EA Caves into Australian Anger, Lowers Battlefield 3 Premium Price

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.

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  • Kabiti

    this is definitely a win and should be a warning to other game publishers that consumers will stand up for fair digital media pricing

  • Jim91

    Top job! Aussie gamer couldn’t have gotten this fan with you mate?!

  • crave

    I’m sure Sony take some of that extra cash. Funny thing is I just bought the downloadable content 1 for MW3 for $22.95 and went to play the new maps but it turns out I need to be an Elite member which is another 70 bucks on top! I know this is about BF3, which I do own, but after purchasing a few things online via the PSN store, I will never ever buy anything off there again. It was supposed to be cheaper!, no booklets, no dvds/bds, you know, saving money to save us money!? yet I can buy Red Dead for $20 at JB Hi Fi and at the PSN store it’s $99 or some insane price like that, sure PSplus has its benefits but still.

  • http://twitter.com/RobbieShenton Robbie

    I bought a 4000 point card from EB Games for $79.95 so basically Xbox owners are getting shafted as well.

  • http://twitter.com/RobbieShenton Robbie

    Considering the Aussie dollar is stronger ,that the US Dollar it is still a rip off.
    What i want explained to me is why Aussie Xbox users are getting ripped off 4000 ms points at Gamestop in the USA is 49.95 yet at EB Games its 79.95
    http://www.gamestop.com/xbox-360/dlc/xbox-360-live-marketplace-points-4000-dlc/64525

  • meds

    Things are always priced differently in different countries for various reasons. Here in Australia we are a much smaller market so the price of a lot of things are more expensive due to supply and demand forces as well as differences in living conditions (i.e. minimum wage is higher here than in the USA for example). Also hedging the price against foreign exchange risk. If the exchange rate changes they won’t change the local price so they need to forecast and manage that risk in their local pricing (or by taking out foreign exchange contracts etc)

    I’m obviously happy with this result as an Australian gamer as $80 v $50 was way to excessive a difference for a digital download when the A$ to US$ has been so stable for so long. and hopefully the ACCC investigation into why we play a lot more for digital products (namely PC software etc) than USA etc gets some good results.

    • AussieGamer

      All that is well and good, except for one thing:

      EA ADVERTISED Premium to cost $49.99 in Australia. They said it would cost one price, but charged another price.

      So, all that stuff about taxes, conversions, smaller markets, etc – while a good excuse in usual cases – becomes moot in this case. EA are happy to pretend their product costs $49.99, but the reality is that they’re charging more than that.