Considering myself a pretty big Back To The Future fan (I have the Lights & Sounds DeLorean from ThinkGeek! love it! http://imgur.com/AcBem.jpg ) and upon hearing that TellTale were creating a game about this IP I've grown to love ever since I was kid, I practically did a backflip. Granted, I haven't really gamed on a computer since 2004 when I had to switch to Mac for professional reasons but found a comfortable little home in my Xbox360.. but with a title like Back To The Future? AND it was being released for OS X on launch?! I simply couldn't resist.
I patiently waited. Every so often checking in on the TellTale site or on Steam to see new videos or posts about how the game was coming along.. I was practically vibrating with anticipatory energy every time I was visited with new promotional material! After weeks of waiting and hype, the day finally came: launch. I took the Visa I only use for online purchases and loaded up 40 dollars onto it and put on my Gamin' Pants. (I wanted a Flux Capacitor shirt, but alas.. it was backordered)
Here it was, my first exercise into gaming on a personal computer since Max Payne 2 way back in 2003! I was exited to say the least. I immediately pointed Chrome to the TellTale game's online store and started my registration so I could download this game and get-a-crackin'. I enter in my name, my address, the country I live in (greetings from Vancouver, Canada!) my visa information and clicked "Checkout" with a grin. The moment was palpable: a GOOD Back To the Future game? a good one! I've heard James Rolfe of Cinemassacre fame lament over how horrible BTTF has been represented in the video game world over the years and buying this title felt like a vindication for the series; finally the day has come.
But I was stopped with a red box with even redder text: "address does not match card."
"Oh!" I thought "they're billing addy forms didn't have a spot for apartment numbers... I probably should have left it out. I'll do that, I think, and try again!" and re-enter my information. I click "checkout" and am greeted with more red text in a red box: "insufficient funds".
I thought to myself "that can't be, this is my first purchase on this card in weeks. Where could the money have gone?" Surely TellTale didn't take my money without giving me a game. There's no way that could have happened. Their online store has to have been built with a safeguard of some type to prevent this kind of thing from happening before they even went live.
But, to be sure (incase someone had compromised my Visa and has done all sorts of horrible things with it..) I went to load up a digital statement and there it was, staring me in the face: a charge of $26.60 to my Visa from "TELLTALE, INC". (http://imgur.com/vi1DP.png)
So here I am: TellTale has my money, and I do not have anything to show for it but a user account with their online service and less money on my gaming visa than I started out the night with.
I've submitted a support ticket with a PDF of my visa statement and I hope they get back to me and straighten this out with either refunding my money so I can just wait and buy the game on steam.. or allow me to download that ever elusive game that, for me, still only exists in myth and legend.
I'm hoping for the later, though. I've heard good things about TellTale's efforts. A very close friend of mine who writes for Blistered Thumbs gives me grief for never having played Sam & Max and praises that IP as the only one to ever have actually delivered on the idea of episodic gaming.
but, I have to admit: at this point, all I've done is pay nearly 27 dollars for the privilege to write this post and have an account on the TellTale webstore. And nothing else.
And as a gamer that was looking to move back to the personal computer after years of the console? this is very disheartening and makes me question if I had made the right choice. This never has happened to me on the Xbox Marketplace and isn't likely to ever happen if my past experiences were to be a barometer on the subject. I keep thinking:
"Is this something I have to worry about, now?"
"How common is this kind of mishap? do I have to inspect my monthly statements now?"
Now, it's only 26 dollars, so I'm not going to lose any sleep and I'm going to be patient in waiting for a reply.. but, I cannot help to mention how disappointing the fact is that I've parted with money for a game that I don't have due to what amounts to a clerical error that every other online vendor seems to be able to catch and rectify before the transaction takes place.
(also... yes, my title for this post is a Dr. Strangelove reference.)