It’s Thursday. It’s raining in New York City, cool and dry in Elko, Nevada and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration it’s going to be mostly sunny all day in Portland, Oregon. What’s the forecast for Jetsetter? Mild with a chance of video game news from around the world! As the London Games kick into high gear, bringing the world together in a multifarious smorgasbord of international gaming goodness, let us turn our eyes to the world’s video games as well.
This is Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly look at the gaming scene beyond the confines of the industry’s biggest market, the United States. The column is an open forum, inviting our readers to pull up to the comments section to let us know what’s going on in their corner of the Earth. If you enjoy what you read, follow me over on Twitter at @ajohnagnello.
Electronic Arts hikes Indian game prices 80 percent.
The Indian video game market, while a fast growing concern, still trails most of Europe and North America. It wasn’t even until 2008 when the PlayStation 2 became an open development platform that Indian developers were able to really work with the system. Part of the reason the games industry has had a hard time taking hold in the country is rampant piracy. It’s historically been cheaper to buy or download a bootleg game rather than an officially published one, so major publishers have striven to keep costs low in recent years to better foster the legal market. Electronic Arts has had enough of that game apparently. MCV reported on Monday that FIFA 13 will see massive price increases over last year’s edition. Where FIFA 12 cost just 999 Rupees ($17.77 USD) on PC and 2,499 ($44.45) on PlayStation 3, FIFA 13 will run 1,799 ($32.00) and 3,499 ($62.23) on those respective platforms, respective increases of an astonishing 80 and 40 percent. EA’s Indian publishing partner Milestone Interactive confirmed the price hikes. FIFA 12 was EA Sports most successful release in the label’s history when it released internationally in 2011. That’s no excuse for gouging a growing market.
Korean Nintendo piracy ring shut down.
Pirates do not care how you catch them all, only that you do attempt to somehow catch them all. The legality of your Pokémon is inconsequential! The Korea Customs Service however does want you legally catching your Pokémon, hence why it identified 25 individuals, 15 of which were managers of online retailers, who were selling flash carts used for pirating Nintendo DS games. The Korea Herald reported on Monday that more than $87 million in R4, DSTT, and DSTTi flash carts were sold through the pirates’ businesses. After the carts were paid for, the named pirates would upload hundreds of games and send them off to happy customers.
Germany’s Gameforge focuses on Turkey in wake of Asia failure.
It’s been a tough couple of years for Gameforge. After acquiring Runes of Magic MMO maker Frogster back in 2010, the company has seen a painful turnover in employees at all levels of the business and been forced to cancel games like Hellbreed and Mythos. Speaking with GamesIndustry International on Tuesday, Gameforge CEO Carsten van Husen sees a turnaround on the horizon thanks to a new focus on the Turkish market after failures in greater Asia. “We’re market leader in MMOs and RPGs in Turkey,” said van Husen, “Asia we’ve rather strategically opted out of. We had some trials there but basically we learned we can’t do it alone, mostly because of the trade protection in the disguise of customer protection. And you need all these stamps in Korea and China and then we learned you also can’t do it with a partner because of some specific reasons. We have stories to tell about how it is to cooperate with leading Chinese companies…” Ominous!
This article has been updated to the US prices of the Indian games for reference.