Are Australians Being Charged More For DC Universe Subscriptions?

When it comes to MMO subscriptions, most will charge Australian users the direct exchange equivalent of what gamers in the US are paying. World of Warcraft, for example, cost $15US and that's the same for everyone - if you are paying in Australian dollars you are simply charged what the exchange rate dictates. With DC Universe, however, players are being charged a flat rate in Australian dollars, which has resulted in a $5 mark up per month - and users are not happy.

For a monthly subscription Australian users are being charged $19.95AU, to play on US servers, whereas gamers in the US are being charged $14.99US. With parity between the US and Australian doller, this basically amounts to $5 extra a month for Australian users, playing on the same server, which amounts to $45 a year if you purchase a one-year subscription.

With every other MMO we can think of, users are asked to the subscription fee in US dollars, with the Australian price being dependent on exchange rates at the time. The main issue is the fact that this extra cost was not advertised anywhere - users were only made aware of the extra cost after purchasing the game.

The issue was raised on the Sony Online Entertainment forums and, as you'd expect, users were extremely angry at the price disparity. Forum user Killiandros summarised the issues in an extensive post.

After activating the game with my license key and looking at the subscription options, I was presented with the following choices:

1 month $AUD19.95* every 1 month

3 month $AUD54.95* every 3 months

6 month $AUD99.95* every 6 months

12 month $AUD179.95* every 12 months

Lifetime $AUD224.95* Non-recurring

Compared to the advertised US subscription fee pricing via the FAQ (http://www.dcuniverseonline.com/faq.vm), and keeping in mind that the USD is at parity with AUD it works out to be approximately (for PC):

~AUD$4.96 more expensive for 1 month

~AUD$12.96 more expensive for 3 months

~AUD$21.96 more expensive for 6 months

~AUD$44.96 more expensive for 12 months

~AUD$24.96 more expensive for a non-recurring lifetime subscription

Had I known the AU subscription pricing plan in advance, I honestly would not have purchased the game. I can afford the extra money – but it’s about the principle – why exactly should we penalised for living in a different region? Does it cost SOE more money to let an Australian/NZ player subscribe to their game? Not in any way that I can imagine.

When it comes to distributing products sold at retail, it's not unreasonable to expect a difference in cost - the Australian market is smaller, there are additional taxes, and increased shipping costs - but when it comes to something sold virtually is it right for Australians to be paying more for the exact same service?

With Xbox LIVE for example, Australians pay $20 more than US subscribers, but that could be the result of exchange rates between the US and Australia when the service began.

We've contacted Sony Australia directly for comment and they're currently looking into the situation. DC Universe Online's Community Manager Tony Jones is also looking into the situation and plans to update Australian users with a statement explaining the price disparity soon.

We'll update you guys as soon as we have any new information.


Comments

    Gotta love that "Living in Australia" mark up huh? Oh well, this gives me more reason to not bother with this game and give Blizzard more of my money

    Finally somewhere I can comment, I've been wanting to comment on the original thread but because I refuse to buy the game yet I can't. Thank you to the guys who have kept the thread running at dcuo and the brilliant way they have dealt with trolls and the willfully ignorant.

    Thank you Mark and Kotaku for covering this as well.

    SOE you WILL lose customers over this, fix it!

    We'll also be charged more than any other territory for the Shop money when it goes live.

    Had such high hopes for the game too...

    I'm playing the PC version and I've not had any problems. At least none unique to Aussies.

    The pricing is a bit rediculous, yes.
    I'm still on the free month of course but if I actually subscribe I'm seriously considering the lifetime subscription.

    Generally the annual is my go-to when given the option, but the annual is stupid expensive and the lifetime subscription isn't THAT much more than a yearly one. It'd be cheaper in the long run.

      thats only if the game lasts more then a year, and unless they roll out content very fast it wont, not even close, 90% of the hardcore MMOers have already clocked current content and have started farming it, in less then a month, this does not bode well for an MMO, id say go with buy US game time cards online, they only cost $15US

    The other problem with this whole sony over charging for subs is there is absolutely no mention anywhere in the pricing of the game that the sub for Australia is $20 ,the only time you find out is AFTER you've bought the game and are setting up your subscription!,you can look at everyone of the pricing options and they all say the same $14.99US!

    I find this to be the biggest ballsup launch I can remember in my 30 years in gaming. I get my $90 preorder copy after everyone else on earth as I live in Australia where we get treated like arse basically. I then wait 3 hours for the installs etc. I then CANT Play the game due to freezes up 2 mins in like it did in the beta (no change there) I then put a thread on the DCUO official forums asking for Aussies who cant play to log your issues. After 200 entries on that thread I GET BANNED for inciting bad behaviour after catching out the admin staff for BSíng us. Now I find out today that not only are my free 30 days period being wasted (2 days in still havent played the game) but with no timeframe of a fix they want me to pay $5 more than anybody else of even what I pay blizzard each month… Let me think about it….. hmmmmm NO FKING WAY SOE, the game is going back thanks for nothing you screwed the Australian launch bigtime and have lost my patronage.

    I love how they just charge us extra, I posted a response from Sony Tech Rep and it was quickly edited removing all information which was given to me by rep
    Thread here: http://forums.station.sony.com/dcuopc/posts/list.m?topic_id=13112
    What the rep did say is and I quote "As for the SOE game cards they do work for DC Universe Online. The EverQuest and EverQuest II game cards are universal game cards and can be used to subscribe to all of our games."

    So I can go to offgamer pick up a game card for $15.81AUD and use it or pay Sony $19.95AUD for a month.. tough choice, response on universal game cards can be found here http://forums.station.sony.com/dcuopc/posts/list.m?topic_id=7333

    So in conclusion if you want to pay Sony directly get ripped off bu pay them indirectly and get charged a little more the US players, great system.

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