EA Increasing PC Game Prices in India – Or, “A Study in Incompetency”
Another class act by the publisher.
By now, most people would have heard about EA deciding to increase the price of PC games in India from the usual Rs. 1499 price point to a whopping Rs. 2499 for FIFA 14 and Rs. 3499 for Battlefield 4 and Need for Speed: Rivals. The justification given for this by EA was due to Origin India prices – apparently, users from outside India were able to purchase games from Origin India for lesser prices, what with Rs. 1499 being close to $20 or so, using VPN access. Hence, the company has made the decision to punish an entire nation for the lack of security that Origin possesses.
An interesting note was how EA knew Origin was problematic and would be taking steps to fix it in the coming months. If that involves buffing up the security and fixing loopholes so that some people can’t buy games for cheaper – which we assumed was the whole point of digital downloadable titles, but that’s another story – then hopefully we may see a return to the Rs. 1499 price point in the coming months.
But for now, honestly, what a dumb ass decision.
There is little justification you can give for this decision. Leave aside the fact that it will spur piracy, or that it will undo years of work to reduce rates to such a level that gamers in India would be willing to buy licensed copies of recent PC games, or that it doesn’t matter because piracy in India is rampant and will always be rampant so all of this huffing and puffing is moot, or that exchange rates would have made for an increase anyway (which wouldn’t have been so great compared to bumping up prices to the equivalent of $60 in the United States).
"Piracy in India is a bigger problem than people downloading games LEGALLY from outside the country via Origin. But not to EA. Nope. "
Let’s just focus on the main issue here: EA could not stop people using VPN access from buying games on the Origin store in India. And these are people downloading illegal copies of the game – no, people who are PAYING FOR THE LEGAL COPIES GAMES are deemed a necessary enough threat to reverse years and years of careful price cutting measures in order to facilitate the demand for PC games in India.
It’s not stuff like this that makes EA look evil to the general public. If EA were stating that it wanted maximum value for dollar, and essentially all the moneyz for themselves – forget the fact that the number of people who buy EA games from Origin is nowhere near the amount of those who pick up the same games at retail, PSN or Xbox Live – you could argue that they were mean and greedy. But EA is increasing prices for retail in India, not just for Origin, simply because people were getting the games for cheap outside of the country?
It is one of those decisions that make you face palm until you concuss yourself, due to the level of incompetence and idiocy involved. Piracy in India is a bigger problem than people downloading games LEGALLY from outside the country via Origin. But not to EA. Nope.
Charging a premium from people in India to make sure people don’t try to “game” the system? That’s the way to go. Just like how making smartphones on contracts in the UK and US more expensive will prevent people from outside countries from importing them and then rooting/jail breaking them because it’s cheaper than buying the same device in their home town. Oh wait, nobody friggin’ does that.
"Is punishing someone for their incompetency regardless of how retarded they may be too mean? Maybe, but buying Watch_Dogs and Batman: Arkham Origins - both to be available for PC at Rs. 1499 - will ease that guilt just fine."
Heck, it’d cost even less than cracking down on people who do this like Steam. We know Origin is no Steam, but for crying out loud, EA – was this really the best way to go about proving it?
So the solution to those who don’t want to pirate but want to experience awesome games like NFS Rivals, Battlefield 4 and FIFA 14? Simple: Buy something else.
If that weren’t enough of an indicator to a publisher that their idiotic practices are a failure, then the price cutting measures wouldn’t have come into practice to begin with. Is punishing someone for their incompetency regardless of how retarded they may be too mean? Maybe, but buying Watch_Dogs and Batman: Arkham Origins – both to be available for PC at Rs. 1499 – will ease that guilt just fine.