Australian Gamers: You Have 17 Hours To Pre-Order The Witcher 2...

... At the reasonable, original price of $42.27. According to the Good Old Games Facebook page, on Friday, May 6 at 1500 GMT, GOG.com will have to increase the price to $62.99 for licensing reasons.

"To all Australian gamers," reads the statement. "You have 17 hours to preorder The Witcher 2 on GOG.com for the original price of $42.27 AUD! On Friday, May 6 at 1500 GMT, due to licensing reasons we're going to adjust the price for Australian market and charge $62.99 AUD for the preorder and $69.99 AUD for the full price. The preorder on GOG.com isn't forcing you to pay for the game instantly."

There has been massive speculation as to the reasons why The Witcher 2 has been removed from Steam, with speculation ranging from classification issues to a retail induced price increase. It turns out that the game has been modified for release in Australia, but apparently that wasn't the reason for the removal. It could be that licensing issues are to blame, and that the game will also be updated on Steam soon at a similar price.

It's also important to note that the version of The Witcher 2 on Good Old Games will be the slightly modified version.

We have to give major kudos to Good Old Games for being so open about the process, and giving Australian gamers the chance to purchase the game at a reasonable price. Especially considering that the Good Old Games service is owned by the very same company who develops the Witcher series.

So folks, if you're planning to pick up The Witcher 2, might as well do in the next 17...wait make that 16 hours.

Thanks to Strange for the heads up.


Comments

    well i actually did this last night... but i'm very annoyed it'll be the cut version :\

    perhaps i should take my money to D2D instead

      D2D have just restricted purchases to worldwide except Australia and New Zealand. Out of luck there...

    Pay more for a modified version... No thanks... time to import!

    Bs price increase

      Blame the Australian distributer/publisher then. GoG, Steam and CD Projekt have done their part to inform us about this issue that is beyond their control.

        http://www.vg247.com/2011/05/06/australia-the-witcher-2-to-be-pricejacked-fair-price-package-extended/

        Okay it seems like we are getting the fair price thing that europe got to, though there was no mention of it in marks article. And i can't find this countdown on the Gog site but wth.

        So you will be given any extra money you spend once it ramps up in price as store credit. Which is what should really be viewed as the consolation act not being forewarned that the price will go up

          Whoa. That "Fair Price Package" is incredible. My hat is definitely off to CDProjekt, and I hereby apologise for and redact any hostility I put out towards them in other comments made in this thread.

          But how are they able to offer that without just dropping the price, though?! This is great, great news, but AAAARGH all the same!

          Mark, what does "Licensing Issues" mean? Especially when they own the license!

    This is beyond stupid!

    How dare they lie to us like this!

    Nice pickup Strange! :-D I don't think I like the idea of a modified version though... :(

    The modification does not bother me, i have had my Steam preorder from Feburary sometime, i just hope that it returns to Steam and i will be able to download come the 17th (preload hopefully).

      Exactly what I am thinking. I just want some indication if the steam release will be delayed or not.

    To quote GOG.com

    "Will there be any censorship in your release?

    No. The Witcher 2 available on GOG.com will be absolutely uncut."

      From FB comments by GOG: "yes, the game for Australian market (and only for this market) will be slightly edited to fit the MA15+ rating. But the change is minor and won't affect the gameplay, nor the story."

      I'm a bit cranky at all the people cranky at GOG. They're doing what they can but they have to abide by the laws of our country, neither the censorship or the pricing is their fault and the fact they're warning us about the price increase at cost to themselves is admirable. I don't have a computer that can run The Witcher 2 (and by the time I do I'll be able to buy it for under $20 like I did with The Witcher) but I'm tempted to buy some other games from them today because they're being so great about the whole thing.

        They sell Postal 2 on gog, a game that is very much banned in Aus. They clearly do not have to abide by Aus laws, They are in Poland FFS!

        Damn them! Oh well, I'll just send the funds to my girlfriend and get her to buy it. That worked for L4D2

        While I agree with you, Strange, with regards to the censorship, I would like to disagree with regards to the price.

        Though it is admirable, and beneficial to us consumers to admit the increase, CDProjekt own both the license for the game and the digital distribution network it's being released on. As such, it is their responsibility to admit why the price has increased. To say it's NamcoBandai's fault may well be correct, but why they are allowed to do this on CDProjekt's own network is something I do not understand. And in the absence of a real explanation beyond "Licensing reasons", I feel like they're trying to exploit both me, and the majority of Australian consumers.

          As noted above, I have to apologise for complaining about exploitation, due to the advent of the "Fair Price Package" they're offering. It's imperfect, but damn, that's a lot of goodwill right there.

      ... except if you're an Australian living in Australia...

        and its shit like this that makes me wish i wasn't and didn't...

      I believe that they also said there would never be any price differences on gog, specifically to witcher 2

    GoG have said on their own facebook page that although the Aussie version is censored that within 24 hours they expect a mod to be out to de-censor the game like L4D2. I would not be suprised if they were the ones that "accidently" leak the mod because they are such great devs.

    It's back on Steam, $67.

    Ridiculous edited version is ridiculous.

    I don't care if one leaf on one tree was removed, it's still a insult to this country and to the fine folks at CD Projekt/GOG.com that our stupid laws have force them to censor any part of games.

    Anyone who says 'Who cares, it doesn't affect the gameplay' is just adding to the problem.

      Yes, but...

      The R18+ discussions are being had. Our voices have been heard.

      There comes a point where you have to say, "Well, the annoying changes are still happening, but the sitch will be better one day (soon), and in the meantime, at least the changes aren't major."

      Otherwise, you'll get a brain embolism.

        I agree with you, Shane. R18 is something that has a lot of momentum behind it, and we're really just waiting for the Government to get into gear.

        However, that isn't the issue worth commenting on in this thread. That they're jacking up the price is less ethical (and more important!) than the censorship, because the latter is government mandated. The former is greed on someone's part, and abiding it is foolish on our part, because it'll continue forever.

        There shouldn't be ANY kind of forced ratings. Sure the R18+ voices have been heard, but what then? What happens to games that are deemed to bad for R18+? Why should there be any form of censorship pushed onto adults?

          I totally agree that there shouldn't be. That's what the X18+ (See ACT/QLD film classification acts) or even a theoretical 21+ rating (AO21+ in the ESRB system) would be for, if they applied to all media and/or existed. However, I'll settle for 18+ for now. We'll have this debate in 5-10 years, about including sex in games as being fine, but let's settle the violence issue first, yeah? One at a time... or the conservatives' heads'll explode :P

        Give me a brian embolism or give me death.

        Being happy enough with censored games because *maybe* it *might* look like we *could* get the 18+ rating is living in a fool's paradise.

        I will be sitting here in a few years saying "Well, Half-Life 3 was edited but I'm not going to get upset because I'm sure they'll pass the rating this time! I can feel it!".

        EFF THAT.

          For the keen-eyed readers, Brian Embolism is the name of a secret agent in a story I'm writing. As opposed to a spelling mistake I just made.

        Our voices have been heard for a LONG time, back when L4D2 was getting the chop.
        Discussions for an R18+ were in the works both before and after Atkinson was in office, and still nothing has been done.

        Lets face it, our government is shit.

    Licensing issues? What the hell is this?! CDProjekt run Good Old Games. They make Witcher 2. THEY OWN THE LICENSE. If they've chosen to have the local release be done through a company which jacks up the price, then it's still on their heads, and it's still THEIR FAULT.

    Why should I help fund a company that accepts and advocates discrimination based on arbitrary geography?

    The censorship is not what I'm worried about, what irks me is the number of sites that are increasing DD costs for just us, for absolutely no reason.

    DD removes the shipping, storage, taxes/duties, exchange rate excuses distributors always trot out when people ask why games are so expensive.

    So why the $20 premium? Why the $30 average premium on steam? Fucking greed.

      Especially if they're based in America. Like Steam is.

      What happened to that Free Trade Agreement, guys?

      Greed is a good summation. Short term greed when you get down to it. It pushes some in to piracy, some to wait until it is a bargain price, some to import (although the pain of this is mainly limited to Australian retailers). It is building up animosity and hurting certain sections in the chain of getting games to gamers already and will continue to do so.

      You see similar things in other areas. I'm in the process of getting all my girlfrieds snowboarding gear. Was down at the local snow gear shop and they will be closing up in a couple of months due to a massive drop in sales over the last couple of years due to online sales. You can see why. Boots I was looking at for her were AU$500 RRP. Look online and they are US$250 RRP and easily found on sale for less than US$200. Just like gaming publishers, most brands have said no shiping out of US/Canada so you have to find ways to get around it. Still likely to save 50% incl. shipping.

      Lots of greed with no thoughts to the long term implications.

    People that think this is ok need to realise that the more this kind of crap is allowed the more publishers will take advantage of it. If GoG had one iota of guts they would be publicly announcing that they will happily sell the uncensored game to Australians, instead they are bending over backwards to make sure the government can continue imposing their moral guidelines and crazy censorship regime on us. It's simple really, if you sit here and allow this to happen your part of the problem.

      Unfortunately, the censorship is government mandated, and as such, anyone who defies it is vulnerable to prosecution, fines, or other legal nastiness.

      However... Replace "uncensored" with "internationally priced", and I agree with you, Cameron. And replace "Government" with "Distributors".

        But they sell Postal 2 to us, A game that is banned and have been sold on GoG for years!

        And the Aus gov has no power over a poland game site.

          Then they're already vulnerable to litigation by the Australian Government, which may result in fines, bans, or theoretically, even jail sentences. It's unlikely that that will happen due to the low profile of the game (taking into account its age and lack of popularity and quality, despite notoriety). However, Witcher 2 is a new, big, shiny release, and could easily be championed by the ACL/etc as a piece of media which corrupts the youth. The Government pays attention to their financiers/lobbyists, and they'd be more likely to take action.

          I say more likely, but I think it'd still be an unlikely event, so this is just CDProjekt covering themselves against legal damages and a reputation hit for flouting a sovereign nation's laws.

            I really don't think that's the case. Surely it's the obligation of the purchaser to ensure that the item they're buying is not illegal in their jurisdiction. The AU powers that be have no authority over a Polish site. What's more, it's not illegal to purchase an RC title off-shore or to import such a title, as far as I'm aware. The penalty is for commercial sales of such titles within the country.

              This is where it gets confusing and/or stupid.

              It IS illegal to import an RC-rated game from anywhere in the world.

              It is NOT illegal to own such an item...

              UNLESS you live in Western Australia.

              Yeah, it's ridiculous, I know.

              As for who the responsibility lies with, I'm really not sure. But I'd like to know! If anyone here knows the specifics of the act in practise or can quote any legal precedents, I'd love to hear from you!

                This hurts the part of my brain that deals with common sense.
                Then again, that's just what I've come to expect when it comes to classification and pricing in this country.

                I'll be importing a cheaper, uncensored version, and raising a finger to the AGs and the AU distributor at the same time.

                  Yup, it's convoluted and illogical.

                  Best of luck with the import, but don't go telling people about it in person (or they'll be obliged to report you!).

                Does downloading count as importing?? It's a good example of how our current laws are so far behind the new reality of the world that we live in.

                  It's a have-your-cake type situation for the distributors, as far as I can tell. "You're Australian? Well, that's 50% extra. GST? Oh, well... we're not based in Australia."

    Anyone know if you can cancel preorders on Steam? Thinking about it, I'd rather have the GOG release since it'll be easier to apply the inevitable uncensor mod...

      I was able to several years ago for some game. You have to put a ticket in i beleive.

      yeah you can you have to submit a ticket to steam before it's release. Though i would question them with regards to whether or not you get a censored version because you bought it before release

      Just submit a ticket to Steam Support. They will refund pre-orders no problem.

    The price change will be mandated by publisher/distributor contracts.

    The censoring of gog.com is strange though.

      These are contracts that GOG has complete control over. They agreed to a higher unit cost in Australia, like most others.

    The Australian dollar is doing better than the US dollar at the moment. By saying that they're going to increase our price to AU$70, at the moment that's US$75! Americans will be charged US$50 post release. So it's actually a 150% price increase. How can anyone justify us paying 150% more for a download?!

    Obviously the Australian publisher has (in typical fashion) gone "We'll distribute the game in Australia, but we plan to price gouge the Aussies big time, and we won't distribute the game unless you agree to not undercut us on your service." It sucks that they can get away with that. Shame on CDProjekt for giving in.

      Sorry, that should have been "50% more". It's a 150% of what they're paying, not a 150% increase.

    Out of interest, does anyone know if i grab the american steam version and gift it to my australian account, will i get the modified or unmodified version?

      When you do this you receive the version from the country of purchase. That is, the unmodified version.

      seeing as a gifted L4D2 was uncensored i would assume the same would apply for this.

      most likely though this will be unmodified with a patch afterwards anyway, seeing as most likely the change is just a line of code that automatically presses no.

      difference between the versions should be so minor, that once it's picked up it will be an insanely simple fix

        Its cost now... US$45 from US steam or US$67 for AUS steam, and given that the company I work for routes all internet traffic via the US it’s kind of easy to buy from the US steam store. Plus if it’s the uncensored version, works for me!

          just need a US funds source

            It's not hard, just make friends.

            Actually, some AU credit cards just work. My ANZ Amex does.

    I had (badly) written an angry rant out, but I think I'll just shorten it to "regional pricing is incredibly infuriating and insulting".
    Especially when said "requirement" is GoG's own decision to make.

    They've made less profit from me now, I'll now be waiting for it to go on sale below the pre-order price (I don't do pre-orders/Day 1 purchases any more, been burnt too many times). And I was really looking forward to playing it too.

    Forget it CD Projekt, this just went from purchase day one, to wait for a sale. With our dollar sitting at us$1.10 there's no excuse for an Australia tax.

    Love your games and GOG is awesome but this shit is inexcusable and I won't support it.

    When are they going to release the console versions for us other plebs?

      i believe at the current time the console versions have been canned

    Is there ANYTHING that we can do to stop this annoying trend? It's not like the ACCC gives a damn or even has the power to stop it from happening. I pre-ordered it last month from GOG so it doesn't affect me but still, damn this regional pricing crap to hell.

      Make sure GoG knows how you feel and let them know you won't buy the more expensive version. They need to know these practices do nothing but encourage piracy.

    Import! Us aussies can get the uncut version for $46.99 from Ozgameshop.com with free postage. :)

    The price increase is not due to Australian tax, it's due to the developers and publisher deciding to price gouge the hard working Australians of planet Earth because it's seemingly acceptable to do so in the gaming world now.

    It's disgusting.

    Even though our dollar is at $1.10 roughly compared to the American dollar, the highest it has been in around 50 years, game developers are still charging us up to as twice as much for a digitally distributable game than what Americans are paying for a hard copy of the same game.

    I'm amazed it isn't illegal and I have lost complete faith in GOG.com/CDPR after being explained why the price was raised. CDPR could have easily told the publisher they refused to price gouge the hard working Australian community but instead they signed contracts saying it was fine, then they gave into giving us a censored version by removing content instead of perhaps rewriting the same scene and just changing the context so it was not "Sex as a reward"

    I will be importing every single video game I buy from now until the time that 90% of the publishers in the game industry decide to stop stealing money out of the pockets of Australians.

    "CONTENT THAT WAS CHANGED: one single scene was changed. Geralt was able to chose if he wanted to get laid as reward for a quest. Australian classification board took offense and denied the MA15+, so CD Projeckt just took away the choice component and Geralt would automatically get laid. The board gave them a green light. No content got cut or censored in broader sense."

    Yet Witcher1 remains M15+, and you always have a yes/no choice when it comes to sex in the game.
    Derp derp government.

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