Tuesday, 13 March 2012

[GW2] I'll Buy it but I won't Like it!

Well... that was a bit of a bolt from the blue, wasn’t it? Here we all are, minding our own business when: BLAM - Collector’s Edition information.

Probably one of the remaining “Big 3” when it comes to Guild Wars 2 information (the others being beta date and release date). Of course, there is a lot to get into: physical content, digital content, beta access, early access, and the ever present question of whether it comes with a naked picture of Martin Kerstein? But it is no surprise that the little piece of information which is producing the most amount of controversy is the price.

Now, I’ve tried in the past to stay out of the hubbub which emerges when a tasty nugget such as this hits. It can all get a bit heated, people say things they regret, people say things in response to those things that they regret and so on and so forth. But for once, I might have to throw my voice into the baying crowd.

I will happily pay the price tag for a collector’s edition of a game which I’ve been coveting for so long, and actually, I believe the current EU price tag to be just about on the far reaches of reasonable (to an extent that I wouldn’t ordinarily complain about it if not for the other issue). My issue isn’t in the price itself, but in the vast difference between the US and EU prices: $149.99 for US and £129.99 (just over $200) in the UK. Why the big difference? Even taking into account differing taxation systems, possible shipping costs etc, $50 difference is a pretty epic amount.

I’ve seen a lot of comments such as “that’s just the way it is” and “every game company does this” and I get that. This is nothing new, I’m sure. It just feels a little unfair. I really really don’t want to point the finger at ANet in this argument, because I’m sure the process is far more complicated than the exec sitting in a room and throwing a dart at a board covered in numbers and charging us that. But considering that one of the biggest markets for Guild Wars has always been players in Europe (we all know how well-loved the game, company and franchise is on the continent) this considerable difference in price feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth.

I get why those in the know are saying “that’s the way it is – due to different taxation, tariffs and other financial and exchange rate malarkey” I really do. And the truth is; I’ll buy the damned thing anyway. This is just a little reminder that for all the community-lead, friendly and almost hippy-like vibes which we sometimes get from ANet – they’re a business, and are, as such, subject to the same rules.

What I’m trying to say in this post ISN’T “ANet should change the prices to match!” Neither is it “I’m not going to pay that price!” It’s more “Alright, fine, I’ll buy it... BUT I’LL BE GRUMPY ABOUT IT!”

1 comment:

  1. You know, I'm going to be shelling out about 175$ for a CE. Because I'll have about 15% tax to pay. And that is if Canada doesn't get charged more just because (we used to be charged more until 1CAD =1USD for more than a year). On the other hand, VAT is included in European prices and a distributor might decide on a unique price for the whole region. Also, notwithstanding the importation fees, there's the famous "what the market will bear". I don't like paying almost 200$ for a CE, but I'll do it. NCSoft would be crazy not to take advantage of the price people will pay (after all they're a "for profit" business). The only way to change this is to not purchase a CE in big enough numbers that it makes a difference.



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