Battlefield 3 Premium pricing; Diablo 3 auction house

Last updated 12:21 13/06/2012

Update 3:40pm: EA has got back to me about the pricing issues.

Here's what it had to say:

"We've been happy to hear the enthusiastic Australian and New Zealand Battlefield fan response to the game changing content and services offered in Battlefield 3 Premium, and equally appreciate their constructive feedback on launch pricing in the region.

"After further consideration we will be changing our pricing strategy to bring the Battlefield 3 Premium service for PlayStation3 into closer alignment with local market pricing.

"Starting today, PlayStation 3 fans in Australia will be able to purchase Battlefield 3 Premium for $64.95 and in New Zealand for $79.95.

"For Australian and New Zealand fans who purchased Battlefield 3 Premium at our initial launch pricing: PlayStation will be refunding the difference. Stay tuned for more details."


Gamers in New Zealand and Australia have long complained about the pricing of games compared to rest of the world but is EA's pricing of its Battlefield 3 Premium service the latest case of console gamers in the Australasian region paying too much for their game content?

Game Junkie reader Aaron Fowler emailed last week about the pricing discrepancies for EA's Battlefield E3 Premium service, especially on the PlayStation 3.

Aaron writes that the Battlefield 3 Premium service is "essentially US$50 on Origin, but the same content is NZ$100 on PlayStation 3.But here's the real kicker: There is no option to buy the premium package without the first expansion of Back to Karkand - that most of the likely purchasers will already have. So we are basically being forced to pay for it twice and too much too."

Wanting to get an idea of the pricing and given that Aaron emailed last week (a lot can happen in a week), I checked EA's New Zealand/Australia site to get details about the various pricings. For NZ$59.95 (Origin), New Zealand PC owners can get "all five expansion packs with early access, exclusive in-game items, powerful new features, exclusive online double XP events and insider tactics from DICE". It seems the only way you can access the PSN and Xbox prices is through the respective services.

Reader G00seman77 tells me that as of last night Battlefield 3 Premium is still listed on the PlayStation Network as $89. Xbox 360 users will have to pay 4000 Microsoft Points, which at my quick calculation based on pricings I could find for MS Points online today, equates to close to $70 real money. G00seman77 added that  EA Global were apparently "reviewing" the pricing.

While the prices seem to have been adjusted a little since Aaron's email, I've contacted EA's PR in Australia about the situation but hadn't heard back by the time this was posted.

I'd be interested to hear from Battlefield 3 players on what they think about the pricing of the Premium content, PS3 owners especially: are you happy with it or are you raging about it? (Non-console owning readers, please don't turn into a "Dumb console gamers/They should have bought it on PC/Consoles sux" thread.)

Also, one of my Auckland friends, Aylon133, tells me this morning that he's heard that the real-money auction house of Diablo 3 is already causing issues in the in-game economy. I haven't played D3 since Monday. Anyone have thoughts on that also?

Stuff you might also find interesting: Game Junkie is on Twitter and you can email him here. He'll even answer your emails, not get some smart robot to do it.  He also has another gaming blog here. It's updated at least once a week.

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Daniel   #1   12:28 pm Jun 13 2012

i play BF3 on xbox360, and after paying for the online pass to just play online (not including the gold membership fee which is supposed to allow online access to ALL xbox 360 games) seeing the price of the premium package made me balk a bit. overall the content is nice, but not only are you paying for the content, you are also having to pay for the bandwidth you use to d/l it all. Still, what choice do you have if you want the content?

Robert Van Royen   #2   12:44 pm Jun 13 2012

I paid $89 last week for Premium. It's a fair chunk to begin with, but once we get the other expansion packs over the next 6-8 months it will be forgoten. In comparison to other markets we are being ripped off a bit though. I recently saw an Australian post on battlelog that the prices for Australians had dropped to match what other countries are paying. This happened after a large thread was posted complaining about how unfair the pricing for Australians was. We pay as much as Australians, so we should be getting a price cut as well.

andrew   #3   12:47 pm Jun 13 2012

As a 29 year old gamer who has been playing games as long as I can remember, it's just about enough to put me off bothering with gaming. I have very little spare time for gaming as it is, and there's no way I can justify that kind of cost for such little content. So what does this premium content actually give you that's worthwhile? 5 expansion packs, 1 of which most people already paid approx $15-20 for. Given the amount of content that was in Karkand, a fair price would be $10 per expansion. Let's be honest, Karakand had bugger all. And they were selling content that should have been on the disc at release time anyway. Like most companies they will have to shoot themselves in the foot before they realise how stupid their DLC content and pricing is, and how little value they offer to gamers. Corporatisation has really sucked the fun out of gaming.

MRG   #4   12:52 pm Jun 13 2012

The whole online/regional pricing thing is getting out of hand.

Take the new XP for Civ 5 as an example.US sites pay $26.99, which should be around NZ$34 (ish). Currently it is selling (On Steam) for NZD$49.99.

It is worse if you are in Australia where Steam is selling it for AUD$49.99 - just robbery in terms of exchange rates.

And this is for DIGITAL distribution, where the sellers costs are much lower.

While I am in no way an advocate of obtaining software in less than legal ways, I do start to understand why some people choose to do so when they are being gouged this way.

Also - this issue affects all gamers, and more widely anyone who uses digital distribution - be it for music, movies or books (bloody ebook pricing is crazy - especially when the author is not getting any of the extra profit being made. It is bigger than the "you should have bought a PC" old schtick.

Tel   #5   12:52 pm Jun 13 2012

Well I know my son is spitting tacks. Figgy at EA Australia is following up for us, However we are not holding our breath. Check their twitter feed, you never know they might throw out a promo code. Also of note is that PS3 get the expansion pack early access a week before XBOX/PC.

GBHwildcard   #6   12:57 pm Jun 13 2012

I do think you console players are getting ripped off a bit , Lets face it EA/DICE have been pretty crap with there customer feed back in the last 5months towards problems with BF3 !! I pre-purchased my bf3 and got karkand for free , now i pay for it again with the premium pack for $60nzd through origin but get more dlc's later on in the year ! All i can say for those console players out there EA & Dice have just trolled you trolololololololollol :)

Reinate   #7   01:11 pm Jun 13 2012

I cant say the price of the Premium Service for the PC made me bat an eyelid. since we pay $15-20 per expansion its still $60 even if i did get B2K free with my original copy of the game. All of the other guff you get with it make it well worth it. And in Fact its even got me playing Battlefield 3 like crazy again.

I would have been nice if they had an ingame Replay function like CoD does but oh well what can ya do.

Robert Van Royen   #8   01:13 pm Jun 13 2012

Personally not a fan of the 'Close quarters' expansion either, to much like COD, especially with conquest domination mode. C4 traps everywhere, and camper haven. I was never actually excited for CQ, just can't wait for September and Armored Kill, large maps for vehicles.

Jose   #9   01:32 pm Jun 13 2012

Did you guys know they are doing a friggin promo giveaway of premium??

Cleggy   #10   02:42 pm Jun 13 2012

@Jose #9 - That site looked very suspicious, so I reached out to the official Battlefield account on Twitter. They're in no way affiliated with that site. Use at your own peril. It certainly smells phishy to me.

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