Aussies Are Still Paying More For DC Universe

Last month we reported that Australian users were being charged more for DC Universe subscriptions, despite advertising on the website stating otherwise. The website and other information has been changed accordingly, but Aussies are still being asked to pay more for the same service with no real explanation why.

Furthermore, it appears that threads complaining about issues of price are being locked - often for seemingly legitimate reasons - but it leaves Australian users with nowhere to voice their complaints about pricing. And many are starting to feel like their concerns are being ignored.

Most MMOs will charge a flat US dollar rate for monthly subscriptions, and leave current exchange rates to decide the Australian price, but with DC Universe Online users are being asked to pay in Australian dollars - $19.95 per month, five dollars more than the US. Considering both currencies are almost at parity and have been for some time, it seems a little overpriced.

When you consider that players in New Zealand can now pay for PC subscriptions in US dollars, you can see why some Australians are up in arms about pricing. Especially when they have no local servers to play on. Australians are essentially paying more for the same product - a product which may not perform as well considering latency and lag issues.

In fact, Australians are paying more than users in every other region - with the exception of Switzerland - as a quick comparison based on this table shows. According to today's exchange rate, Brazilians are paying the equivalent of $85 for a six month subscription on the PS3, whereas Australians are paying $99.95. The Swedish are paying the equivalent of $91, the Danish are paying $91, South Africans are paying $85, and so on and so forth. The pricing for all other regions appears to be relatively consistent - accounting for the ups and downs of currency exchange - but Australians are playing a markedly higher price.

It's difficult to understand why - especially considering the fact that DC Universe's Community Manager Tony Jones has already confirmed that there will be no local Australian servers for the game. We understand that local pricing will often adjust for the cost of living in some cases - Australians pay more on LIVE Arcade and the PSN store, for example - but we're paying substantially more that every other region, including countries that traditionally have a higher cost of living.

Tony Jones has claimed that the issue is "not being ignored", so hopefully we'll have some kind of resolution sooner rather than later. We've also gotten in contact with Sony Australia with regards to the issue, and hopefully we'll have a response overnight with some sort of explanation as to why Australian consumers are paying more for this service.


Comments

    far too late for id say about 75% of australian players, the free month is about to end for day one buyers and just about everyone i know has refused to continue playing if this wasnt resolved before then, myself included. Poor form by SoE, they fired off a barrage of excuses early on, which were disproven by a number of sources and then they just started locking threads as soon as it came up.

      Agreed, they will certainly be hard put to come back from this in Aus. I had some pretty negative thoughts about this when it came out and they have done nothing to make me feel any better about them overcharing Aussies for no good reason. If I had been entertaining the thought of getting this before I'm definitely not anymore.

    This sucks, but i still find myself strangley drawn to this game and buying a PS3...
    But won't in protest!!!

      The smart thing to do is if nobody payed the subscription forcing their hand. But with Aussies notorious track record of paying whatever this prolly won't happen.

      I have used up my portion of forced cliched metaphores for the day...

    The issue is "not being ignored"?

    Not being ignored by the gaming community, maybe. Certainly seems to be being ignored by Sony.

    This is a 5 second decision to make - just make it in $US at the current exchange rate on the day. It's not like there are so many Australian subscribers that it will actually cost them that much in terms of total revenue the game's bringing in, and it'll save them a lot of bad PR and angry customers (soon to be former customers).

    Shabby. Very shabby.

    WTF? How come NZ players can pay in USD now? (Good luck to them btw)

    So its ok for them (another pal region) to pay in USD but it isnt for Aussies. Seriously WTF?

    My copy of DCUO only just arrived in the mail a few minutes ago, and after having read the first article about this issue I'd already decided to fold off paying subscription until the prices have been fixed. You'd think that from the CONSTANT outcry of Aussie gamers over the years online distributors would get the damn point, but apparently not. Absolutely poor form.

    Speaking of Aussie gamers being ripped off - anyone know what time Kotaku will get updated with the Nintendo 3ds info?

    As for DC Universe, I really enjoy the game, but will not renew my membership until prices come down. Why should I pay more to use an overseas server with lag that gets shut down during the day when us Aussies are playing it.

    I'm having enough fun with the game to continue to subscribe for at least another month or two. If the price hasn't gone down by then I'll probably leave unless they bring out a huge content update. Game world feels a little small at the moment.

    And this is why I won't be continuing on with the game after my 30days is up

      I just put up a post on their forums questioning it. Tried to be as polite as possible, as I really would like an explanation. Not just some BS script that they read.

    Could be worse. You could be paying more to play FFXIV. They wanted their pound of flesh in Euros. :(

      Do you have a link to the post you put on the forums or is locked now like the others?

    I was in the beta for DCUO and loved it, after a few days of beta play, I placed a preorder for it. Came home, went to go brag, read an article about the pricing discrepancy, went back down to the store and cancelled my preorder.

    I HATE DIGITAL RACISM.

      Lol, we're not a race dude, we're a country.

        It's still racism, wether or not they're technically not a race.

        Also he was joking.

    Thats annoying, i wanted to try this game but i will not pay more to a hugely wealthy company for a pointless "reason" i mean PERHAPS if the server i was playing on was based in Aus, and the price was to compensate for some international tax thing or whatever then ok, fair enough i'm getting a better experience, but this is bullshit. More $ for nothing better?

    They have listened... I'm not sure if this extends to the PC version, but the PAL PS3 people have taken an initiative in offering a Promotion Rate on the 90 Day Sub...

    ///// QUOTE \\\\\
    To show our appreciation for the early players in DC Universe Online, we’re going to be offering you the chance to lock in a promotional rate...

    This offer will go live at midday (GMT) on Feb 8, 2011 and end at 23.59 (GMT) March 1, 2011. If you purchase your subscription during the offer period, you can keep that pricing for the duration of your subscription.

    Reg 90 Day Sub Price - AU$54.95
    Promotional Price - AU$39.95

    \\\\\ END QUOTE /////

    Full Details are outline here >>> http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2011/02/07/legend-pricing-for-legendary-dcuo-players/

      Thanks a heap for that link.

      Still no excuse for the prices, but I'll take what I can get

        This is nice, but this is also being offered to the US, so while we get the same as their full price, they get to pick up this offer at an even cheaper rate again, not fair and too little

      That article seems to be about a promotional price for all PAL territories, with Australia still paying over the odds.

      With the promotion, UK users pay £20, which is around AU$31, and the rest of europe pays €25, which is around AU$33.50.

    I picked this game off Steam last weekend due to a colleague at work doing everything except losing his head on how amazing he found this game.

    I proceeded to make purchase and watch the Dark Knight (it seemed fitting for the theme) while waiting for the download to complete. I was excited that I may of found my perfect MMO, something that had a strong RPG element combined with real-time combat.

    I had been a long term player of WoW, disillusioned after trying to get into the new expansion and was just bored.

    Once the initial download finished I then proceeded to wait for the further patching the game client required and began what I hoped to be a wonderful ongoing experience, something I hoped might of peaked interest with my girlfriend in doing something together.

    I proceeded to start the game up, gripping my xbox controller in my hands. (I was happy that it had full controller support.) I was greeted with a welcome screen and after the short introduction movie I was presented with the creation of my character.

    My character looked terrible, with the low resolution textures and poor choice of outfits. They gave the choice to become a hip-hop gangster (why?) yet no proper choices unless I really did want to look like something stolen from a cheap rip-off comic.

    Nonetheless, I sucked it up, generated a basic character and hoped that the game play would be it's saving grace.

    This was terrible, it was jerky, unresponsive at times and felt unfinished. The GUI felt rushed and of poor quality. This combined with the current visuals made me feel like I had time-warped back to the late 90s, to a time that 3D gaming was starting to kick off in popularity.

    It was to my dismay that the textures are currently set to either low or normal, with Sony currently disabling High due to issues with glitches and bugs.

    This is going to be most likely my disappointing game for 2011.

    This game is still clearly in beta and I feel that this combined with the choice to charge us more (if anything in it's current state) is a poor choice on Sony's behalf.

    I will not be renewing my subscription with this game.

    So after many weeks of getting the very clear message to eat S#!t Australia, we will now be offered the one off chance to pay the same price as long as we stay subscribed.

    Umm, no thanks!

    Vote with your dollar until the issue is resolved. Unsubscribe.

    The only solution here is to let your money do the talk. Seriously unite and refuse to purchase the game or a subscription until they budge. Bulk is of extreme relevance: if they have done nothing to fix this is because they believe that the $5 absolutely free dollars they are getting from each Australian subscriber still outweighs the $14.95 they are losing from those who refuse to subscribe. That math need to be balanced.

    Stop trying to appeal to their fairness or goodness of heart, or even reason. Appeal to the only thing they understand: greed.

    Hey look here http://forums.station.sony.com/dcuopc/posts/list.m?topic_id=11020 according to a post by one of the forum mods the sub cost WONT be lowered and we WONT be getting oceanic servers now.

      That seemed pretty obvious from the get-go.

      There have been a few claims by SOE, one being their being charged a lot for transactions, 25% or more fee on a transaction? would you pay a 25% or more fee if your financial institution was adding it to every transaction? No you wouldn’t, a company as larger as SONY should be getting a better deal, if they aren’t then someone in their financial department needs a kick up the ass.

      Another said factor is exchange rate, currently over the last few months near 1 for 1, so there goes that 1 and has been competitive with the US in the last year or so.

      Taxes? (price is $19,95AUD plus taxes) SOE says this may affect cost, but you can look across at New Zealand and see $14.95US charged for access to the PC version, yet as I understand it NZ is more heavily taxed

      Before someone trots out Australians earn more than Americans, check the cost of living in Australia compared to America, in most State capital cities the cost of living is higher than most American cities, with few exceptions in recent studies and probably even less in the last 12 months.

      SOE has dodged producing a breakdown of what is included in the 4 or 5 dollars extra and just hints at taxes, fees, exchange rate, when pushed on a breakdown or justification, they refer customers to their headquarters, with a snail address as contact.

      The information you can gain from a google search or a forum search is very basic or SOE is taking your concerns onboard but there are no plans to change it, SOE’s responses so far, (only from TSR and site admin) seems to create more questions than answers, as threads are locked over and over, instead of managing one thread related to the subject and sticky’ing it.

      If all it is is just a calculation done 3 years ago when the Australian dollar was lower, then why not get someone to recalculate it, if it’s a mix of fees and taxes then be more specific.

      In the end why would Australians want to pay SOE $19.95AUD when it can be bypassed by using Game time cards, that can be bought for between $15AUD to $16AUD then added to account and really what kind of system is that? If Australians pay indirectly they save 4 to 5 bucks? it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

      Final word:
      As I see it Australians have a legitimate issue (and are really getting an through said official channels) and are willing to make their opinions of it well known, to try have it changed or at least appropriately justified. Unfortunately for some, Australians in general aren’t willing to just bend over and take it, or take what people say as gospel, but to Australia’s credit this quality has helped achieve some amazing things. What Australians are after is a fair go, that might not being charged the same as Americans but might be just a decent justification for why it’s so much more.

    Love the game, despite its bugs. Im in the crowd defending the game itself for its new innovations breaking away from the mold, and as of launch what depth there is to explore... The developers are awesome. The game is new, and smells of Beta still, but they have so far been committed to regular updates, and its too soon to judge them on this.

    However there is always the bad.
    Their "customer relations" guys on the forums are a joke. Basically threw around the threat earlier that should we ask questions he would lock the threads. Naught but smoke and mirrors from their representatives when faced with simple questions.
    I'm the last guy you would expect to see argue with an official but the attitude they have towards their customers is horrible, If I did that at work I would be out on my ass!

    As I said, I enjoy this game. I hope for a swift resolution and a severe attitude change. Maybe I've just been spoilt by the WoW relations. Wait and see, I guess.

    I was just advised that there was a comment made in the Sydney Morning Herald regarding the higher subscription fee for Australians (second last paragraph)

    Link: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/review-dc-universe-online-20110128-1a7yx.html

    This isnt the only dirty thing SOE/DCUO is pulling. When reading their information regarding subscriptions when you get the game. You're told that you get the first 30 days free and if you subscribe and dont like it within those 30 days you can cancel and you wont be billed. However, you dont learn until right at the last minute that the subscription plan for lifetime membership isnt apart of that and if you purchase it there is NO refund and your 30 days free are converted into Sony Station points(which are also completely worthless.

    Well guys, they have just released an official statement.
    http://forums.station.sony.com/dcuopc/posts/list.m?topic_id=19206

    Needless to say i, any many other Australians i'm sure, will make sure to stay the hell away from these people. Even the godamn "discount" has to be 33 percent more expensive. They target a specific population, decide they have to pay more for no apparent reason other than pure, raw greed and lock all threads discussing the issue on their forums.
    This is the very definition of discrimination and i for one will most certainly not stand for that. I have always despised discrimination myself, always thought my children that discrimination, racism and acting like a biggot in general is something best enjoyed by the weak, insecure and ignorant minded. So, without further drama on the subject, farewell Sony and farewell DCUO.

    There's no justification for SOE charging us more. Locking threads and giving vague (at best) responses to valid requests for information is proving to be totally pointless. I've voted with my wallet and cancelled my subscription and from this date forward will be boycotting any SOE product, past, present or future.

    I might be Aussie, but that doesn't mean i'm a sucker to be ripped off.

    New thread for the Aussies is up http://forums.station.sony.com/dcuopc/posts/list.m?&topic_id=19214 but i bet the american tools get it locked again

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