Last week, we got a letter from a gamer in Türkiye (hiya kaickul!) who was frustrated with Blizzard’s regional pricing for Diablo II Resurrected and Diablo IV. Apparently, Blizzard ran a Diablo sale in early April that appeared to specifically exclude players in some countries with problematic economies, including Türkiye, which some players have perceived as discrimination. And as I type this, the Battlenet feedback forum is riddled with player threads from players in Türkiye, Georgia, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, South Africa, and more, some going back years, all complaining about excessive prices in their regions relative to their actual purchasing power.
The problem, of course, is that while it seems fair to flatten the price globally, income levels in all countries aren’t equal, so the equivalent of $60 for a single game is a much larger chunk of income in some countries, which shuts out a larger potential playerbase. And it’s not an easy problem for a single game company to solve unilaterally, as studios try to avoid setting up situations where making a game much cheaper in one country incentivizes everyone to buy there rather than at home.
Where else does the pricing problem crop up most glaringly in our genre? Which MMOs have the least fair regional pricing?