Ubisoft’s Ed Fong Touches On Game Prices, Re-Evaluating Local Pricing

Ubisoft’s Ed Fong Touches On Game Prices, Re-Evaluating Local Pricing

In an industry where most avoid talking about pricing if they can help it, Ed Fong, the Managing Director of Ubisoft Australia, is one of the few who is actually willing to engage. So when the question of Australian Game Prices was presented at yesterday’s Game-Tech conference, it made sense that, as others shirked, he was the one who attempted to address it.

“All I will say today is that it’s about market forces,” said Fong, “and I think I mentioned this last year. If the consumer has a choice to buy overseas for half the price, they will vote with their wallets — and local businesses, including publishers, distributors and retailers will be forced to re-evaluate. Every company in this room has to make a choice when it comes to their pricing policies.

According to Ed Fong, Ubisoft has already attempted to “re-evaluate” its own pricing.

“I can only comment on Ubisoft here, but we’ve already readjusted our recommended retail price recently for Ghost Recon. We’ve also just announced our pricing for Assassin’s Creed III, and we really want to put a message out there. Whether the consumers will think that’s good enough, or not good enough, time will tell.

“Every business person has decisions to make with pricing. We need to compete.”


  • Is it possible to get a little more context here? What was the readjusted retail price for Ghost Recon? What’s the announced pricing for Assassin’s Creed 3?

    I appreciate that they know something has to be done but without knowing what they’ve done, it comes across a little too much like lip-service.

    • using the PC as a common platform:

      Ghost Recon via Steam was $50 since launch.
      via EB theres a ‘signature edition’ going for $68.
      when you look at the pricing for past Ubi titles on launch (~$80-$90), Ubi may well have reevaluated their pricing to $50. but by sticking some gimicky rubbish in the box, EB can call it the ‘signature ed.’ & charge more.
      If other publishers go down this road, its a good thing, but its up to local retailers to pass on that reduction, which I think will probably be the difficult part…

      • also just noticed that EB are selling an AC3 ‘special ed.’ this will probably be a common tactic.
        buy it for the adjusted RRP, stick in some 3rd party crap that costs EB 40c & raise the price back to $80.

        coz the EB website doesnt seem to be offering a standard ed…

        • EB would definitely be the wrong place to try and source a retail price specifically because of this. They’ve also apparently used these “exclusive” versions to avoid price matching. Not a business practise I’m that fond of.

      • I’d say that’s a pretty good change then. The sheer laziness with local publishers when it comes to Steam pricing annoys me. They charge retail price because they simply don’t care about that market, instead of trying to compete with the international pricing.

        I’ve always thought that the bottleneck in games cost was the distribution chain, not the retailers. This is a pretty good start.

    • The new Ghost Recon matches the US Steam store price of $49.99 (obviously minor diffs in exchange rate, but otherwise perfect)

  • DRM aside (an issue they seem to be slowly resolving anyway), I was really happy to note that Steam prices for Ubi’s games have been moving in the right direction with Heroes 6 and the new Ghost Recon. Kudos to them for listening to us on the biggest bugbear. now if we could just finish killing that always online DRM rubbish…

  • You know what’s interesting? The blurb of the listing for this game at EB:

    “Join the Continental Army in a war for our freedom. With your comrades at your side, hunt down the British redcoats through chaotic city streets, and engage in full-scale military assaults in the wilderness. Experience the real war that shaped our nation.”

    Sure wasn’t my freedom – and I thought the game wasn’t all RARR RARR AMERICA WOO!!!! *clapping* but more neutral assassin killing dude on both sides.

    Really disappointed in this marketing.

    • The developers did say the reality of the game was different, but it is disappointing that so much of the marketing is “YEAH AMERICA RAWR”.

      At the very least, it seems like a cynical ploy to appeal to American patriotism or a fear that presenting any US characters as antagonists would upset people.

    • There seems to be a bit of a gap between what the developers say the game is going to like and what the marketing department are feeding us.

      Only time will tell, I guess.

    • Honestly who gives a fruit. The American Revolution happened. This game is set in the American Revolution, and you may or may not play for a revolutionary sympathiser and the British may or may not be the bad guys. Why is it an issue? If this game wasn’t called Assassins Creed and was called ‘Patriot Assassin’ then everyone would be chiming about how awesome its going to be.

  • EB Games currently lists Assassin’s Creed 3 as AUD88 on release for the PS3 and 360; it looks like AC: Revelations was somewhere around $100 on release. To contrast, Gamestop in America (who I believe are the same company) are listing AC3 as $59 on release, and I can’t tell how much they charged for ACR. It’s an improvement, certainly – not brilliant, but good.

    • that’s EB’s price though, not Ubisaoft’s price. EB is known to increase prices beyond what the publishers say is the RRP.

  • I dont mind paying $5-$10 more for a hard copy of any game here in Aus compared to the US to cover distribution, but then i should be paying less than them (US) for a digital copy off Steam if the aussie dollar is stronger than the US.

  • A group of us kicked up a stink at EA on the BF3 battle log when they priced BF3 Premium at $80 for AUS and $50 in US for a digital download… They have sinced dropped it to $65 so keep making noise and be heard on this topic, especially on price discrepancies for digital downloads which is simply gouging!!!!

  • Voting with my wallet is what I choose to do. On the flip side, through steam’s daily deals I have been exposed to many more games than what I would have otherwise..

  • there is no reason for digitally distributed games to be priced differently by region.
    the files are the same, and downloaded from the same servers so the costs are also exactly the same.

    i dont care if they charge $50 more to us, or $5 more. i simply will not buy it, it should be EXACTLY the same.

  • Usual pricing on was 109.95 RRP aud. Now if you look at Far Cry 3 and Assassins Creed 3 it is for instance 89.95RRP for standard 109.95 RRP for Join or Die edition or 129.95 FOR FREEDOM EDITION. Mind you JB HI FI will release standard at 68aud. When you look at it this way. RRP in the US is 59.99, which is a third cheaper than the Aussie price. But on average an American worker paid a third less than Aussies this new RRP is a great step. Also the us import price we pay now is unrealistic and will not last forever.

  • Just to see if it’s true, on ubishop (their own store):
    AC3 special: $70 compared to UK 35 pounds ($54), no price as yet on the US version, but expect $50-60.

    It’s definitely better, but it’s not there yet. And AC Revelations is still twice as much as what I paid for it on a non-regional pricing site at the beginning of the year.

  • I’ve found that at least one store around release will sell a game for $70 which is only $10 more than the US price, which is frankly an acceptable difference.

    • Yeah JB are taking ACIII pre-orders for $69- 9 dollars more is much more acceptable this day and age where there are heaps of online avenues for gamers to get prices similar to the UK/USA. The new Hitman is also reasonable- though not a Ubisoft title.

      It’s really unacceptable then when you see titles from other publishers for a whole $40-$50 more.

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