME left for those who pre-ordered Blizzard’s intellectual property from GAME.
We’re aware that some Australian GAME customers have been left out in the cold on what should be the hottest night of the year — the launch of Diablo III. To help with this situation and get these players into the game as soon as possible, we’ve put the following process in place.Australian GAME customers with a valid preorder/prepurchase receipt dated before May 15, 2012 can do the following:1. Purchase the digital version of Diablo III from http://www.diablo3.com now or anytime before May 21, 2012.
2. Download and start playing when the servers go live!
3. Submit your GAME Australia preorder/prepurchase receipt to us before June 30, 2012.
4. Receive a credit from Blizzard, for the amount you paid in advance to GAME Australia for Diablo III. This credit will be applied to the payment method used for the digital purchase.
We’ll post further details here on how to submit your GAME Australia receipt to our customer service team as soon as possible. Stay tuned, and we look forward to seeing you in the Burning Hells!