Updated 24/11/2014 9:43am:
After feedback from the Elite: Dangerous community, Frontier founder David Braben says those who want a refund will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
"We initially declined some people’s request for refund as our records showed they have already played Elite: Dangerous online," Braben wrote in a forum post.
"After listening to many of the comments I received after my AMA here, we have since re-opened these requests and informed those people that we will be contacting them so that we can fully understand their individual situation before making a more informed decision."
"We will be contacting them each in the next few working days."
Original story 21/11/2014 11:13am:
Frontier Developments is offering refunds to those who pre-ordered Elite: Dangerous, following complaints over the removal of the game’s offline mode.
Last week, Frontier announced that the game’s online aspects were so fundamental to the game’s core experience that it would now be an online-only title.
"The work needed to deliver a rich online nature of the game diverged from the requirements of a fully offline game," said Frontier founder David Braben at the time.
Outrage followed, particularly from those who had backed the game on Kickstarter under the impression it would be an offline game.
"It is a creative decision, not wanting to produce an empty game,” Braben responded.
“It is technically possible, but it would be a largely separate game development.
“We will review the decision after release, but our priority is moving the game forwards for the great majority of players, and are wary of producing a sub-standard game."
Today, amid continuing backlash, Frontier outlined a refund policy.
"We have started responding to requests where there is a clear outcome," said Braben.
"Those who have pre-ordered an Elite: Dangerous release version from our online store and have therefore not yet played the game are eligible for a refund.
"Those who have already been playing the game online in the Alpha and/or Beta phases, regardless of whether they backed the project via Kickstarter or purchased access to Alpha and/or Beta through our online store, are not eligible for a refund."
It’s not clear whether those who backed the game’s Kickstarter but haven’t participated in either the Alpha or Beta will also be offered refunds.
Elite: Dangerous is due out for Windows PC and Mac on December 16.
In related news, a German fella by the name of Markus Boesen has created quite the homemade cockpit in which to play the space sim: