Price wars

What is wrong with the euro zone?

Even better… What is wrong with the videogame prices in the euro zone?

For as long as the Euro has been going on, videogame users in the Euro zone have had to pay considerably more than those in the UK or in the US. Is there any explanation for this? The Explanation is based on the exchange rates that existed when the Euro was first born practically 10 years ago.

For example: if you have intention of buying Assassin’s Creed 2 in Spain, the cost ascends to 69.95 Euros; for the same game in the U.S. 64.95 U.S. dollars (43.50 Euros); in the UK you find it for 49.99 pounds (55 Euros aprox.).

We are talking of differences that range from 15 to 25 Euros. And that is because we are talking of recommended prices because if we go searching for offers the difference gets far greater. Discounts for games in the Euro zone reduce to 5 to 10 (if lucky) Euros maximum and some games remain with the release date price for over 2 or 3 years; in the UK there are many offers depending on the company and the game’s success but they generally lower down 6 months after release date; the same can be applied for the US.

Bionic Commando for example will cost in Spain currently (checking offers) around 55 or 60 Euros. In amazon.co.uk for example this game is found under 10 UK pounds.

Many users in the Euro zone which are aware of this situation ask themselves why this big difference and, logically, search in the UK and US markets rather than their own. With the existing salaries 70 Euros a game means one game  a month and, as a gamer, a game that lasts me within 5 to 20 hours (being very lucky) is highly disappointing and, above all, why buy one if you can probably find 2 for the same price?

On top of all this the industry wants to destroy the second hand market cause “it affects game sales”. Even more, microsoft has the guts to come with the games on demand service charging me over 20 Euros more in the case of Perfect Dark Zero for a digital copy!Are we going crazy?

I believe that the industry would highly profit from lower prices. It would increase the number of sales of videogames, decrease the effect of the second hand market, decrease piracy losses and keep the gamers happy. The best of examples is probably FX interactive in Spain which distributes PC games and release a game for 19.99 Euros the first day. Guess what… FX games in Spain without marketing or hype of any sort always are between the 10 most sold games of the moment. Piracy is big, but ask anyone and most will always prefer to pay for an original if the price is fair.

Last week in gamesindustry.biz there was a post which talked of prices going down for next year. I just hope they remember to count us all in!

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