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Post by Dan @ 10:13am 06/05/11 | 32 Comments
A couple of bits of bad news for Australian's looking forward to The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings today, as we've learned that not only has the game been slightly altered to pass under the MA15+ classification bar for Australian sale, but online retailer GOG.com has also had to adjust it's pricing to align closer to Australian brick-and-mortar distribution.

It's not all bad as it sounds however, as according to CD Project lead Adam Badowski, the "two small content changes" are trivial and "unlikely to significantly affect the overall play experience"
From the time we started developing The Witcher 2, our goal was to create a single international version. So, we are happy the game will be available almost everywhere exactly as we envisioned it. At the same time, we are disappointed that because Australia’s rating system for computer games does not go above MA 15+, we had to make two small content changes in order for our game to be distributed there at all. I would like to assure our Australian customers that we aware of the situation in their market, and will do everything we can to support them
According to fellow Australian game blog Gamepron, Australian distributor Namco Bandai Partners also had this to say:
In the original version your character Geralt was given the choice of accepting sex ‘as a reward’ for successfully completing this particular side quest. The Australian Classification Board originally refused classification as they deemed the inclusion of ‘sex as a reward’ as not suitable for an MA15+ classification.

The change is only minor, in that the character choice is now made automatically for him. The character and the side quest are still in the game but presented in a slightly different context. No other changes have been made and this change has no impact on gameplay, storyline or character development.
As for the GOG.com pricing adjustment, that's not all bad news either. A press release explains that they were regrettably required to adjust their pricing for Australian customers due to their licensing agreement and that the price will now be $69,99 AUD, where it had previously been $44.99 USD ($42.30 AUD at today's exchange rate).

However being European (and subject to similar game pricing disparities as us) they clearly sympathise with our plight and so their "Fair Price Package" offer extends to all Australian customers.
GOG.com will still offer their ‘Fair Price Package’, like they do for customers paying in Euros, to match the price in USD. This means all Australian gamers who buy The Witcher 2 at GOG.com will get $26 USD store credit to spend on Good Old Games’ 300+ games catalog.

All preorders by Australian gamers that are made before Friday, May 6 at 3:00 p.m. GMT, will be charged at the original price of $44,99 USD, and will receive the Australian version.
3pm May 6 GMT is 1am tomorrow morning (Saturday May 7th 2011) in AEST (Sydney time), so any Australian's still wanting to nab this one at the original US dollar price have until the end of today to jump on that. The price for Australian customers on Steam has already been adjusted without warning.

No specific mention was made of whether the GOG.com Australian version will be DRM (copy protection) free, however as GOG have a DRM-free policy, it's safe to assume that would be the case. Nevertheless, we've contacted them for clarification on that one.

Update: GOG let us know that the Australian-specific version will still be -- like the rest of their catalogue -- free of any DRM. They also made a point of reminding us how quickly the community release modifications to remove the censorship from the original Witcher.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is due worldwide on May 17 2011, exclusively for PC.



cd projektma15+the witcher 2assassins of kings





Latest Comments
evıs
Posted 10:17am 06/5/11
*punches a wall*
Eorl
Posted 11:07am 06/5/11
Sigh. And they even said it was only Australia they had to change it for. I don't want to live on this planet any more. Also, that stupid price should be left what it is. Who gives a s*** about EB, they're becoming useless with digital distribution, and with the release of the cloud soon, consoles won't even have to go buy physical copies either.
Totenkopf
Posted 11:12am 06/5/11
i want my boobies!
dont tell me im going to have to import it now ffs
Ozzy
Posted 11:21am 06/5/11
the gov't is making us look like idiots!
teq
Posted 11:31am 06/5/11
they're not even trying to hide the fact that they want Australians to pay more, consider all their s*** boycotted 4eva
ravn0s
Posted 11:56am 06/5/11
heh told my friend it had been modified the other day so he canceled steam order and ordered on gog. will have to let him know that gog is getting the modified version now.
Dan
Posted 12:11pm 06/5/11
i want my boobies!
dont tell me im going to have to import it now ffs
Nothing they've said has given any indication that they've removed any nudity from the game.

they're not even trying to hide the fact that they want Australians to pay more, consider all their s*** boycotted 4eva
It's clearly the publisher and not the developer responsible in this case. Don't punish the developer because of it.

GOG is a sister company of the Polish developer CD Projekt Red, it seems pretty obvious that they've only found out about this recently and have reluctantly had to fall in line to preserve their licensing agreement for worldwide retail distribution.

And as I pointed out in the OP. If you want the original good price, you still have until midnight tonight to pre-order at that from GOG (whereas Steam have already re-adjusted their price without any notice).

What it comes down to again, is just the brick-and-mortar distributor (in this case Atari and Namco Bandai Partners) setting a price that the market is willing to pay for a game in Australia. You can hardly blame a business for doing that.

If we want things to change, all we can do is encourage avenues that circumvent this pricing. More people need to start importing games, or just waiting a few months after release for sales etc. Boycotting any one publisher isn't going to do s***, because they all do it, almost without exception.

Obviously Valve just had a better distribution deal with EA than CD Projeckt do with Atari, because Valve was able to set the Portal 2 Steam price the same across all regions.
Midda
Posted 12:07pm 06/5/11
I still haven't decided if I want this game or not, but if I do decide to get it, I'll just grab a copy from the US Steam Store.
Tanaka Khan
Posted 12:42pm 06/5/11
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is due on May 13 2011, exclusively for PC.


I'm looking at steam right now and there release date is 18th May
Dazhel
Posted 12:53pm 06/5/11
GOG.com will still offer their ‘Fair Price Package’, like they do for customers paying in Euros, to match the price in USD. This means all Australian gamers who buy The Witcher 2 at GOG.com will get $26 USD store credit to spend on Good Old Games’ 300+ games catalog.


Sounds like GOG managed to find a loophole in their agreement. Great for the customer, I can't imagine the global retailers would be too happy.

Just shows how ridiculous these agreements are and the sooner bricks & mortar game stores die off the better.
Hogfather
Posted 12:53pm 06/5/11
I still haven't decided if I want this game or not, but if I do decide to get it, I'll just grab a copy from the US Steam Store.

You can bet your arse it will be similarly AU-taxed, so you'll need to VPN it I guess.
GOG.com will still offer their ‘Fair Price Package’, like they do for customers paying in Euros, to match the price in USD. This means all Australian gamers who buy The Witcher 2 at GOG.com will get $26 USD store credit to spend on Good Old Games’ 300+ games catalog.

All preorders by Australian gamers that are made before Friday, May 6 at 3:00 p.m. GMT, will be charged at the original price of $44,99 USD, and will receive the Australian version.

This is decent but still s***. AU tax is one of the few things that makes me rage. Someone is milking us and abusing the exchange rate that is hurting us in other areas. Motherf*****s.

There needs to be some investigative journalism done to find out what distributor / company is enforcing these agreements and most importantly, where all the extra cash is going. Its always "someone else"; f*** that s***, whoever it is needs to stand up and explain themselves.
Vash
Posted 12:58pm 06/5/11
Ours wont have boobies i bet.
I had a version of the original that was censored, it had boobies censored. I proceeded to obtain the uncensored version by other methods.
parabol
Posted 01:01pm 06/5/11
The best part about the Witcher is how inappropriate everything is. No worries, will just wait for the usual online stores to sell the Steam cd-keys at 2/3 the usual USD price anyway.
Dan
Posted 01:01pm 06/5/11
There needs to be some investigative journalism done to find out what distributor / company is enforcing these agreements and most importantly
They all are. Activision, EA, Atari, SEGA, Ubisoft, THQ, Take 2 have all had games on Steam that have been priced at AU boxed retail prices while US customers enjoy USD$49 price. And of course Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo aren't innocent either, they all do the same thing on their online stores.

It's not like there's any one single personal responsible, they're simply charging what the market will pay for a game. Until we send them a clear message that we're just not going to pay that any more, they'd be silly to stop it. Until then, the only other reason they would have to stop it is as a PR move to try and earn good will away from their competitors, but I don't see that happening.

Or of course, if the government legislated some kind of consumer protection preventing regional price disparity, but I sure don't see that happening either.
Midda
Posted 01:37pm 06/5/11
You can bet your arse it will be similarly AU-taxed, so you'll need to VPN it I guess.

Well that's what I meant by getting it from the US store. The only way to buy from Steam stores from other regions is through a VPN (as far as I know).
kettels
Posted 01:45pm 06/5/11
well this is very bad news, was going to get it on gog but now might wait and get an international version
Dazhel
Posted 01:57pm 06/5/11
Or of course, if the government legislated some kind of consumer protection preventing regional price disparity, but I sure don't see that happening either.


Fair go Dan, combined governments are having a tough enough time figuring out whether we should be able to put a little [R18+] sticker on game boxes, let alone dealing with economic complexities.
tommoz
Posted 03:06pm 06/5/11
what a JOKE. just buy it from america, these rules are f*****g ridiculous
Trauma
Posted 03:24pm 06/5/11
Sigh. And they even said it was only Australia they had to change it for. I don't want to live on this planet any more. Also, that stupid price should be left what it is. Who gives a s*** about EB, they're becoming useless with digital distribution, and with the release of the cloud soon, consoles won't even have to go buy physical copies either.

And I can't wait for it!
Randy Cambell
Posted 09:20pm 06/5/11
How hard is it to make a r18+ sticker for a box! s*** goverment!
Dan
Posted 10:24pm 06/5/11
Update: GOG let us know that the Australian-specific version will still be -- like the rest of their catalogue -- free of any DRM. They also made a point of reminding us how quickly the community release modifications to remove the censorship from the original Witcher. Ah the joys of PC gaming.

So basically, unless you really like cardboard boxes or you want every single PC game you own attached to your Steam account, GOG should still be any Aussies first port of call if they want to purchase this one. Support DRM-free game sales and don't punish the developer because of our silly classification laws.
kettels
Posted 03:32pm 08/5/11
Does anyone know if i bring this in from overseas whether customs will stop it like they're trying with mortal combat
Mordecai
Posted 03:35pm 08/5/11
Does anyone know if i bring this in from overseas whether customs will stop it like they're trying with mortal combat

As the game is allowed to be sold here you can bring it in. I do it all the time. Haven't bought a game here in Oz in a long time.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 04:28pm 08/5/11
I'm not buying it, regional pricing can kiss my arse.
FLehane
Posted 06:10pm 16/5/11
Using a VPN to purchase the game at the old prices on GoG works, I just did it.
Sc00bs
Posted 06:28pm 16/5/11
i honestly dont understand how the gov/ game companies can complain about piracy when they fist us this bad.

"here u scumc**** go, have a s*** version of the game for $30 more. muahahhahaha"


Pirroh
Posted 06:33pm 16/5/11
Using a VPN to purchase the game at the old prices on GoG works, I just did it.

You don't even need to use a VPN, in your user settings you can just change your country to the USA or UK.
kettels
Posted 06:39pm 16/5/11
You don't even need to use a VPN, in your user settings you can just change your country to the USA or UK.


I did this, changed my location to UK and bought it for $44.99US or something. They don't ask for your location after that or anything else when you enter your credit card details in.
Thundercracker
Posted 09:45pm 16/5/11
Yeah no need for VPN. Just change your account region at gog.com to US or UK, and purchase the proper edition at the proper price.

Looking forward to this game :D
CUZL8R
Posted 02:40pm 24/5/11
=========================================
Thundercracker


no need for VPN. Just change your account region at gog.com to US or UK, and purchase the proper edition at the proper price.

Looking forward to this game :D

======================================
+ 1 now waiting 9GB to DL....enjoy
Fixah
Posted 02:53pm 24/5/11
If you guys want a hard copy of this game for PC let me know.

I can get it in from the UK for around $50 delivered.
copuis
Posted 03:09pm 24/5/11
surely the time it close that ACA and like wise should be involved in this quite frankly rip off

i could half understand that if a retail store brought a product before our dollar got strong (or the US dollar tanked, which everway it went) it wouldn't want to drop it's prices on that product,

however there should be no way that you should be able to call, say wal-mart, buy something from a retail store, and pay the costs of shipping, pay any taxes and land it on your door cheaper than walking into a brick and mortar store (baring specials from wal-mart)

the big stores here are sure as s*** getting the product at better than before whole price (as in our dollar goes alot further now)
gerry harvey b****ed about people shopping online, but i'm pretty sure the price difference (as a percentage) is far greater in the games arena than ever before,

pretty s*** that we are asked to support an industry by doing the right thing, and buying a game, but have the same industry fail to support us because the gold rush is on
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