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Update: GOG - "Getting back to our roots"

gog regional pricing drm-free good old games

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Poll: GOG Regional Pricing

Do you consider regional pricing a good way forward for GOG?

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#1 Luc2k

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:20

The DRM-Free Revolution Continues with Big Pre-Orders and Launch Day Releases!

Good news! GOG.com is going to bring you more fantastic launch day releases, preorders, and other exciting new content from some of our favorite developers. We've lined up 3 big titles that we will be bringing to GOG.com in the next couple of months for sale or preorder that we think will be hits with all of our gamers; and we have more equally exciting games coming up soon.

If you've been a member of the site for a long time, you may recall that when we launched sales of The Witcher 2 on GOG.com, we had to add in regional pricing. The game cost different amounts in in the US, the UK, the European Union, and Australia. We're doing something like that once again in order to bring you new titles from fantastic bigger studios. Since we don't accept currencies other than USD on GOG.com right now, we'll be charging the equivalent of the local price in USD for these titles. We wish that we could offer these games at flat prices everywhere in the world, but the decision on pricing is always in our partners' hands, and regional pricing is becoming the standard around the globe. We're doing this because we believe that there's no better way to accomplish our overall goals for DRM-Free gaming and GOG.com. We need more games, devs, and publishers on board to make DRM-Free gaming something that's standard for all of the gaming world!

That brings with it more good news, though! As mentioned, we have three games we're launching soon with regional pricing--two RPGs and a strategy game--and while we can't tell you what they are yet because breaking an NDA has more severe penalties than just getting a noogie, we're confident that you'll be as excited about these games as we are. For a limited time, we will be offering anyone who pre-orders or buys one of them a free game from a selection as a gift from GOG.com, just like we did for The Witcher 2.

Source

 

tl;dr Basically what the fluff piece says is that they're dropping one of their core principles, fair-pricing, so that they could sell more games. This means that unless you're American, you're probably going to get shafted on price when it comes to these new games. On the plus side, more games will be added to the catalogue, from new releases and/or publishers that were reluctant due to pricing scheme. Other things gathered from the forum topic from statements by their PR person are:

 

- the $ will remain the transaction currency which means that, if the system defaults you to something else, you get to pay a conversion fee as well

- region locking games will be a possibility i.e. Germany will get censored games and some places might not get them at all

- regional prices might come to any game currently in the catalogue once contracts come to renegotiations

- if a game gets regional pricing, the publisher will most likely have free reign on who pays what

 

There might be more to add, but I'm only 1/3 through the topic and by the looks of it, this announcement has not been received very well by the community (or maybe I'm focusing on the negatives). For my part, I tend to agree because, after reading through that topic, I came to the conclusion that fair-pricing was more important to me than DRM-free since I can get that from a lot of places now. If not, there's always the option of applying a crack to the majority of games and while I still want to financially support devs that go DRM-free, GOG itself has lost a great deal of importance to me. Maybe I'll look at this in a less negative light in a few days, or maybe they'll even backtrack due to the reaction. Whatever the case, GOG has lost any integrity they had left (the video below is theirs).

 




#2 HawkMan

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:07

there should be no fee for conversion. not sure what system you think would default to something else either, their system is locked to dollars and all credit cards and debit cards that can be used online handles this just fine. 

 

As for the regional pricing, it's pretty much a necessity for one simple reason: VAT. every time they sell a game to a Norwegian without adding 20% VAT they're breaking the law, well technically the customer is but that gets a bit complicated. 

 

The rest of it is merely supposition by the forum crowd. There is no indication from the past or from this that they will do this. 



#3 OP Luc2k

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:29

there should be no fee for conversion. not sure what system you think would default to something else either, their system is locked to dollars and all credit cards and debit cards that can be used online handles this just fine.

Not sure about this one myself, just reporting from the forums. It might not be anything as you say.

 

As for the regional pricing, it's pretty much a necessity for one simple reason: VAT. every time they sell a game to a Norwegian without adding 20% VAT they're breaking the law, well technically the customer is but that gets a bit complicated. 

If it were only VAT I wouldn't have that big a problem with it since taxes are taxes, but you know damn well that is not going to happen. Prices are going to go above any VAT in any EU country on average. Look at some of the gems regional pricing brings. Double prices for Saints Row IV / Borderlands 2 / CoD MW3 / CoD Ghosts / LA Noir. There are some deals as well, but they're not for anything that costs as much as any of the ripoffs. Also, for some of us that live in Eastern Europe is not as easy to shoulder the extra cost as someone who lives in the West/North/Central Europe.

 

The rest of it is merely supposition by the forum crowd. There is no indication from the past or from this that they will do this. 

What exactly are you referring to here?



#4 HawkMan

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 10:19

I'm referring to the fact that they are making things up with no basis for making it up. They're basically outlying every worst case scenario and what if they can come up with, but there's nothing to support it.

 

The things is about europe compared to US, we have VAT in many countries this is 25% already there you're halfway to a price doubling, then you add in all our consumer protections and laws about support in local language or close enough and all the other laws that add on services and such to anythign sold here. And things stat to become very expensive to sell in Europe compared to other places. and that doesn't even take into account the fact that we're a bunch of small countries with different laws and languages, which in itself makes it a costly endevour to sell stuff here. 



#5 Andrew

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 14:59

What did I tell you the other day Luc2k :p

 

GoG, GMG, HiB all useless now for EU customers. Might as well just stick $ = £ on the front page ;)



#6 RatherLargeBear

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 15:01

I think GMG is still great for UK at least, most games are a lot cheaper than Steam/Origin plenty of discounts including new and unreleased titles.

Hell, they have Thief 35% off right now.



#7 Andrew

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 15:06

I think GMG is still great for UK at least, most games are a lot cheaper than Steam/Origin plenty of discounts including new and unreleased titles.

Hell, they have Thief 35% off right now.

 

Yeah the change didn't effect us much but EU got the shaft.

 

They also wiped everyone's credit balance (N)



#8 RatherLargeBear

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 15:11

Yeah the change didn't effect us much but EU got the shaft.

 

They also wiped everyone's credit balance (N)

 

Ouch, I'm glad what credit I have left is still there. Granted its only 10p. :D



#9 OP Luc2k

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 15:19

I'm referring to the fact that they are making things up with no basis for making it up. They're basically outlying every worst case scenario and what if they can come up with, but there's nothing to support it.

 

The things is about europe compared to US, we have VAT in many countries this is 25% already there you're halfway to a price doubling, then you add in all our consumer protections and laws about support in local language or close enough and all the other laws that add on services and such to anythign sold here. And things stat to become very expensive to sell in Europe compared to other places. and that doesn't even take into account the fact that we're a bunch of small countries with different laws and languages, which in itself makes it a costly endevour to sell stuff here. 

Everything I've said in the OP (except conversion prices) is from posts their PR person made (EnigmaticT). I'll hunt the quotes down if you wish.

 

Where is the logic in getting shafted above the legal taxes and for digital goods no less. What consumer protection are you talking about? Where's the one that protects us from being overcharged?

 

What did I tell you the other day Luc2k :p

 

GoG, GMG, HiB all useless now for EU customers. Might as well just stick $ = £ on the front page ;)

You were right of course. I just didn't believe it would happen to GOG seeing as they called fair-pricing one of their core principles. DRM-free is the only big one they have left, but if they drop that, they'll be able to sell and bring a lot more AAA games into the fold. It may sound far-fetched, but so did regional pricing until yesterday.



#10 ShadowMajestic

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 15:36

I'm referring to the fact that they are making things up with no basis for making it up. They're basically outlying every worst case scenario and what if they can come up with, but there's nothing to support it.

 

The things is about europe compared to US, we have VAT in many countries this is 25% already there you're halfway to a price doubling, then you add in all our consumer protections and laws about support in local language or close enough and all the other laws that add on services and such to anythign sold here. And things stat to become very expensive to sell in Europe compared to other places. and that doesn't even take into account the fact that we're a bunch of small countries with different laws and languages, which in itself makes it a costly endevour to sell stuff here. 

Local versions is not an issue. English is our main language. If product support is in English, you can sell it anywhere in the EU without having those extra costs with languages and laws. For publishing games/movies/music you can stick to EU laws, which work in most EU countries except the UK, which is their problem, not ours.



#11 HawkMan

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 16:25

Local versions is not an issue. English is our main language. If product support is in English, you can sell it anywhere in the EU without having those extra costs with languages and laws. For publishing games/movies/music you can stick to EU laws, which work in most EU countries except the UK, which is their problem, not ours.

 

It's not really that simple. it would be great if it was, but it isn't. 



#12 ShadowMajestic

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 18:57

Why, there's plenty of foreign (outside and within EU) companies operating here in English. Support, everything in English.

And a lot of our national companies operating throughout the entire EU operating in English or Dutch.

EU isn't so restrictive as it seems. Get your product into 1 of the countries and you can then from there export it throughout entire EU.

It's not really that simple. it would be great if it was, but it isn't. 



#13 chrisj1968

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 19:19

This is actually stupid. what a huge mark up. you know the $20, 20 euro mentioned in the video? Germany did the same scam at the start of the euro.

 

what was 20 marks during the end of the mark became 20 euros and the exchange rate was 2 marks for 1 euro. so prices went UP, way UP and germans caught the lie. but retail stores tried to asure people all was ok and that prices weren't more expensive.



#14 Syanide

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 19:49

Lame. Eastern Europe gets fcked the most with these.



#15 OP Luc2k

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 20:33

I wonder how they'll handle region locking because I suspect a lot of people will make Russian friends very fast. I'll probably go the same route if I manage to convince myself to buy from them again.