Over the weekend it became apparent that PC players can’t be trusted to purchase a game for the price they’re being charged in their region, resulting in the game’s cost skyrocketing in other countries, making it far too expensive to buy. This all stems from pre-orders for thePC version of Horizon: Zero Dawn opening up on Steam.
As VG247 covered, one Steam fan on Reddit took to the forum to express their utter exhaustion at the situation. The issue seems to come from those in rich countries, like the UK and US, purchasing the game from poorer countries, where their currency is worth a lot more, and therefore the game is much cheaper, using VPNs. Initially the game was priced at 539 Pesos in Argentina, which is about $7. However, after one evening of players taking to VPNs and buying the game in that region for that price, for use on their Steam account in another region, the price was pushed up to 2100 Pesos, an increase of 400%, so roughly $28.
The user who raised this point wanted to make those who were doing this aware of just how much this harms gamers in those regions. Even now $28 isn’t a lot for a brand new game, but in a region like Argentina it’s a ridiculous price. It’s the equivalent of us buying a new game for around $150, but there are no collector’s edition bonuses, or even a physical copy.
While in some cases the price increase has allowed users to be able to apply a $10 coupon on the Epic Games Store, making the game cheaper overall, the majority of cases see gamers in poorer countries getting screwed by those in richer countries looking for a cheap deal. The prices for a game are different in each region because of both exchange rates, and what people in those countries can realistically afford. Guerrilla wouldn’t price Horizon: Zero Dawn at £200 in the UK, so why should they basically do that in Argentina or India?
This should be a wake up call for the gamers doing this. If you keep driving down the cost of your games, developers will eventually go under, or they’ll just stop publishing games in certain countries. Either way, someone is left disappointed, and really those of us in richer countries should be giving developers what they deserve when it comes to the cost of a game.
Let us know what you think about this situation in the comments.