Tobold's Blog
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Age of Conan costs $23 per month

for Europeans. Funcom announced their price structure, and Europe gets raided by barbarians: While AoC costs $14.99 per month in the US, it costs €14.94 per month in Europe, which at today's exchange rate is over $23. Note that this makes Age of Conan more expensive in Europe than World of Warcraft, with nothing to suggest that this higher price is in any way justified.

I wonder if I could import a US version of AoC and pay just $15 per month instead of over 50% surcharge for being European. But I guess that won't work, Funcom probably won't accept a European credit card paying for a US account.

Well, with prices like these I doubt I'll play after the "free" month coming with the box.
Well its still 15 a month for you. And you still get paid the same amount regardless of what the dollar is at, right? I don't see how you can consider it costing more. If the dollar goes above 1 euro (haha, I know), should they raise the monthly rate to balance it out?

You said WoW is cheaper, what does WoW cost to play on EU servers?
From the WoW-Europe site:

What is the monthly fee to play the game?
After the end of the one-month subscription included with the game, you will need to subscribe in order to continue playing. There are three options in our flexible subscription structure: month-by-month subscription costs 12.99€/£8.99 per month, 3-month subscription costs 11.99€/£8.39 per month and six month subscription costs 10.99€/£7.69 per month.
Now, is that 23 euro, or 23 dollars? If that's dollars, you are getting screwed, if it's 23 euro, what is the conversion rate? Isn't the euro worth more than the dollar, therefore screwing you more??? My head hurts with all this math stuff running through my brain. I'm sure you will figureit out...I can't at the moment...where is my coffee....need more coffee....
I wonder if I could import a US version of AoC and pay just $15 per month instead of over 50% surcharge for being European. But I guess that won't work, Funcom probably won't accept a European credit card paying for a US account.

Do you think so? I never had problems with my German credit card in the States. You could try to fake a US address. For the WoW beta I became an Aussie with a German cc and had no problems at all. :)
WoW is about $19 a month if you pay in Euros.

Whatever problems AoC brings to the table, I don't think that I can in good conscience blame Funcom for the deplorable state of the dollar. (I have... a certain individual... that I blame for that.) While they could have taken the current exchange rate into account in setting their fee, my guess is that it's calculated based on the dollar's long-term value rather than what it happens to be worth now - you don't want the monthly fee of a subscription service to be fluctuating up and down in response to currency changes.

Whether the adjusted cost is worth it is up to the individual, of course. I myself would be very reluctant to pay that for an MMO unless I thought that MMO was an absolute blockbuster, since there are many viable alternatives for $15.
I think the continued "downplay" on your site of how much you will like Conan will mean you will not be leaving WoW too soon..
I mean, lets be honest..
You can continue to play the same game you have played for going on how many years? At almost half the price...
Or you could play something new...
But, the new commodity is up in the air, as we are unsure of how launch will be...and it may take time for Funcom to recover...
And thanks to our declining has become even more expensive than food...

So, play WoW and eat...or Play AoC and eat...uh...for the USA would be Ramen Noodles...

Good thing I like Ramen!
Funcom did manage to get the Pound-Euro conversion rate about right, so they ARE able to perform simple calculations. Maybe Funcom capitalized on the fact that Europeans -generally speaking- dont seem to mind that they are already bled dry by their governments (42% income tax plus all other taxes (value added, city, environment etc) adding up to about 60% tax extorsion). As in : we can get away with anything in Europe.
If you're willing to play the American version, you can probably get around the problem by buying codes from game time cards online. Various RMT websites tend to offer those, and they won't care about the origin of the payment. Same goes for the game's CD key, which is most likely also region-locked. Google is your friend.

Keep in mind that if you play on the American servers, most players will be asleep if you play during the usual European evening leisure time. Personally, such sub-par experience would make it not worth the savings for me.

But yes, the Euro price is quite unfair. You'd think for competitive reasons alone Funcom would not go beyond WoW's price.
> Now, is that 23 euro, or 23 dollars? If that's dollars, you are getting screwed, if it's 23 euro, what is the conversion rate? Isn't the euro worth more than the dollar, therefore screwing you more??? My head hurts with all this math stuff running through my brain. I'm sure you will figureit out...I can't at the moment...where is my coffee....need more coffee....

L2Read. Oh, I'm sorry, a simple multiplication is already "math stuff" that hurts your brain, so what can I expect.
Lame. Even WoW is overpriced already.
Aren't some of you EU guys getting the version with full nudity? Not only are they charging you more, but you don't even get clothing on all the characters!!!!

I'll bet there's plenty of people in the US who would pay the EU price in exchange for the uncensored version.
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Interesting I wonder why EU Players are being charged more. Having dealt with marketing people several times I'd bet someone decided that 14.99 was an acceptable price regardless of exchange rate and they ran with it.

I think its a bad move though. charging Europ 8 dollars a month more is gonna hurt em.
Umm Tobold I followed your link and the price for Europe is 12.99 Euros a month. But thats still 20.99 dollars a month. That still blows.
AHHH I see the VAT tax is what takes it up. so 2 dollars of that is tax. Can't blame funcom for that part. but the almost 6 dollar difference between EU And US before the tax seems a bit steep.
You can as well see it the other way 'round: those 14.x Euros is well in the usual range of monthly fees for most MMOGs. And as Funcom is counting in Euros, they simply have a hard time to get their intended revenue with 15$. Don't think one could ask more than 15$ a month in the US.

It is not that the european gamers are screwed over. It is that the ridiculously low Dollar makes selling anything in the US for a pofit difficult for every european Manufacturer (think Airbus, think BMW, Mercedes, Audi). And while we could elaborate to great detail WHY the dollar is deliberately held down, that wouldn't change a thing.

Yes, I am from Europe ...
instead of doing things the good old Chinese way and pegging everything to the dollar I think they should take a more egalitarian approach and decide on a certain "value" be in it in dollars or whatever, and then charge that same value to the Europeans and everyone else..

That way the Europeans and Japanese and other people in countries more advanced than us in the US aren't subsidizing increasing development costs, just so that we can get by keeping our price at 15 bucks a month. If they need to raise it or lower it to be competitive they should be able to.
Easy solution: buy prepaid game cards from American dealers that ship internationally, like amazon.

Come on Tobold...

That price is pretty much the same monthtly fee that all subscription-based MMOGs have here in Europe. If WoW is a bit cheaper, good for them, but that makes them the exception rather than AoC.

And the monthly cost has really not much to do with any value for the game - they charge what the market dictates in each region pretty much.
Many companies/games would probably charge more if they could in order to try to recover the costs quicker.

Given that Funcom is a Norwegian company, the lower value of the US dollar is probably hurting them, since much of their costs might be in NOK.

You have certainly indicated before that you are not prince sensitive in this area, why the big fuss about the price now?
I spent a lot of time playing Anarchy Online and as far as my observations go, FC is a money hungry b$&ch. They wont miss any oportunity to grab some cash of anyone who is willing to pay. I wouldn't be suprised if they charged 15 in every currency which is above American dollar and more in every currency that is below.

I don't know how this goes for other countries but in mine they charge you additional 5 euros for possibility of 3 days head start which is only viable if you preorder, so i feel pretty screwed at this point, that pre ordering is not enough and I have to pay additional money.

If you consider the fact that almost every pre order will purchase that head start bonus they are going to have 10% extra income. Now someone tell me this is not cheap give me more money shot. They can say realease is 17th may but they can also say release is 20th may but you can pay us additional money and you can start 17th.
Hmm a little correction. The game box costs about 30 euros here so that 5 euros extra is almost 20% more income. Hurray F$ncom.
Now WoW europe cost more (per month) than WoW US because dollar is very very low.

But when WoW was launched in europe, they did a good calculation and was about the same.

In fact at the time Blizzard decided to charge 15 dollars to americans and 13 euros for europeans. And at the time euro was just a bit over dollar.
Ok, some people seem to be having a really hard time understanding this:

US players pay US$14.99 a month

European players pay €14.94 a month

at current exchange rates US$1 = €0.65 or €1 = US$1.54.

Therefore, to play on a European server costs the equivalent of US$23.

So if a European is getting the exact same product and service (nudity aside), why are they paying 1.5 times the price?

Fortunately for me, I'm an Australian and we play on US servers. When I first started playing WOW just after release the AUS to US dollar was about AUS$1 = US$0.70. It's now about AUS$1=US$0.94 so happy days for me, not that I play anymore.

However that hasn't stopped publishers from blatantly ripping off Australian customers. When COD4 was first released on Steam they charged Australians US$49.95. A couple of weeks later they said it was 'a pricing mistake' and changed that to US$88.50.

Other games are still US$49.95 but Activision felt the need to change its prices on Steam to protect Australian distributors that are selling it for AUS$95.

What do you do when there's such blatant rorting and disregard for customers? Walk with your feet.

I'm not saying that subscriptions fees should rise and fall everyday inline with currency exchange rates, but is it really that hard to adjust them every six months?
You'll play if the game is good enough, regardless of the very small premium.

Tsk, tsk, such bitterness!
I wouldn't be paying a 50% premium unless it made me cappuccinos too.

I was in the closed beta for 3 months and couldn't be bothered getting a character above level 12 that's how much I enjoyed it.
On a similar matter of strong price variances between US and Europe, the new Guitar Hero-like game "Rock Band" suffers a ridiculous price increase.

US price: $160 (game + controllers)
EU price: $384 (game: $112, controller: $272) @exchange rate 1.6

That is a shameless rip-off and they get hurt significantly by Amazon user votes.
I'm accustomed to prices being higher here in Canada, even after our dollar is now just hovering higher than the U.S. dollar. It's really more about the prices the retailers want to set. Publishers chooses a base and the retailers indicate their cuts on top of that and they come together with a consensus for list price in each region.

I'm actually impressed with the timecards they're offering here, because Canadians have gotten gouged by WoW's $40 (60 day) timecards... AoC's 60 day cards are $30 which matches the base price closer. It's the cheaper of the two games here.
Try living in 'Rip-off Britain'. We pay more for almost everything compared to the continent.
That is because you people on the isles are still adamant on not joining the Euro zone. *shrugs*

Sucks to be you I guess...and I would assume if the UK industry had any say the € would be the currency in the UK since years.
I enjoy getting stuff from the UK way cheaper thanks to a strong Euro and still avoid overly long shipping times from overseas. So I honestly can't complain much.
And as far as AoC goes...thankfully I can get the game via good friends from the US for cheap and I am pretty sure just as with WoW and DAOC there will be ways to get around any "region" lock they might introduce.
I hope that everyone is just as pissed off as me when i heard that AoC was payed for monthly. What ever happened to gaming for recreation, and not a fucking job? Thanks.. video games are dead to me now.
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