We tweeted a rumour yesterday about a possible price hike in EA's PC games in India. We’ve now received word from the publisher confirming the same.
We had heard from a source around E3 that EA might be looking to re-price PC games in India closer to the prices it charges in the rest of the world. The price points mentioned to us were Rs 2,499 and Rs 3,299.
A price reconsideration seems even more likely considering that we’re three months away from the release of FIFA 14, and retailers like Game4u are still to begin preorders; not knowing the price or release date didn’t stop it from taking PS4 preorders though.
We got in touch with Chris Gatherer, EA’s regional director for EMEA markets, who confirmed to us, “We will be launching our pre-orders on Origin soon and I can confirm the pricing will be comparative to global market pricing.”
Global market pricing is $59.99 for EA’s big-ticket releases like Battlefield and FIFA. Under current exchange rates, that translates to roughly Rs 3,600; far more than the Rs 3,299 figure we heard.
It's worth noting that most of EA's past big releases weren't available for preorder on the Indian Origin store, but only appeared on release date. This was because people from other countries were able to gain unauthorised access to the Indian Origin store and purchase games at lower Indian prices. Pricing games higher would now remove that risk, paving the way to resume preorders on Origin.
It’s unclear if these prices will be restricted to Origin or will also apply to boxed releases in India. We’ve sent EA a follow-up query, and we’ll update this story when we know more.
EA has been wanting to change its pricing strategy in India for a while now to move it closer to global prices, and was in the news last year for its proposed price hikes for FIFA 13. The publisher initially planned to release FIFA 13 at Rs 3,499 on PS3 and Rs 1,799 on PC, but eventually backtracked and settled on Rs 2,999 and Rs 1,499 respectively.
We’d heard separate reports of EA moving to Rs 1,799 on PC this year, but that was before these latest rumours surfaced around E3.
The increasingly weak Rupee could give EA, and perhaps other publishers too, just the reason they needed to justify such price hikes. The question is how much will these hikes affect sales. While games like Battlefield 4 and FIFA 14 could still find some takers, others like Need for Speed: Rivals could well suffer.
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