Rock Band's impending European launch isn't getting the kind of PR Harmonix and MTV would like. Something about the price, or something. Well, feeling the sting of the internet barbs that have been slung their way, Harmonix have spoken out in defence of their pricing structure, with VP Greg LoPicolo posting on the official boards a ton of reasons why the game's going to be so expensive. Some seem entirely plausible, some a little less plausible (the guitars are made in China? They were for the US edition, too), all lead to him concluding his defence with this:
...we're not gouging you, primarily because doing so doesn't serve our interests. We can only build our franchise if you buy our games. You may conclude that Rock Band isn't worth the price charged, and that is your prerogative. But it's not magically going to get cheaper because you wish it to be so.
Oh Greg. I feel for you, because you have no other choice but to say that. But deep down, surely you know it's not going to stick with consumers. All those arguments about VAT and shipping, all your desire to steadfastly defend your product, they're all ignoring the key issue on the consumer's end: this price is straight-up unaffordable. They couldn't give two shits how much it costs to ship some plastic guitars from China if they walk into a store and see that a single game will cost them more than a Wii or Arcade 360.
Commentary on Euro Pricing Flamefest [Rock Band Forums]