The Indian gaming market has been growing rapidly for the past few years and has a lot of potential based on official Sony and Microsoft presence in the country. Console games are usually available on the same date as the EU release, and the pricing is a little better than international ones.
That’s for a reason though. Major publishers usually have specific strategy in place for developing countries and charging international prices would not be beneficial in anyway since the markets are piracy prone. EA seems to be the one that is planning a major hike in PC game prices of almost 133%.
Battlefield 4 has been increased to Rs. 3499 from Rs 1,499, while FIFA 14 now costs Rs. 2,499. You can imagine the reaction of Indian gamers to the hike. Gaming is an expensive hobby in the country, but it’s a majorly PC market because of the cheap prices. While console games tend to sell decently and hardware sales haven’t cracked a million yet for the PS3 and Xbox 360. You can sort of understand why this price hike would be detrimental to the country’s gaming industry.
Currently, it’s only EA that has raised the PC game prices. The value of the Indian currency–Rupee–has been in a major decline and $1 costs Rs. 60, and it’s a major reason why publishers are forced to rise prices because most games are imported. But by 133%?
That’s inexcusable. PC games are usually burned on local discs, and considering there’s no platform royalty to be paid, EA’s decision to raise prices are certainly suspect. People have sometimes abused the Indian Origin store prices which were for the local customers by using VPN to get the games for cheap. There are consequences of that, and the local gamers most likely paid for it.
This is the main reason for the price hike, and one wonders why EA doesn’t implement proper region locking instead of raising prices.
I live in India and while gaming is an expensive hobby, PC gaming combined with Steam sales can make things bearable for gamers. However, if other publishers join EA and keep raising prices, it seems people will have no alternative but to go back to their old ways; and that helps no one.
Other Indian websites like IndianVideoGamer, Tech 2 and others have reported this news as well. More coverage on this issue will make EA know that this is a wrong decision and they may do something about it, but it looks unlikely.