News Article

Fractured Soul Gets a PAL Reduction in Stand Against Price Hikes

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A rebellion against high Australian prices

Fractured Soul has been a passionate project years in the making for Endgame Studios, as they told us in our interview last year. It arrived in North America on 13th September 2012, and is due in this week's update in PAL regions now that the rating and approval processes are complete. We certainly felt that the wait had been worth it, especially for gamers who like a challenge, as we awarded 8/10 in our Fractured Soul review.

What's perhaps most interesting, however, is that the title is arriving in PAL territories at a cheaper price than the $11.99 cost in the U.S. It's confirmed that it'll be AUD $9.99 and €7.99 in Europe — we anticipate this to be £7.19 in the UK. This isn't a reaction to the delay bringing the game to these territories, but actually a stand against what the developer feels are particularly high prices for games in Australia. We'll let the team's own words explain further.

It’s no secret that Aussie gamers get ripped off. When purchasing a game here, we’re asked to pay anywhere from 50% to 100% more than our American friends. In days gone by, publishers/distributors/retailers claimed that it was the tyranny of distance and poor Aussie exchange rate that forced up the costs. Given how far we are from anywhere, and that the Aussie dollar used to be at about 60-70c against the US dollar, this was a vaguely believable argument 5 or 10 years ago.

But now we’re in the digital era. There are no goods to transport. And now the Aussie dollar is actually stronger than the US dollar. There’s no legitimate reason to charge higher prices in Australia and NZ, and yet these exorbitant prices continue. It’s nothing short of outrageous.

We released Fractured Soul for 3DS on the Nintendo eShop in North America for USD $11.99. It surprised us to hear gamers in Australia saying they guessed the game would come out for $15+ when released here, but I suppose I would have thought the same thing. As much as we’d love to charge these crazy prices from a financial point of view, it’s just not right. As gamers ourselves, can we expect the price gouging to stop if we’re part of the problem too?

It's a refreshing outlook on digital pricing on a Nintendo system, which seems to take an entirely reasonable stance on why download games shouldn't carry the same hidden overhead costs of boxed equivalents. While acknowledging that the impact will be small, the developer hopes that it's "proof to gamers here in Australia that high game prices are unnecessary and unacceptable."

It raises the old issue of prices for digital games on Nintendo systems, as well as the common complaint that gamers in Australia and New Zealand pay more than most to enjoy their hobby; we'd love to read your thoughts on this announcement and the broader topic below.


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User Comments (37)



soracloud28 said:

The prices over there are ridiculously high. I think endgame is doing a great service to gamers in the pal region, hopefully more developers will follow suit in the months and years to come



Terave said:

Justice, as it should be. Why indeed would Aussie have to pay more than anyone else, if there are no goods to transport?



darkgamer001 said:

It's a start, kudos to the devs for doing this. And speaking of exorbitant prices for gaming....I live in Malta, and it's a nightmare over here. The main gaming retailer even has the audacity to charge €480 for the Premium Wii U (with Nintendo Land). It's why I've been ordering any physical copies of games from the UK for years....and I got the Wii U from the italian amazon outlet. We can't allow these unfair practices any longer



BenAV said:

Great to hear.
I want the game, and this pretty much ensured my purchase.



Deathgaze said:

About time. I love my homeland Australia, but far out is it expensive. While it has got better. Back in the cartridge days carts which utilized specific chips such as Doom on SNES costed up to $150 AUD. For all you Americans that would be $157 USD.

With that in mind, I do buy every game for my region locked systems from the UK, and all region free systems from the USA.



WiiLovePeace said:

Wow, what an awesome suprise! Thanks Endgame Studios I was one of those who thought it'd be $15+ & I wouldn't be able to buy it, but now its going to be $10? That turned my "one day down the track" purchase into a "day 1" purchase.



Rizsparky said:

I still don't understand why its not a straight conversion? The $11.99 USD should convert exactly to GBP, AUD and Euro! I understand taxation but some of the prices on the PAL eshops are horrendous



Kirk said:

Nice to see people finally making and stand and doing something about this kind of crap.



Bankai said:

I love when indies assume that just because they can do something cheap, the big publishers should also be able to.

One of the reasons that prices are so high in Australia is because the local publishers have to pay, you know, wages and office space rent. Both of which are incredibly expensive in Australia, and both of which are things that indies can do for a fraction of the price of the big publishers.

But hey, being aggressive like this is a brilliant marketing plot by the developers, and I bet it's going to fool the vast majority of people that read stories like this. Pure PR fluff by the debs.



grayadamson said:

Nice one. I'd been connecting to the Irish eShop for retail downloads at $15 less than they are one the Oz store. Might be a thing of the past.



SaKo said:

@Bankai How on Earth are they being aggressive?! They're only being kind and making it fair for Europeans ans Aussie like me



MAB said:

When you have achieved Gaming Veteran (☆GV★) status like me and possibly many others (>_>) you would understand that gaming has actually gotten cheaper these days compared to yesteryears past. I remember paying $30 for Atari 2600 games, $80 for Amiga 500 games (thank christ for programs like X-copy and Disk Marauder saving me buckets of cash), Master System & NES were around $70-80, Megadrive & SNES $80-100+ same as Saturn/N64/PSX. So the reality is that prices have gone down a fair bit lately and I'm not complaining... Older gamer tellin' ya where it's at rant over and out



Bankai said:

@jibberldd5 "it's no secret Australian gamers are being ripped off" - take a crack at everyone else in the games industry, be cool with the gamers.

Phil Fish tried something similar, got called out on it for being an obnoxious punk. Something tells me these guys won't be called out for such an punk marketing ploy, because naturally, it suits the consumer.



MercifulLemon7 said:

I think thats really cool that they did not charge as much but I'm highly doubtful very few low prices will change anything.



Spoony_Tech said:

Good for them and I hope they make a ton of money off of it. Now we will here people complain of why is it more expensive in NA!



Taceus said:

After spending $15 on Planet Crashes(before any reviews) of the reputation of Mutant Mudds, I'm more than happy to part with $10 for Endgame's thoughtfulness. Not knocking Renegade Kid, just Planet Crashers. Thanks Endgame. Here's hoping other dev's try for even pricing everywhere.



Knuckles said:

Good for them. I still wish the price would drop in NA, but good for the developers for standing up for the people.



C-Olimar said:

I saw this on Nintendo's website about a week ago, and was pleasantly surprised at the cheap price.

BTW, there's are mistake in the article: "-we anticipate this to be £7.19 in Europe" - should say UK, and the the Nintendo UK website does say it is £7.19



Windy said:

***Applauds End Game Studios*** WTG guys I hope you sell a bunch of copies in Australia and New Zealand. Ive been complaining alot lately about prices on older games not that Fractured Soul is old, There are games collecting dust in the Eshop that should Frankly get a price drop. It just seems the Developers of some of the older DSiWare Titles are content with holding out till the bitter end. Titles like Zenonia 99 cents in the Android market and 7.99 in the Eshop Common Man! Way to go Endgame Studios!



6ch6ris6 said:

i was on the fence about this one and i still am because of the high difficulty but the new pricepoint at 8€ is making me more excited for this game



datamonkey said:

Erm... So it was $11.99 USD in NA and it's going to be £7.19 in the UK?

Todays exchange rate means $11.99 USD = £7.45. How is that cheaper?

I presume by "PAL" you only mean Australia here right?



sillygostly said:

@Deathgaze That's not at all accurate. $150 in Australian dollars circa 1997 adjusted for inflation and the value of the Australian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar at the time would have meant that it would have been worth around (if not more than) US$200 today.



DerpSandwich said:

That's really awesome that they did that. Stickin' it to The Man! I the only one who thinks that $11.99 USD is too much to pay for this game? It felt like a $7 game from what I played of the demo, and that's only if it's got a ton of levels. Here's hoping they stick it to OUR Man a little bit in the future.



Windy said:

@ DerpSandwich I played the Demo and the game wasn't for me all that action on both screens was like overkill to me. I find Gunman Clive more my speed. But as far as price goes Fractured Soul is a very high quality game I think the price is right. Sure it would be nice to get a few bucks knocked off on a game from time to time. But there are no sales in the Eshop Im going to beat the Zenonia Comparison like a dead horse 7.99 Eshop and .99 cents in the Apple and Android Market. I'm not saying knock the price down to the Apple and Android Market price but for a game that probably doesn't sell very well anymore in the Eshop Holy cow do the right thing and have a sale on it. Move some units instead of letting it Rot away in the hidden corner of the Eshop that its hiding in. There are a couple other games that fall into this catagory



DePapier said:

Now that's integrity. I can't believe I've heard it from a developer himself. Handheld, but mostly home console games are becoming criminally expensive, and it's about time for some of those who have power in pricing them to make the right decision.
(I live in France, and paying 70 € (69,99) for a video game is plain craziness: folks need to know that before being anything else, video games are and will ALWAYS BE... games.)



SirSmugleaf said:

Well I am sooooo thankful!
Definately picking this up (or downloading it, whatever) when it comes out within a week's (or a few week's) time!



Schprocket said:

@Bankai - what you say might hold true for physical copies - in the stodgy old distribution format (in Oz a select few own the distribution rights to wide variety of consumer goods and we get a narrow range of choices) - but the way I interpreted the distribution statement that it related to the cost of digital copies. And even if game media was made in Oz, 50% is still one helluva mark-up ... cost of living may be high but it's not that high...



Windy said:

@DerpSandwich They did the same thing with the 3DS Eshop. They had some sales or what they called sales the first Couple months of operation to get people online and downloading. Since last August not 1 sale. They will do the same on the Wii-U. mark my words. They are just trying to hype the Eshop then they slam the doors on any game sales. Look at the Retail games for example. They are rediculously priced at 39.99 each. The publishers don't pay for boxes, Books or shipping to outlets. They should be Marked down at least 10 to 15 bucks when they hit digital download. Seriously people we should Boycott the Eshop. It's rediculous

Now Fractured Soul is a retail Quality game and you don't see the publisher marking the game up to 39.99. It's a steal at 11.99 for North America and at 9.99 in Europe all things considered. A Boycott would only hurt Companies like Endgame Studios. Seriously should be considered though if these rediculous 39.99 retail games keep being posted. Pilot Wings 19.00 dollars at Amazon 39.99 in the Eshop **Rolls Eyes** I could list quite a few Retail games that are in the Eshop that are half the price

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