Blindly deploying IPv6? Watch your sales!

Websites are deploying IPv6 at a breakneck pace these days. I’m happy to see this development and hope that it continues! The Danish online game retailer OnePlay.com seems to have thought it a good idea to deploy IPv6 without testing. It’s just a new version of the Internet Protocol. What could possibly go wrong⸮

It’s 06:00 in the morning and I’m looking at an entirely white page. The address field in my web browser gives away the page’s secret: “/en/error/submit/”. I can’t submit my payment details to get my copy of Titanfall 2 off the sale at OnePlay.com. I always end up on the same blank page as soon as I confirm my order. The regular checklist for such situations haven’t gotten me any closer to completing my order. I’ve cleared cookies, tried another browser, tried changing currency and payment processor, and even setup a second account with the store.

As a crazy person, I noticed that OnePlay had deployed IPv6 through Cloudflare. Seeing how OnePlay had let a third-party vendor do their IPv6 deployment for them, I started wondering whether possibly my Internet Protocol version could be part of the problem.

With my suspicions raised, I disabled IPv6 on my laptop and gave it another try. Eureka! When I force-downgraded to IPv4, I was able to complete the transaction and got myself a digital copy of Titanfall 2 at a considerable discount compared to the EA Origin Store! I was able to confirm the problem and the workaround two days later.

I can’t tell for sure exactly what the root cause of the issue was. I’ll hazard a guess and say it was probably either an issue with looking up my IPv6 address in an IPv4-only geolocation database to calculate sales tax, or possibly a problem with either storing the IP address in a log or transmitting it to a payment processor.

I dug around a little and found 20-some people who’d run in to the error page in the last two weeks and had bothered to complain about it on a forum or on social media.

Whatever the issue, poor testing is surely costing OnePlay in sales. Denmark is lagging a bit behind the global trend with their fairly low 1,8 % IPv6 adoption rate, according to Google’s IPv6 Adoption Report.

However, OnePlay sells to other markets who’ve come much farther along with their IPv6 adoption including the United States at 29,5 %, Germany at 26,7 %, and the United Kingdom with 16 %. If the problem lies in or before a system that records sales, I guess OnePlay won’t even be able to tell how much money they’ve lost for not being IPv6 compatible.

I noticed the issue and notified OnePlay about it on the 4th of November. I suggested to OnePlay that they just disable IPv6 for now until they can resolve the issue properly, but have yet to here back from them even acknowledging the problem.

Oh, and Titanfall 2 is pretty cool. It’s a bit faster paced than the original, which I don’t appreciate. The feel of the game is just great, though. It’s been pretty fun to bash about in giant war mechs just as in the original.