The report indicated that EA has reasoned the increase in price was due to lower Origin India prices. Origin, formerly known as EA Store, is an online store for EA games allowing one to download games online with the Origin Client. Users from outside India were apparently making use of virtual private network (VPN) to download EA games at lower cost than priced in their country.
We believe that EA games has increased the game prices due to the purchase fraud coupled with increasing dollar rates. At the time of writing this article, rupee had fallen down to 60.09 against dollar.
When we checked online stores such as Flipkart, Fifa 14 is already available for pre-order for Rs 2,499 indicating that the increased rates are also applicable on retail units.
Interestingly, games in India have reacted critically to this. IndianVideoGamer has urged gamers to take this issue on social networking platform and reach out to EA Sports through direct tweets to @EAIndia, using the #EAPCIndia hashtag. N T Balanarayan of Jetpack.in has compiled a list of tweets sent out Indian gamers.
How does this affect?
Game titles, be it for desktop PCs or gaming consoles, are effectively available at a higher range in the Indian market when we consider the purchasing power of the country. We feel that EA had rightly priced EA game titles earlier based on purchasing power of gamers in the Indian market. If game titles are priced expensively, it will only encourage gamers to turn to pirated sources to get their hands on the titles. Piracy has clung to the country for ages, and increasing content prices aren’t helping to bring it down. That said, as indicated by the report, it would require a lot of time to reverse these prices suitable for Indian consumers.
We feel that EA Sports has alienated a lot of Indian consumers with its increase in price in order to save a few dollars to prevent fraud from gamers outside the country.
In April 2013, Sony had announced that it will manufacture PS3 games in India. At that time, Sony said that this was likely to reduce the manufacturing cost and the price paid by consumers. Import duties and taxes of 34-35% of the MRP will also be avoided. Since then, Game titles such as God of War Collection up to God of War III, Kill Zone III, Resistance III, Uncharted II and Heavy Rain, are available at the price tag of Rs 999 or below Rs 1000 in the country.