Author Topic: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.  (Read 4594 times)

Offline eRe4s3r

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Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« on: October 16, 2009, 02:07:31 PM »
from my DA Journal  ::)

I know, i know.. its not art talk but i just have to vent this frustration. You know for how much the Digital Deluxe Edition of Dragon Age goes on Impulse ? $65 or 45€ - On steam 50€ for the normal version and DDE version is region locked.

Now that this is known, here is what the same version costs in the only place where Germans can buy it (EA's Own Store) Price - $115 - or 75€. The price for the "Normal" dragon age? 45€ (on amazon) (notice a problem here?)

Now whats the issue you ask? Region Restrictions. Steam and Impulse as well as D2D employ regional restrictions, that means Germans can not buy (restricted) games on these services. This means there is no legal way for Germans to buy the game for the real price.

I asked impulse about this issue and they told me that its a Publisher choice. So yeah, regional restrictions in on line shops are the most evil thing ever and Electronic Arts is now officially my personal enemy.

Yes.. i think i will not buy Dragons Age, wait till its in a 5€ bin and do the same thing to all EA games, for all eternity.
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Offline Oewyn

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 02:23:22 PM »
Yes, blame EA, but don't blame impulse or Steam.

Online  content distributors /have/ to enforce any regional restrictions put in place by the publisher.  What happens if impulse ends up selling a game that is banned in Australia to a person living in Australia?

I agree that EA sucks, and in general, i've stopped buying their games.  But unfortunately, it's their prerogative to set the price of their game in different regions.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 02:36:08 PM »
Don't worry i know who to blame. Impulse or Steam aren't at fault.

Sadly i know who to blame.. and i know just 1 disgruntled netizen won't change anything. But i can spread my disgruntlement and especially Europeans and Aussies understand fully well the problem. The more people realize what EA does the more we hopefully get customers who don't buy into these pre-order region locked offers. No company deserves money that behaves as if Europeans are 2nd class customers.
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Offline Admiral

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 08:36:10 PM »
My pre-order for this title is already in. Physical delivery with a major US retailer.

I probably, however, won't actually install it until the usual "no-CD" type things are available, which stop it from "phoning home" to EA.

As EA has become known for, their products work better and are more user friendly... when you don't buy them.

Still, I like computer games so I buy my games. It just makes me sick to think that this game will probably get 5-10 hours of play before I get bored (who knows?) and cost several times what AI War cost, and I still hope one day soon to have the time to get back to playing computer games in general and AI War in specific!

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2009, 01:07:47 PM »
I decided to not buy it until there is a GOTY edition with all the DLC and expansions, i just don't want to buy DLC one by one, i want a complete game not a game and 50 trickling extra addons over time. At least when it comes to RPG's there is not much incentive to replay them all that often... and when the DLC for 0-day is any indication they are adding a lot of quest lines that you have to restart the game to fully experience (like the stone golem char and his quest)
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Offline zephyr256k

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 12:32:15 AM »
to be honest, this is the German governments fault, not Steam, Impulse, D2D, or even EA (as much as I like to hate on EA).

If Germany didn't restrict what games could be sold in their country, this problem wouldn't exist.


Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 01:07:50 AM »
Actually, the German USK ratings only apply to retail and in Germany sold digital goods. EA isn't German so they would neither have to pay tax/import tax/toll/tariff or obey the rating laws of Germany for a digital sold good - They can simply allow paypal payment and force payment in $ problem solved. (Downloads are not a good)

Same applies for Impulse - Impulse isn't European so they would not have to obey ratings that are German.

The fact is EA asks a 30€ premium and thats simply greed. The USK18 rating makes it even more problematic to legally buy it - but thats what imports are for... its not giving EA any valid reason to have higher prices though.

Besides i didn't mention the other reasons ,) DLC madness, the pre-order bonus stuff etc. Everything that sucks to have in a SP only game, ea does.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 01:56:18 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline zephyr256k

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 02:00:57 AM »
digital (and otherwise) retailers doing business in Germany have to abide by German laws and regulations.

Why did you think it would be otherwise?

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 02:23:51 AM »
*snickers*

Oh you think...

Heres a thought example

You run a website in Malaysia and offer to sell me a product digital only with download link and serial X, in germany its forbidden to buy it without age verification, in Malaysia its perfectly legal, which law do you think applies to the Malaysian shop? If you answered German law, you failed the test ;) To a Malaysian shop it doesn't matter that customer A is German or B is American. Hes selling products in accordance with local laws, foreign laws do not matter at all. The customer has to check for local laws (of course), but how exactly do you propose the Toll would control online sales via paypal, a magical crystal that sees in your mind? Because it certainly won't see in paypals accounting for buying a age restricted product.

Actually in many ways you confuse me with your question, when you sell things to Germans you are not doing business in Germany - but with Germans, there is a profound legal difference. Where the shop is legally located is relevant for the laws it follows, not whom it does business with.

Edit: And legal location also defines where it (the shop) pays taxes.
Edit 2: I should add that this is the basis for the entire Import Economy ^^
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 03:03:22 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline zephyr256k

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 04:08:57 AM »
That's not exactly true.
America and Germany are members of several organization, such as the G8, TRIPS and World Trade Organization (and soon ACTA probably), which regulate, to varying degrees and for varying purposes, how these nations' companies should operate towards each others' citizens. Additionally, Germany is an E.U. member, which has it's own trade relationship with the U.S.

Among these trade agreements, are stipulations that American based companies must honor to some degree, any applicable German law when doing business in Germany, or with German citizens.

As part of these agreements, U.S. computer game retailers must comply with the USK regulations to some degree, and in fact, many companies go above and beyond the required level of cooperation to avoid both bad press, and a different sort of trouble, unique to Germany.

The BPjM (roughly: Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons)
is a German federal agency which has jurisdiction over, among other things, games unrated by the USK, their sale and more importantly, their importation.

Illegal importation of a game is a crime under the BPjMs jurisdiction, any German citizen illegally importing a game is liable to be prosecuted (including adults, even though they might otherwise be able to legally buy the game from a retailer legally enabled to import such games)

The fact is, international laws regarding Video Game sales are a tangled mess, especially when dealing with particularly restrictive and draconian countries like Germany or Australia. Detangling this mess so that game companies can comply with applicable international trade agreements, be correctly rated, and so that retailers can cover whatever applicable legal hurdles exist. This is not cheap, and the consequences for not complying with the necessary restrictions can be even more so.

Yes, infact, these agreements, laws and agencies do apply equally to online commerce. And thanks to the trade agreements and organizations involved, there are courts in which the German government can bring suit against game companies and retailers violating them. On top of that, the German government could, legally, order German based ISPs to block websites selling digital versions of illegal or restricted games.

You're basically asking EA to pocket all of the legal costs and/or risk violating international trade agreements in order for you to get a game for the same price as a less restrictive country.

Yes, EA could do all sales via paypal in dollars.
Except they'd have to eat paypal's high service fees and still risk the online storefront being blocked in restrictive countries like Germany and Australia.

I admire the principle, but that just isn't realistic at all.

Just be glad you aren't in Australia, you'd have to deal with similar restrictions and every game would be twice as expensive as anywhere else regardless of ratings.\

The 'Import Economy' you're thinking of hasn't existed since the nineteenth century. Wlecome to the age of Digital International Law, nothing is beyond the reach of regulation or litigation.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 04:10:35 AM by zephyr256k »

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 12:13:55 PM »
Wow.. you are right, that is.. depressing!  :o
I completely forgot the bpjs and that they might block the website..

But i can tell you what this regulation silliness cause in me - the urge not to buy a game. (About the fact the state has no legal right to limit me in my consumption of art i won't even start to argue) the BPJS is the greatest crime ever committed against the freedom of adults, to protect children (you have no idea how much THAT angers me ;p) Why is the state allowed to say "You are above 18, you bought a game above 18 imported it, thats a crime?" Why isn't it a crime to be a minor and buying such a game, why do i have as adult have to bother with regulations?

I still don't see why EA charges Germans 30€ more though ;) The Age Verification costs 6€ via Amazon (still too much... why am i paying a free to prove i am above 18?).

No.. the conclusion is that the regulations in the state Germany make it more viable to pirate instead of buying. If the games were twice as expensive I'd never buy a single AAA game - there are other ways to get them. That would make indy devs very happy who don't care about the bpjs ;p Because they'd then get all my money  :(

I am German by the way - i just wrote the above post in a hurry and forgot half the regulations.

Anyhow - no i won't remove blame from EA - there is many reasons to hate on EA and higher prices for no apparent reason is one ;) (In fact, EA has no higher prices at all, its the retailers who must pay the price for age verification and lay it on the customer)
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Offline Inglonias

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 06:37:06 PM »
This is why indie games are cool.

(I partially posted this to vent, and partially to configure my spyware blocker from preventing my posting)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 06:39:17 PM by Inglonias »

Offline quickstix

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 08:28:55 PM »
Vote with your hip pocket!

Here in Australia we know all about getting ripped off by big game compaines, and even retailers over here. They don't seem to realise that the Aussie dollar isn't worth .50 USD anymore, but we're still paying those prices. Not to mention this age of DLC, where saying that a new patch or content is free, is considered a bonus instead of the norm.

(Off topic) Oh, and then there's the whole classification issue thanks to a certain governor general (of the state I live in :( ). It's any wonder a gaming community exists in Australia, and the community is still stereotyped by the wider community as nothing more than nerds or serial killers playing violent games. I even opened up the paper this morning and saw yet another misinformed 'violence in video games causes violence' article. Mind you, that's even more of an issue in Germany from what I hear, and I've heard nothing but rhetoric from the people arguing about it.

AND THEN, publishers/retailers wonder why nobody buys from local retailers. It's because digital distribution and import are the only ways to get a reasonable deal, and STILL, that's only if you can get through MORE region locking online (like EA). Thank goodness the DS isn't region locked, or I wouldn't have all my awesome strategy/RPG games that aren't coming out in Australia alltogether (like Super Robot Taisen OG: Endless Frontier).

As far as I'm concerned, big name PC gaming is in a bit of a crisis at the moment (just look at the furore over the decision to cut dedicated servers from Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising and the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, plus all that DLC stuff). Not that it worries me though, I've never had a rig good enough for big name PC gaming, so I've always stuck with the indie guys, and I really think its indie games like AI War that keep the PC alive as a gaming platform, and not just as another place to port a game to.

Offline Volatar

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2009, 09:25:24 PM »
I feel sorry for you aussies.  :o Sounds like Indie games and piracy are your only real options. Its sad that that is that way.  :-\

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Electronic Arts just earned my life-long hatred.
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2009, 11:17:47 PM »
I agree, aussies are probably the unluckiest gamers on the planet - when steam has 50% sales you finally can buy the game for the original price, it had on release elsewhere.

But trust me, its exactly like that for euro countries - 1:1 conversion from dollar to euro , which is pure rip-off

1 € = 1.49$ (at least it was when i last converted something in paypal)

That means the euro price is 50% ! higher , not always (mostly just 25%) but its why i detest steam and the publishers doing this with all my heart. I would never buy anything on steam.
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