If you happened to pre-order Battlefield 1 on Pc just a few days ago, you’d have managed to grab it at a reasonable R699. Today? The very same game has shot up to R999 on EA’s own origin store. This brings its digital pricing in line with the sort of prices you’d find for most current games at retail.
The Premium Pass we told you about not long ago? It was R499 on Origin then. The same pass will now cost you R799. The ultimate edition, which packs in everything and the kitchen sink? An eye-watering R1899.
What the hell happened? And why are these games suddenly so expensive? Don’t be too surprised. We told you this sort of thing would be happening months ago, when a brouhaha erupted over the disparity between Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s pricing and Battlefield 1’s.
As we explained back then, our pricing – based on European pricing – was largely set to the wrong conversions. Some publishers, like Activision, corrected their conversions earlier. We expected others to start following suit. EA now has.
“So ignore all the points about shipping, distribution and retail costs locally, and realise that we are still, somehow, getting games cheaper than the regions we are being supplied from. The disparity then between our current Battlefield 1 price (which hovers just below R800) and what it should realistically be is simple. Some publishers simply haven’t updated their conversions yet, and aren’t as frequent with checking them – unlike Activision, for example. It’s creating a disparity in pricing that’s creating a very unstable local market – and it’s something that needs remedy.
It explains then why Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is, relatively, so expensive. Not because Activision is charging more to bring games into the country, but rather that they are one of the few reflecting the true price of games today. It doesn’t mean that it’ll drop, but rather that you can expect other titles to start seeing major increases in cost very soon. As soon as those databases and conversions update, most games will start lying beyond the R1000 mark – and if the same care is attended to them as it is now, they’ll stay that way for some time. Right now, it’s a win for consumers as they’re able to get some games for cheaper than they’re supposed to be – just don’t expect it to last for too much longer.”
It didn’t last. Of course, with our currency doing a little better, we can expect those prices to start dropping again – but not in the short term. It takes a long time for those gains to catch up, thanks to all sorts of issues that arise with currency conversions and importing. It may also not happen. Because our currency is very unstable at the moment. If it stays where it is now, or improves over the next while, expect a decrease in what you pay for games.
In the short term? I’m afraid we’re all going to have to cough up. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for sure, especially as Battlefield 1 was advertised at the lower price.
Last Updated: September 7, 2016