Indian PC gamers have taken to Facebook and Twitter to air their discontent at the rising prices of EA's PC games.
Using the #EAPCIndia hashtag, designed to give Indian gamers a single platform to make themselves heard on the issue, gamers continue to share their opinions on the matter. While some question the reasoning behind the dramatic hike, others see it as a move that will push most PC gamers back towards piracy.
EA announced a couple of days ago that it will price FIFA 14 at Rs 2,499 and Battlefield 4 and Need for Speed: Rivals at Rs 3,499. That's up from last year's price of Rs 1,499 – a 66% to 133% hike.
The reasoning behind the hike is that EA would like prices for its PC games around the world to be the equivalent of $60, for various reasons. The primary reason is that gamers outside India have been able to gain VPN access to the India Origin store and take advantage of lower Indian prices. This was a major issue during the release of Battlefield 3 Premium and it prompted EA to stop preorders on the Indian store. But the issue came up again following the release of SimCity, which resulted in the game being pulled and then re-released at a higher price. It seems quite harsh for EA to penalise the Indian market for Origin's technical deficiencies. Steam has been quite successful in cracking down on users who abuse the system to circumvent region locks in such a way.
#EAPCIndia Why don't you fix the bug in origin that lets people use Origin India keys abroad instead of screwing us over?— NT Balanarayan (@chupchap) July 4, 2013
New PC games usually retail for Rs 999 in India, and while that price will increase across the board this year due to the weak Indian Rupee against the US Dollar, the hike for non-EA games is far less severe. Games like Watch Dogs and Batman: Arkham Origins are currently on preorder for Rs 1,499, less than half the price of an EA PC game.
It's worth mentioning that as far as PC and console games go, EA does not have an official presence in India, but operates here through distributors. So these are being set by an EA team located in Australia or South East Asia. The #EAPCIndia campaign, as IVG puts it, is not designed to get EA to reverse its prices, but to simply give Indian PC gamers a singular platform to share their opinions, and hopefully get that message across to EA.
Here are a few reactions from Indian PC gamers on Twitter.
The only EA PC game i care about right now is BF4. 133% increase? You kidding me? Has the Rupee fallen to Somalia levels or what? #EAPCIndia— Bharatram Rameshwar (@LivUnderARock) July 4, 2013
I just really hope other games don't follow suit. Will have to find another passion. #EAPCIndia— R. (@RashiChandra) July 4, 2013
You're going to end up undoing what we've been trying for years together - get more people to buy. #EAPCIndia— Sathya (@SathyaBhat) July 4, 2013
So who exactly is responsible for EAs pricing policy in India? I'd really like to hear their side of the story.Coz this is nuts #EAPCIndia— Bharat Joshi (@shadeheart) July 4, 2013
I will Play the BETA of BF4 and thats it.and i am huge Bf fan.I could get 4/5 better games out of that money during steam sale.#EAPCIndia— Rahul Bhowmick (@guddur) July 4, 2013
If nothing else, it's just HILARIOUS that they expect people to pay over 3k for a Need for Speed title. #EAPCIndia— Azeem Banatwalla (@TheBanat) July 4, 2013
Instead of buying NFS Rivals, FIFA 14 and Battlefield 4 at retail you can actually take a weekend trip to Goa. #EAPCIndia— rishi a (darkest TL) (@slackerninja) July 4, 2013
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