Sony Respond To DC Universe Online Price Disparity

Earlier today we reported that Australian DC Universe Online users were experiencing a price disparity between the US and Australia. While most MMOs simply charge users the US amount, based on the current exchange rate, DC Universe Online has been charging its users a flat rate - of $19.95 per month. Meaning that, based on today's exchange rates, Australians were being charged an $4-5 a month extra to play on the same servers.

We asked Sony to respond, and they've just gotten back to us with a response, which you can read below.

DC Universe Online product went on sale in Australia and New Zealand yesterday. DC Universe Online is an online multiplayer game and requires a valid subscription to play. A 30 day subscription is included in the purchase of the game. Additional recurring fees automatically apply thereafter, and an internet connection is also required.

On the front of the DC Universe retail pack made available to consumers in Australia and New Zealand it is stated that on the console version “Recurring subscription charges apply automatically thereafter” and on the PC version “Additional subscription fees apply” and also that “Internet connection required”.

Additional information in regard to the Australian Dollar pricing schedule was also made available to retailers to help assist with any consumer inquiries at the point of purchase in regard to ongoing subscription prices in Australia.

After receiving feedback today from our community today, we are also in the process of requesting an update to the global game website to reflect Australia and New Zealand currencies and apologise for any inconvenience.

The major issue for most users was the lack of information regarding the extra cost - most consumers bought the game expecting to pay $15US per month, and were surprised to find they had to pay extra to play. It looks like Sony are attempting to remedy that situation, by making sure customers are aware of the cost, but time will tell if they make any changes to the subscription fees.


Comments

    Good job Sony. Way to not bother to answer the question.

    Sony: Deal w/ it nerds.

    Dodging the question and solving nothing. A typical Sony response.

      Aussies: Why are you charging us more?
      Sony: Because we can.

      DCUO is my first SOE game since SWG. I had hoped they might have improved since then. I was wrong.

    yeaaaaahhhh....so I won't be renewing past the free month, nor purchasing another SOE product in future.

    You're right on the money there (excuse the pun) instead of giving a reason for the increased cost or anything about dropping the price, but they will make it easier to inform Australian customers how much they are going to get screwed.

    Can we please change the title of the article to "Sony Dodge The Question About DC Universe Price Disparity".

    All they've said is that they'll change the website to indicate the different Australian price. They haven't responded at all to the question about WHY the price is higher.

    Sorry we didn't inform you that you were being screwed. We will now make sure that our Australian users are aware that they are being Screwed.

    Well done Sony

    Why is it when I played star wars galaxies online afew years ago I just paid the us price exchange rate? but now soe decide to f**k us over? I will be using a proxy now.

      because a couple years ago when our currency wasn't at parity you'd have been paying around $20AU after conversion, now that it is they're under some false impression that people will happily continue paying that amount since apparently we're not smart enough to realise our cash is worth more than it was in the past enabling them to line their pockets. Which really shows they haven't been paying attention since stores are having a hissy over the fact that australians are turning to online purchases/importing and away from physical stores with pretty much everything but food since it's cheaper.

    Thanks for covering this and getting a reply out of Sony. At least there's a chance now for Aus/NZ players to know what they're getting into.

      I wish i was told i wouldn't even be able to log into the game. The game freezes after 1-2 minutes into the first stage, practically unplayable....

      Reply? This is some typical bullshit.

        Hey my missus had the same problem. She could only play upto the first 15 mins of the tutorial, would freeze every time at the same part.

        Tried an older version of amd video drivers and it fixed it.

        Oh I agree that it's rubbish. It's just that it's a lot more than those of us over at the SOE forums managed to get over the past 2 weeks of trying.

    This is BS Serrels!

    We already had to pay a 50% mark up for the disc itself.

    Could someone please comment on whether the PC version is $20 a month also? I'm curious to know.

      Yes the PC version is $20 a month too.

    The real pity about this is I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this game to my mate's ,it really is a good game but sony is doing what they normally do with good games and screw it up.

    It is like every single publisher wants to make Australia as mad as possible. Is our dollar poisonous or something?

    I guess I will just have to continue importing things

      Coming soon: "Professor Layton and the Poisonous Dollar", us$39.95 / €29.99 / au$350

    "we are also in the process of requesting an update to the global game website to reflect Australia and New Zealand currencies"

    So it won't happen right away, if at all.

    I was going to get this. Was.
    This just left a rancid taste in my mouth.

    "A 30 day subscription is included in the purchase of the game."
    They fail to mention that you NEED to enter a credit card details to pay for the next month before they actually give you the 30 days.

    I bought the game expecting to be able to use this trial until my master card arrives. I hoped to get decent service but unfortunately, I got the opposite, I can't play the game that I bought, and there are no Pre-Paid cards available in Australia.

    Whats the point in advertising 30 free days when you actually have to pay to access them? At least Blizzard actually let you try the game before taking your credit card details.

      I don't know if it's different now, but for quite a long time Blizzard did exactly the same thing with WoW.

        These days you can start with a 10 day trial then buy the vanilla game and you receive 30 days free, then after that you have to pay the 15 p/m after that if you wish to continue.

        WoW box actually used to say credit card required to play.

      It won't actually charge you until the free month expires. Just select 1 month renewal and cancel it straight away.

      Hey there. You can get the prepaid PSN cards here in Aus.

      http://www.ebgames.com.au/search?category=8&platform=ps3&view=large

      There's EB's link. And you can visit any store.Hope that was what you're after.

      That's standard for MMO's, I haven't come across one that hasn't needed your credit card (or game card) to be put in before you get the advertised free time. While I agree it's dodgey and likely just hoping people stop playing and forget to cancel the sub but it's standard practice and I imagine the only people getting caught out by that are people that don't play MMO's.

    au gamer: "why does this game subscription cost more than what the us pays for?"

    sony: "yes, and you're welcome."

    sony: "yes you are getting ripped off, why?, well.. HOLY CRAP IS THAT AN ALIEN??" *runs off*

    Mark, thanks for drawing attention to this issue as it affects all players in the AU/NZ region.

    In response to SOE's 'statement':

    Since when is it the responsibility of retailers to go out of their way to inform customers of the exact subscription pricing schedule on behalf of SOE/DCUO? What SOE are saying above is that 'we gave information to AU retailers to answer any questions on AU pricing - but only if you ask them'? I'd like to see a copy of this additional information as well as the date when this was issued to retailers. Is anyone aware of this at their local EBGames/GAME store? This should have been included IN or WITH the product, in advance of purchase. It wasn't.

    Also, Digital Distribution is a valid form of purchase for AU/NZ players (there is nothing saying it is only for EU/US consumers). Were Direct2Drive, Steam and SOE's own online store advising us of the separate subscription fees in advance? They weren't.

    All they are doing here is now choosing to advertise the separate subscription fees - which they should have done from the beginning - not nearly 2 weeks after having *already misled* consumers.

    Formal complaints have already been lodged with the ACCC and are currently in progress, with more to follow.

    SOE, with all this in the pipeline, you may be doing more than apologising to us before this is all over. Instead of being obstinate and accepting no accountability or responsibility, perhaps you'd instead like to be proactive and resolve the issue appropriately before you are forced to further embarrass yourselves.

      I work at one of the above mentioned retailers and I don't believe that any of my fellow employees received any information on the subscription costs of DCUO.

        @ Mooshis - thank you for confirming.

        (As I said, advising consumers on behalf of SOE is not your responsibility anyway)

        Ditto. Not a single word was sent in, no contact from Sony or any other party was made - just a regular invoice saying "sell this for this".

        I also work for one of these companies, have not been to work for 2 days, but last i was in, game was out and nope, nothing was said to us, and we get daily updates...

    Is $5 extra per month THAT much to worry about? Honestly?

    Sure we're not even with the US pricing.. but neither is Europe. I know this doesn't justify the extra $$$ but it's $5. Five dollars.

    If it were $30 per month, then yeah, I could see the complaint. But whining over a $5 premium? That's a little bit silly.

      @ That Guy

      Is $5 that much to worry about? Perhaps. Perhaps not, but multiply an additional $5 per "x" number of AU/NZ players - and ask yourself, why are we lining SOE's pockets and letting them abuse us in the process? What makes them so deserving that we should willingly and blithely fork over additional cash for no justifiable reason/benefit?

      The other big point here is the false/deceptive/misleading advertising. I have a right to know how much the subscription fees are *before* I purchase/activate the game.

      SOE advertised the US and EU subscription fees - there was never a separate AU subscription fee advertised anywhere and AU/NZ players only discovered there was *after* purchasing and activating the game.

      I like throwing 45$ a year away too. It's fun you know, sometimes I just burn it and rub it in hobos faces.

        *60, even better.

      It's the principle not the money. Currently DCUO downtime is during Aussie peak hours, many ps3 players can't even play and they also charge us more for Stationcash, http://www.soe.com/en/stationcash/faq.vm (at the bottom). Australian gamers are being treated very poorly and I for one am grateful that people are not just saying "Oh well" and taking it.

      I'm not trying to be offensive, but if you want to pay more for interrupted game time, lag, bugs and poor customer service go ahead. I personally won't support a company that clearly cares nothing for its customers, not that it comes as any real surprise it is SOE we're talking about.

      It is about the companies setting pricing trends that can only worsen, Such is the case with the new DOW:II expansion coming out. $29.99 in the US(Including tax I believe) but it is $60 within Australia(EB Games & Steam prices). That is the issue at hand.

      Get away with it once and they will continue to do it. Call them out on it and continually give them bad press and negative feedback, They "may" learn the error of their ways...

      Let's assume that someone is willing to play this for at least 12 months.

      $5 x 12 months = $60

      Or maybe even 24 months?

      $5 x 24 months = $120.

      Get where I'm coming at? In the short run it sounds cheap, but these additional costs per month will just keep adding.

      'Tis the principle of the matter.

      Sure, we could rationalise it away but that'll just encourage them to keep doing it.

      "Sure we’re not even with the US pricing.. but neither is Europe."

      Europe have their own servers (little ping) that aren't down for several hours everyday during their peak playtimes.

      That's $5 each and every month. $60 a year. For the "privilege" of playing the exact same game only connecting to the servers over a greater distance. I don't know if you live at home and mum and dad pay for everything, or simply haven't learned to appreciate money, but that $5 premium each month doesn't hold any extra value and so should be in my pocket each month.

      when you look at it that way, if you were to play the game for 5yrs, that comes to an extra $300, an extra $300 for the exact same service as the U.S gamers....it doesnt really look all that silly now, right?

        Ah but its not for the exact same service. They get to play during their peak hours. Aussies get to ... have down time? Yay us?

          you forget, we also get to pay for the added ping, all for a low $5.... sounds great to me =.=

    I'm constantly surprised by the gaming community and their willingness to give SOE yet another chance.

    They've failed so many times in regards to pricing and quality.. and yet people still buy their products on release, "just in case".

    honestly are people really that surprised? Most MMO's charge $20AUD per month or have customer pay $15USD online, the only difference here is that SONY is making you pay in AUD and the dollar is temporally stronger than usual for a while. In 12 months or so the dollar will probably be ~10-12% weaker and it won't seem like a rip off, but had SONY started off charging $15 then increased the price to $18 per month im sure the playerbase would of been in an uproar.

      10 months later...still at parity, temporary?

    I was excited for this game but I overlooked the pay to play part. I let it launch without picking it up then I saw these subscriptions for it on PSN and I was like wtf? Oh right its an MMO... Thats still bullshit. I'm one of those people who doesn't want to pay just to play the thing when I've already bought it. One of the reasons why I don't play WoW. Glad I dodged that bullet!

    Hi has anyone forgot to mention the failed launch in Australia that has left majority of the consumers left with out an answer as to why they released a game clearly not ready to be released and is sitting in most peoples consoles useless.

    I got the digital download off steam on the 11th, so it was only released to retail yesterday but many people in aus have been playing well before then, I payed for my entry, but the game just isn't worth the $20 a month, and yes it's the same price for PC and PS3.
    Sony and their disproportionate pricing scheme can take a jump, I cancelled my subscription and will play out the 30 days maybe, but not going to go back.

      I did the same thing, buying the game on the 13th.
      Found that the game was not worth the money I spent cancelled my subscription and don't even think it is worth wasting the time to play out the free time I have left.

    Maybe they are figuring out a way to blame GST for it ?

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