From: Frankfurt, Germany
ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
Chinese Book Publishing Industry Facts:
I have come across many books printed in China, and it is disingenuous to suggest that a Chinese book is, ipso facto, not genuine.
I wasn't suggesting that, though I think Sarge was. Is this an issue of personal/professional interest for you? I agree that you can't assume it's not genuine because it was printed in China.
Note that the book Perturabo was referring to was a "translation", and products are often (except in Matrix's case) priced taking into account the income of the sales market.
Actually, we have priced for local markets in the past and had some bad luck with it. It's a lot easier to price for local markets when you're a large company with better economies of scale and products that sell at mainstream levels rather than niche market levels. The cost of localization and local pricing for a niche company often combines to simply make no sense when it comes to the bottom line, especially if local partners don't respect local market limitations and with international re-sale sites like Amazon and E-Bay that's becoming increasingly hard to enforce.
Regarding the first point, it is of no professional interest to me. I have no vested interests in this. I do have an unvested personal interest in the way that the Perturabo's observation of buying a book made in China was turned into an assertion that the author was not reimbursed.
Regarding the second point, whilst I acknowledge the difficulties you face at a retail distribution level with different pricing levels, I would have thought that your direct downloads would have obviated that problem? I have not looked at your direct download pricing for non-US regions, but am going on your comments.
Surely it is unreasonable to expect consumers in countries with low incomes to pay the same price for products that consumers in higher income countries do, particularly when the marginal production costs are trivial?
Take a look at this Wikipedia page showing purported IMF GDP per capita data (it looks reasonable, if not completely accurate):
Take a few numbers to compare (rounded up/down to nearest '000)
China (PRC) $3K
If you compare the China to USA GDP numbers, pricing a USD 60 game at the same level in China would be analogous to a $900 price in the USA. This type of pricing would only encourage piracy.
There was a recent article in a games magazine (PC Gamer?) that looked at PC gaming in Russia, and how piracy was combated - partly by stiff judicial sentences for piracy, but also by direct retail distribution and reasonable local market pricing.
I don't think any company that tries to adopt US based pricing in low-GDP countries (such as China) can feign any surprise when its products are pirated because it has priced itself out of that market.
And you, sir, cannot feign surprise if someone buys cheaper games priced for the Chinese market, re-imports them into the US, and undercuts Matrix Games there.
If people cannot afford the price of a computer game, then they cannot buy it - and if they cannot buy it, they cannot have it. It´s as simple as that. Having access to computer games is not a universal human right, and computer game publishers are not obligated to provide them to people when doing so would cost them money rather than earn them money.