Following our earlier report regarding EA’s obvious price rort and false advertising surrounding it’s Battlefield 3 Premium pricing, the publisher has lowered the price of the service for PlayStation 3 owners.
Australian PlayStation 3 owners of the game were shocked last week to learn that the “Premium” service being advertised online for AU$49.99 was actually costing them AU$79.95. The game’s official forum board exploded with complaints – it turned out that Xbox 360 owners were also paying more (AU$66) and yet those on PC could enjoy the advertised price of AU$49.99.
Fans of the game flocked to the EA Battlefield Forums complaining about yet another rip-off for Australian gamers. The Battlefield customer service team, who are usually pretty prompt with replies, went into hiding and even locked the original discussion thread, censored user’s posts and in some cases banned members from accessing the forum if they tried to complain. EA also changed the wording of some of the references on their website to imply the lower price was for “Origin” only, but not before fans of the game had taken screenshots of the misleading pages.
Tonight, however, it seems the message had gotten through to EA and the price on the PlayStation 3′s Network store had been dropped to AU$64.95 despite it still being advertised for AU$49.99 on many of the EA Game’s related web pages.
While admittedly a win, Australian gamers are still in the dark over why it’s costing them more money than international players, why EA have not responded to questioning, and why the DLC is still being advertised for a price that it isn’t.
Even less clear is the fate of those Australian players who upgraded to the Premium service. EA quietly changed the price for PlayStation 3 owners tonight without any official press release. It remains unclear if those early adopters will be offered a refund (which they should under Australian consumer protection law), or at least some form of compensation.
We’ll be following this story closely for developments.