As part of our ongoing coverage of the rising prices of Canadian video games, it appears as though the price creep has been steadily inching towards breaking out that fifth green banknote (before taxes). It was seemingly an anomaly for Electronic Arts’ Star Wars: Battlefront to sell preorders of the game for $79.99 to Canadians a few weeks ago. Now it appears as though Call of Duty: Black Ops III will also retail for $79.99 in Canada, as now both EA & Activision have jumped into $80 price points for monster budget games releasing during the upcoming holiday season.
For now, it only appears as though PS4 and Xbox One multiplatform games will be part of the jump in Canadian video games prices. Wii U video games have mostly stayed at $64.99 (with the exception of September’s Rodea The Sky Soldier at $74.99), although that may very well be due to first party prices hovering at $70 for home console games and $45 for handheld games. Most 3DS games are sticking at $45, with some jumping to $50, and both Senran Kagura 2 Deep Crimson Double D Edition and Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight joining Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker at $59.99. No changes have been made to console MSRP’s.
What’s the most puzzling about this jump in Canadian video games prices is the fact that the Canadian Dollar has been rebounding. The CAD was at $0.795 to the USD the day we found out games would start to cost $75, on February 23, 2015. Just over 8 weeks later, the CAD now sits at $0.831 to the USD, meaning the Canadian Dollar actually improved by roughly 4.5% since. Obviously, these decisions for the Market Suggested Retail Price don’t happen on a day-to-day basis, but the fact remains that Activision and EA are setting the scene for other publishers to mark up their games to these absurd prices once more holiday games are announced.
Even though those games are due for November releases, it doesn’t mean that the entire market for Canadian video games prices aren’t affected now. Both titles incentivize the encroaching pre-order culture, offering either beta entry or early access to gameplay content. The consumer is pressured to spend at a premium right now to guarantee timed exclusive content at the expense of the possibility of prices normalizing in the future. Worst off, $79.99 CAD comes out to $66.48 USD at the time of posting, showing that the jump to higher prices in Canada outpaces the cost to those gaming in the US.
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