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Weird PC game comparison: 50$ USA/Europe vs 5-15$ Russia

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October 31, 2008 7:38:36 PM

This post might add more fuel to the discussion of piracy, but I feel that some people might find this an interesting read.

I was recently on a work trip to Russia and had an opportunity to go shopping. While I was walking around, I encountered at least three different game stores. The newest PC Games which cost 40-60$ in USA and Europe are on display everywhere with price tags varying between 5-15$. The game boxes and covers look as good as in the western versions. The ones I saw were all packed, so I didn't know what was inside. Many of the games are translated to Russian but some include both a Russian and an English version. The funny part is that they are recognised as "legal versions" in Russia because there are also illegal pirated versions for 1-3$ somewhere on the black market. :lol: 

I had a very serious temptation to grab at least 10-15 games. The only thing that kept me from hoarding is that my current computer is too old to run any modern games and nowadays I prefer to stick to a few old familiar games rather than trying out something new all the time. I was also worried about possible explanations I'd have to invent at the border if a customs official noticed a huge pile of game boxes in my luggage. However, I was too curious, so I decided to get one box to find out what was inside and how it would run.

"Crysis from Russia":
http://img219.imageshack.us/my.php?image=crysisinrussiand9.jpg

The game cost 5$ and for a while resided near a DVD of "Oblivion" and a few other games which cost 50$ each. The box contained a DVD but there was no manual or any CD-key sticker inside the box. The disk itself didn't resemble a home-burnt version but actually looked like a disk from a 50$ box. I inserted the disk and an option popped up suggesting an installation in English. The disc didn't contain any viruses. Since my own computer wouldn't be able to run Crysis even at the lowest settings, I decided to gift the DVD to a friend who has a more modern computer. He told me afterwards that the single player part of the game runs fine but the multiplayer part doesn't work in that version because there was something funky about the CD-key.

October 31, 2008 8:29:52 PM

What's even more curious is that games for PC are cheaper there than games for consoles. For example, major webstores are selling "Dead Space" for 33$ for PC and for 74$ for XBOX 360, while "Assassin's Creed", "Far Cry 2" and "Bioshock" go for 13-16$ for PC and 74$ for XBOX 360.


October 31, 2008 9:01:59 PM

It's the 21st century consumer market, pricing has nothing to do with actual value. They price it at whatever people are willing to pay. Other things, like movies, and even medicine, are far cheaper in poorer countries. Of course, they won't sell for below cost, but they can sell for far above actual value, so long as people are willing to buy. :p 
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October 31, 2008 9:31:59 PM

Yeah, I just saw two versions of Far Cry 2 for PC listed right after each other on a webstore. The first one was "DVD-Box" for 53$ and the second one right below it was "Jewel" for 18$.
October 31, 2008 9:35:24 PM

Piracy is very common there. As in shops just dedicated to ripped music, films and games. So as dagger says, people aren't willing to pay high prices when they can get one nearly as good down the road for drastically cheaper.
October 31, 2008 10:02:35 PM

Yeah. I have a friend who bought original Stalker in Ukraine for $5 or so. it is all due to economics. Nobody willpay $50 for it in Ukraine. So they better sell 1000000 copy's for $5 then 10 copy's for $50. It is not just games. For example when Vista first hit the stores it was 3 times cheaper in Germany than in UK and even cheaper in US. Probably even cheaper in east Europe/ Russia
October 31, 2008 10:06:00 PM

Also would like to add that there are many pirated versions that are even cheaper and it looks like that the Crysis You got is pirated. You need to watch out when You buy but You can get originals really cheap as well.
October 31, 2008 10:24:51 PM

ainarssems said:
Yeah. I have a friend who bought original Stalker in Ukraine for $5 or so. it is all due to economics. Nobody willpay $50 for it in Ukraine. So they better sell 1000000 copy's for $5 then 10 copy's for $50. It is not just games. For example when Vista first hit the stores it was 3 times cheaper in Germany than in UK and even cheaper in US. Probably even cheaper in east Europe/ Russia


I got the original (genuine) stalker for £5 ($8) in the UK :D 
!