Deus Ex: Human Revolution Is Region Locked

By Lewie Procter on August 17th, 2011 at 9:50 am.


Oh dear, someone isn’t supporting our No Oceans campaign. Square-Enix have sadly region locked the boxed retail versions of the PC release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution across Europe. Retail copies sold in the UK will only activate on UK Steam accounts. It’s a similar story for copies sold in Russia/Poland, and the rest of the EU makes up the third European region.

What possible motivation could Square-Enix have for restricting the range of choice that their European customers have when it comes to deciding where to buy their game from? Well I had a poke around, and for gamers in France, for example, the cheapest price I’ve been able to find for Human Revolution is €35.99 (or £31.51), whereas they would be able to import a UK copy for £23.49 + £4 shipping, a total of £27.49 (or €31.40). Looking at the pricing of buying Human Revolution direct from Steam, the UK price is £29.99 (or €34.25) and the Euro price is €44.99 (or £39.38). This region locking protects Square-Enix’s policy of international pricing, and prevents customers who are in the EU from being able to avoid the price hike of ~30% Square Enix may or may not have decided to bestow upon their region.

It’s interesting to look at how this reflects on Square-Enix because of the nature of the game’s development. Local market factors meant that it was most cost effective for Squeenix to open their new studio in Montreal, so to save costs they took part in the global economy, and essentially bought development man-hours from the cheapest international seller. When local market factors result in it being more cost effective for their customers to take part in the global economy, and buy from the cheapest international seller, Square-Enix have coded a solution to prevent them from being able to do so. Interesting!

It also seems as if Square-Enix have done nothing to ensure retailers inform their customers about this region locking. I’ve just checked the listing for Human Revolution on pretty much every major UK online retailer, and not one of them has any mention of this region locking. Update: Amazon have now added a warning about the region lock, but none of the other retailers I have checked have done yet.

This also troubles any customers hoping to import the UK Augmented edition, which (I believe) is the only version that includes all the game content (with other regions splitting up the “bonus content” for various retailer exclusive promotions). Sorry, if you don’t live in the UK you can’t get the “best” version of the game.

Quite what the motivation for this isn’t clear, but it’s evidently wrapped up with both serving distributors and the decision to use Valve’s Steamworks to control region activation. We’ve contacted SE asking for a comment on why they’ve decided to add these limitations to the retail version of the game.

More details on the region locking can be found in this forum thread. It’s worth noting that codes sold through other digital distributors will not be region locked, it is just the boxed release that will be locked.

All together now: What. A. Shame.

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301 Comments »

  1. Gassalasca says:

    What a shame.

    • TWeaK says:

      Just a bump reply so people can see this post by one of the Eidos moderators. To quote:

      Q: As I live in a part of the world not covered by their preorder sites (South East Asia basically), and I want the augmented pack for the PC, is it:
      1) Possible to purchase one from vanilla Amazon.com and still have it work?
      2) Necessary to preorder the augmented pack, or will it be available off the shelves? (one option precludes the other basically)
      3) Available for preorder some other way?

      A:
      1) PC games are region free, so wherever you get it from it’ll work. However, one thing we do know is that the US augmented edition does not come with all the pre-order content, but the European one does. Try ordering from game.co.uk, they should ship to your location and that way you’ll get all the content.
      2) Not yet confirmed either way, but at a guess it’ll probably be available on store shelves too.
      3) You can pre-order on Steam, but no word on whether that gives you all or any of the pre-order content.

      @edit: Hmm, apparently ‘not all those quotes are official statements’. This was after a mod linked to it to say that people were advised to look into their retailers closely in the first place, but then they didn’t realise there were these quotes that say the PC version would be region-free.

    • Magnetude says:

      From that thread:

      “Region locks are in place to stop `grey` importing, which whilst consumers may not really care where they get their product from as they just want `A` copy of the game, to the companies who distribute (and ourselves who pay for distribution) each territory has a very different cost base and price to ship to etc and these are reflected in local prices (ask anyone in Tazmania for example about cost of games and they will probably cry as they so expensive to get imported etc)”

      I don’t understand this. I’m sure that retailers in foreign countries are trying to sell at the lowest price, especially independent ones that need to undercut the big chains in order to do business.

      But why is it cheaper for the consumer to order from another country, even with shipping included, when surely shipping in bulk should work out cheaper?

    • Tams80 says:

      If a local retailer can’t compete with the price of an import (of a genuine game), then I see no reason why people should be forced to buy from them.

    • TWeaK says:

      Someone’s done their legwork: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=1650145&postcount=359

      I think that pretty much confirms it’s illegal. Follow the links and file complaints, I say, then chances are it’ll be dropped (at least in the EU anyway).

    • Thomas says:

      In case anyone’s interested, here’s the regions that the specific countries (By country code) are being categorized as:

      UK Region = IM JE GS GB UK (I’m not sure if GB and UK are the same in this context or if it does include ireland and scotland)
      Russia Region = AM AZ BY GE KZ KG MD RU TJ TM UZ UA LV LT EE BY MD (Note: Poland isn’t listed as the polish versions are not region locked, even though they share region with Russia)
      Worldwide = Everything else :)

    • John Connor says:

      Going to hijack the top comment here just to let you guys know, you can get DEHR region free for 35 USD.

      Unless you’re some kind of purist who desperately wants a boxed copy (unlikely on RPS, right?) this is probably the best deal you’ll get on this game until it goes on Steam sale.

    • Nighthood says:

      Sorry for hijacking an earlier post, but I made a petition against this. Might achieve SOMETHING, if we’re lucky.

      http://www.change.org/petitions/square-enix-remove-region-locking-from-all-copies-of-deus-ex-human-revolution

  2. Hakkesshu says:

    What a shame indeed. I had a pre-order going on Amazon UK, which I had to cancel since I live in mainland Europe. Now I have to pay almost twice as much.

    Edit: I don’t believe the UK edition is the only one that has all the content. At least the local one I’m looking at here in Scandinavia has everything listed. Unless they’re selling UK copies of the game, unknowingly. Boy, that’s going to be a fun surprise…

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      Yep… I got similar issue. Pre-ordered it in UK with import to Poland.

      DAMN YOU stupid sales polices.
      We live in the age of globalization where I can talk with a fellow on the other edge of the globe real-time, and yet no way to play a game imported from country in EU. Damn it.

    • nofing says:

      Yeah, I have to cancel my pre-order as well, but I’m not going to pay twice the price.
      Well, I guess I won’t play Deus Ex then.

    • EiZei says:

      I also cancelled my pre-order, I have never ever had done this before. Way to go Square-Enix!

  3. Squirrelfanatic says:

    What a sham.

  4. zipdrive says:

    What a shame

  5. Bennus says:

    What a shame

  6. Premium User Badge

    Seniath says:

    What a shame

    (Also; posting in what will be a legendary thread)

  7. zipdrive says:

    What happens if one has a “US” steam account but now lives in the UK? Can’t buy the game, then?

    • Thomas says:

      Nothing, when the copy is activated, it will work everywhere, it is infact also be possible for a UK resident to gift a non-UK resident the game (Over Steam, not by buying the key and sending it to a non-UK resisdent).

      As long as the payment method you have is valid for Great Britain (Some CC companies don’t allow purchases outside the US for example) then it will be bought using UK prices, and work everywhere in the world.

    • zipdrive says:

      But Lewie just said you won’t be able to activate, since (in this example) a boxed copy was bought in the UK and the steam account was marked “US”.

    • cckerberos says:

      You don’t have a “US” or “UK” Steam account. Steam uses your IP to determine which Steam store you’re given access to, so the only thing that matters is your current location. You need a payment method and address which matches that location, though.

    • Thomas says:

      Exactly, this is also why you can use a UK-based VPN to “bypass” the region lockout if you’re in that situation.

    • zipdrive says:

      So, you cn’t buy overeas, but if you ARE overseas, you can buy, activate on steam, and then play back home at your leisure.

    • Wahngrok says:

      It says in the linked forum thread:
      “Q: If I buy a boxed UK copy and activate it in the UK, will I be able to play it in other regions?
      A: That’s a most definitive yes. ”

      So a UK-proxy will apparently the solution for activation.

  8. Flibberdy says:

    I thought that you weren’t allowed to create artificial trade barriers between different EU states. Is this even legal?

    Edit: C-C-C-Combo breaker?

    • MiniMatt says:

      I was just thinking that. Am not a lawyer (and lets face it, internet lawyering on forums is lower still) but strikes me as rather restrictive in what is supposed to be an open market.

      Closest approximation to this I can recall is the ongoing issue of whether it’s ok to buy your English football broadcasting from a Greek company rather than from Sky’s UK arm – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12355022 – so far it’s been running pretty much in favour of open trade but whichever way it goes will have some far reaching effects.

      If I can buy my TV coverage from a Greek outlet why can’t I buy my games from them?

    • Magnetude says:

      Corporations have more power than the government…

    • povu says:

      I’m really annoyed right now, but Magnetude still wins the internet.

    • GenBanks says:

      I was thinking the same thing, but I doubt a single MEP has ever heard of Steam.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      @Magnetude

      Our governments have limited power by design.

    • Dowson says:

      I’m sure it must be, the whole point of the EU trade zone is you choose the cheapest product or service no matter where its from, I’m sure councils in the UK have had to go to court for using British companies for some transport when a Polish company could do it cheaper and they were obliged to use the Polish one.
      I would assume this also applies to consumers, but I imagine no one has bothered to take it to the courts.

    • Luckz says:

      It’s exactly that, an illegal trade barrier.

    • Premium User Badge

      Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      It depends on where you are.
      E.g. here in Denmark it’s actually illegal for you to import any “media” product (film, music, game, book, etc.) if there is already a Danish distributor of the “main” product; meaning it’s illegal for you to buy the original English version of a book online if it’s only sold in it’s translated form here, and it’s illegal to order that Criterion special edition DVD of some film if the TV-edit is already available on VHS here…. crazy, crazy laws.
      Either way, it sounds like this whole problem can be solved by using a VPN.

  9. Robin says:

    I never asked for this.

  10. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    Aside from this being a completely dick move to pull a week before release, I can’t believe that regionlocking where the UK and EU are considered seperate regions is legal under EU consumer law. This means that as an Irish consumer, I can’t buy an item in the UK that’s fit for purpose in Ireland,

    P.

    • Thomas says:

      Bethesda/Zenimax/Splash Damaged pulled the same stunt on Brink, however D2D fixed those keys for us, infact they even gave us 2 if you were quick enough.

      We got the UK key(Was quickly removed after they found out the keys couldn’t be activated everywhere as they should be)
      Then we got a key that could be activated anywhere.

      If you were quick enough to get the UK key you could give it to a friend and activate it through a UK VPN, and use the other key for yourself. :D

      But yes, i could understand the eurasia/asia locking as that’s first of all probably legal, and second of all very very much cheaper than anything else, even UK copies, but this is taking it to far, and probably borderline illegal.

    • Luckz says:

      The Brink lock, like Portal 2, is in still rather unique in that you cannot actually play an activated Russian copy outside of Russia.
      But yeah, Brink is legal and annoying, this is not legal. But at least they allow you to play it anywhere once you activated it, so it’s not really annoying. Just illegal.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Christian says:

    Ok, canceling my preorder with play.com right now (I live in Germany).

    Thanks for the information guys. Otherwise, I would have received a game I wouldn’t be able to play.

    Fuck this, and fuck them. There are other great games coming out.

    Still, this makes me a mighty angry Angry-Internet-Man.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Lewie, the forum link actually goes through to a KB article on changing language through Steam.

  13. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Buy it on Green Man Gaming for 35% off. Those keys are region-free.

  14. StingingVelvet says:

    If you believe that regional pricing has a use… which it does, considering the wildly varying wages and cost of living… then region locking makes perfect sense.

    The problem is when regional pricing is not done right and similar economies get wildly different prices.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      No. The problem is that corporations get to follow one law (buy the cheapest labour) and prevent us from following the same (buy the cheapest goods).

      This is not how globalisation is supposed to work.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      Regional pricing has only one use, which is for the sales dept. to gouge as much as possible out of each region. Otherwise what’s wrong with allowing everyone access to the cheapest price and let the market decide ?

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Are either of you really saying a car should cost the same in India and the US? A house the same in the US and Mexico? Hell, within the US prices and standard wages can vary wildly. Compare the cost of living in California to Pennsylvania.

      Regional pricing will exist and should exist as long as we have varying economies. The only problem here is companies price gouging certain countries that don’t deserve a higher price. Don’t blame regional pricing itself for companies doing it badly.

    • Magnetude says:

      StingingVelvet: No, a car in India and a car in the US should cost whatever they want to charge for it there. But I should be able to choose to buy a Tata instead of a Chevrolet and expect it to work when I get it back home.

    • Ovno says:

      Same car different places, Yes.

      After all there are plenty of budget cars available.

      Different house, different places, No.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I fail to see how retailer in arbitrary geopolitical entity A has more right to my money than retailer in arbitrary geopolitical entity B simply because I happen also, by coincidence, to reside in arbitrary geopolitical entity A.

    • Avenger says:

      @Stingingvelvet

      I don’t understand how it justifies region locking

      I live in a third world country.
      Our economy is shit, I have a very low quality life and my comparably low wage is only equalized by comparably low food prices. (Comparing to rest of Europe of course)

      Some things are way expensive for me to consider even buying. Especially imported goods + import tax

      Tell me, exactly, why am I supposed to pay 2 to 3 times much for the games I’d like to play? Why can’t I just order online and pay for just shipping?

    • Dozer says:

      I believe an individual house costs the same whether the buyer lives in the US, Mexico, Timbuctu or the Lake of Tranquility. Shipping charges tend to be quite high on those things though.

  15. Riotpoll says:

    What a shame.

  16. Daiz says:

    This is not just a shame, but also a potential violation of free trade laws in the EU. For everyone annoyed about it, I suggest lodging a complaint to the European Commision.

    I am highly affected myself, as I have had a pre-order for the Augmented Edition from Zavvi since early June. Problem being that I live in Finland. And even a bigger problem being that alternative stores I’ve looked into are sold out on the retail version of the Augmented Edition, meaning that my choices are to either get an Augmented Edition that I can’t activate, a digital copy that won’t have the physical art book, or a normal copy with none of the Augmented Edition bonuses.

    Yippee-fucking-yay. Thanks a goddamn lot, Squeenix.

    • Premium User Badge

      Anthile says:

      Yeah, I’m fairly certain it’s not legal.

    • sneetch says:

      Lodging a complaint sounds like a plan to me, I doubt it’ll affect this release but may put them off trying it in the future.

    • KauhuK says:

      I don’t know how many copies VPD will have but they are not announcing that they are sold out. http://www.vpd.fi/tuote/23880/437/65/PC/Toiminta/Deus%20Ex%20-%20Human%20Revolution%20Augmented%20Edition%20PC%20%28DVD%29%20%28%C3%85land%201966%29

    • olemars says:

      Another place to file a complaint is the EFTA surveillance authority, if you live in one of the EFTA countries.

    • Premium User Badge

      oceanclub says:

      Here’s a letter I sent to the EU Commission Competition address – please feel free to use as a basis for your own:

      From:
      To:

      Hi there,

      I live in the Republic of Ireland. Back in December, I pre-ordered the videogame “Deus Ex Human Revolution from Amazon.co.uk. I’ve purchased many such games from Amazon.co.uk and other UK online retailers before; perhaps a dozen each year for the past 10 years.

      Just yesterday, the publisher of the videogame, Square Enix, announced that their particular videogame had region-locking – the UK version of the game will not work in the rest of the EU (including Ireland), and vice versa. Amazon.co.uk themselves did not know about this restriction until the last hour (I have just been onto their support line.) Only this morning, they claimed my purchase would work fine.

      Here’s is the relevant information from the Square Enix support site:

      http://support.eu.square-enix.com/faqarticle.php?kid=59795&ret=main&id=2134&la=2&pv=20&SQEXSC=7qllfsuh1m4mt4363djgb80jn3

      “The PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is region-locked.”

      However, when I bought the game, they reassured customer there was no such region locking in this official post in November 2010:

      http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=1530984&postcount=1

      In it, they say:

      1) PC games are region free, so wherever you get it from it’ll work.

      Luckily I am able to cancel my order. However, I find it hard to believe this cannot be illegal under EU consumer law – as far as I know, any item I buy in the UK should be fit for purpose and usable in Ireland, and at the very least, consumers should be notified of this before purchase rather than the company changing their minds at the very last minute?

      Would appreciate a very quick answer on this,

      Thanks in advance, etc.

    • Daiz says:

      KauhuK: Since the only official copy for Finland is apparently the Nordic Edition, I was suspicious that the Augmented Edition that VPD was would turn out to be an UK import. I called them earlier today about it and they couldn’t answer it then, but if you check now you can notice that the Augmented Edition has disappeared from their store. In other words, I guess it indeed would have been an UK import and thus couldn’t have been activated.

      And I was thinking of switching over my order just in case… Goddamn, this is infuriating.

    • Premium User Badge

      Botje says:

      Hi, long time lurker *waves*
      I just signed up to say I also contacted my local ECC branch. Let’s see what they have to say about it..

  17. sneetch says:

    What a shame.

    They’d need to inform Amazon and other suppliers of this quick-smart I’ve had it pre-ordered on Amazon.co.uk since January despite living in Ireland and I’ve no intention of changing that now (most publishers don’t differentiate between Ireland and the UK anyway so I’ll risk it).

    • ChaseGunman says:

      Also Irish, pre-ordered the complete edition from Amazon UK.
      I have no intention of cancelling my order, but if it doesn’t work I’m pirating the whole thing so as I can play what I paid for.

    • Magnetude says:

      ChaseGunman: This is usually where I’d step in and tell you to grow up for using a publisher’s actions as a justification for piracy…

      But you know what, that makes sense. Carry on.

      As much as I love what the developers are doing with this game, Squeenix just couldn’t be more of an arse about this release, with all the retailer-specific bonuses, throwing in a ‘cut’ mission as an incentive and all the other bullshit. And now they’re knowingly locking people out of the game after taking their money for it.

    • Gundrea says:

      Region locking the UK is not just insane, it’s impossible. 3/16 of Ireland is in the UK and has no border control with the rest of its island. I’m trawling the trade agreements between Ireland and Britain at the moment since I’m sure this ticks off something in addition to the EU competition laws.

  18. zeroskill says:

    Way to go Square Enix. Way to piss into the faces of your Eastern European customers, they have to pay €44.99 for Deus Ex, while people from the UK only have to pay €34.25? What a pathetic joke.
    If this is intentional, this comes close to racism. In comparison, Valve offers Portal 2 for the Eastern European countries (Tier 2) for €22.49, thats a price that is affordable for people from that region.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Look, UK has it cheaper as a thank you gift for not robbing their videogames store.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Racism? Really?

      Funny how suddenly it matters when it’s Europe who is affected by regional pricing, rather than everyone else in the world…

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      well, it’s cause we have here the EU which can force various things on a companies, even as big as Microsoft. So here floats a hope that something will be done with it. As AFAIK it’s bit illegal to create artificial borders and discriminate part of EU customers.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I’m not saying it’s legal, I’m just saying it’s not racist.

  19. Paul says:

    Cancelled augmented uk preorder, ordered “limited” version locally. Squeenix will get less of my money. Still feels dirty though, I am tempted to pirate it altogether. The only reason I won’t is my respect for the devs themselves. Their bosses can go fuck themselves though.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Well that’s rather stupid. Not least also because if you’re in France you can’t usually get an English language version without importing it. They dub everything… and unlike a DVD you (usually) can’t just change the audio track to English.

    I always bought my boxed games from Amazon UK when I was in France.

    • Premium User Badge

      Anthile says:

      Same situation in Germany.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oozo says:

      What a shame indeed.

      I’m from Switzerland, and it really is annoying like hell.
      There’s the price. Not being able to order it in the UK will make the game at least 50% more expensive for me. (Not even talking about brick&mortar shops – there, the local version would cost, not kidding, 100% more.)

      But what’s way worse: I don’t want to play this game in German. Nor do I want to play a censored version of the game. So it comes down to cracking it (which I have never done before with a game), or paying more and not being able to put a shiny box in my shelf. Thanks for the choice, Square-Enix!

      I hate region locked movies with a passion, really hoped that it would never come to this with games. (Heck, even PS3 games are NOT region locked…)

    • Premium User Badge

      Sinomatic says:

      They said on the forum you could use steam to change the language, and it would just download any additional necessary files. They just had restrictions on the dvd versions due to size constraints.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oozo says:

      That makes things a we bit better then. (But still not ok.)

  21. Premium User Badge

    hmrf says:

    Now that’s stupid. I’ve preordered the Collectors Edition from amazon.co.uk, but live in Germany.
    I don’t want German versions of games. Looks like I’ll keep my UK order and just wait for a crack.

  22. SalsaShark says:

    Was going to pre-order it today but i guess not anymore since it looks to be around $25aud more expensive than the UK store i buy my games from.

  23. Rii says:

    Given that I’ve already ordered and paid for the game from a UK retailer I’m more than a little pissed off about this. In fact, I’m pissed off about the AAA industry in general and the sheer contempt it has for PC gamers in particular. A side-serving of bile is reserved not so much for Steam as for the community’s doe-like acceptance of its creeping tyranny. I hope the whole industry crashes and burns and that when it does I’m there to stomp on the pieces.

  24. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    What is “Boxed” ?

    • Premium User Badge

      Spork says:

      “Cheaper”.

    • Premium User Badge

      The Sombrero Kid says:

      The cheapest i can find it is a digital copy from shopto.net, can retail really beat £25?

    • Premium User Badge

      Spork says:

      I’ve pre-ordered the augmented edition from Amazon at £25 (OK forgot to factor in fast postage).
      It’s actually cheaper than the standard version (why?), and it’s now showing as unavailable on pc…
      Seriously Amazon, get it together.

    • Schadenfreude says:

      @Spork
      It’s because people are now cancelling their pre-orders, so copies are freeing up. These are obviously people who pre-ordered very early so got it at the cheap, cheap rate.

  25. Bennus says:

    The What A Shame Train derailed. :( Replaced by useful conversation. What have we come to?

  26. Ultra Superior says:

    100x What a shame! Their “editions” are the most fucked up marketing mess I’ve seen in a long while.

    Let me illustrate – I’ve been eager to pay approx £88 for the collector edition with the Kai figurine.
    I’ve preordered it in my local retail store.

    Then I got a message, that Square Enix cancelled the distribution for Collector Ed. for central europe (at least).

    So I’ve changed my preorder to the Augmented Edition for approx. £53

    Then I discovered, that the in-game bonuses I’m most interested in are only available in a “limited edition” which is £39 !!!!!!!

    So I changed my preorder again. To summarize it: I wanted to give them £88 and they forced me to give them £39. Well done marketing idiots. Well done.

    • skinlo says:

      Why are you complaining that you are paying less? I’d be happy!

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Well I’m not happy about the price either – it’s just that DX is for me ‘teh bestest’ game of all time and as such I wanted to treat myself to the best edition. Because of their irrational marketing schemes, I and my friends who are also DX enthusiasts, couldn’t.

  27. Silphatos says:

    Thanks to Eidos for reminding me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09vVF-Hvykg and making me watch it once again.

    What a shame.

  28. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    What a twist!

  29. skinlo says:

    Living in the UK, it doesn’t bother me at all, but I do feel sorry for the Europeans. Quickly, adopt the pound!

  30. Schadenfreude says:

    Another Irish person with a UK preorder. Just gonna have to sit tight and hope it works.

    If not:

    a.) Fuck them.

    b.) Double-fuck them.

    • sneetch says:

      I imagine the UK version must work in Ireland, I don’t remember ever seeing an Irish copy of a game ( as distinct from a UK version) and the game shops over here are GAME, Gamestop, HMV, Zavvi and so on nearly all UK chains… I doubt they have Irish specific distribution chains.

      Of course, I could be left rather sad face when my copy arrives if it becomes apparent that Square-Enix didn’t know that.

  31. Thany says:

    Ive had an old preorder from ASDA entertainment for augmented version for 31€ + shiping and now I will have to fork out 58€ at the local retailer. FUCK YOU Square Enix, FUCK YOU.

  32. CaspianRoach says:

    Retail game copies in Russia usually cost around 100-200 roubles, which is about 5 euros or 8 dollars or something but they’re hardlocked into russian version only. I’ve seen some sites that buy licensed russian copies, make an automatic english patcher for them using game files from english version and sell them for a bit lower than normal retail price in eu/us. That’s quite a profitable business and I think Squeenix is trying to fight it.

    • Unaco says:

      What? So why the fuck are we complaining that Euros have to pay above UK price? We should all be paying Russian price!

    • CMaster says:

      To be fair, average russian wages and cost of living are appreciably lower.

      However, Germany/France/Netherlands are similar to the UK , while in the same group, you have places likes Czech Republic and Lithuania – while far from starving, average disposable income in these places is far lower. So beyond the philosophical ridiculousness we already have, there’s not even a sensible justification for this.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @CaspianRoach
      Nope. It’s 600-1000 rubles (20-33 dollars) for modern games (excluding crazy collector’s editions).

      For example, retail game copy of Augmented Edition costs 999 rubles in Russia.
      http://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/7000540/

      While cheaper version of the game costs 599 rubles.
      http://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/7000514/

      And I’m talking about PC games. Unfortunately console games have european prices in Russia.

  33. skyturnedred says:

    Well that’s disappointing. Gonna have to stop eating for a few weeks to afford the game now.

  34. jakonovski says:

    Suddenly I don’t want this game so much anymore. What is it with douchebag publishers these days?

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Suddenly? You realise that ALL publishers have been shafting us this way through steam since… well, always. Retail copies cost ~35% less here in Denmark, including 25% VAT, than steam sold copies that include 15% VAT. That’s a nice profitmargin right there.
      It’s not suddenly. It’s been going on since they started charging in Euro.

    • Ovno says:

      Yes but there not normally region locked…

  35. Premium User Badge

    icedon says:

    Hey,

    Long time lurker and subscriber. I took the time to register for commenting. This is definitly an angry internet men post. Let the preorder/region-lock/Angry-Tank Posts roll!

    I just cancelled my preorder from Amazon UK. I always buy US/UK Versions of “boxed” games.
    Since I live in germany, buying adult games through steam is not an option because of “low-violence-versions”.
    That leaves me baffled. How am I supposed to get a legal, uncensored version? The “boxed” version which will be released in germany will surely be cut/censored/not featuring the full content.
    Do you have any advice?

    Best Regards
    Don

    • CaspianRoach says:

      >codes sold through other digital distributors will not be region locked

      Try something other than Steam.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Only boxed copies will be locked. Digital downloads will be region-free. As I understand it.

    • SaVi says:

      All digital Distributors either won’t sell to germany or sell the german version, not to speak of those not trustworthy, lacking paying options or actually having the game for sale. getting games to germany is in retail easier.
      Jupp, easier with oceans then with cables, the irony.

    • Dozer says:

      Is “legal, uncensored” an oxymoron?

    • Premium User Badge

      icedon says:

      Legal and uncensored = a paid for, non-german version, not crippled by any low-violence-implementation whatsoever

      I would really like to buy this game on Impulse: Sorry, region lock.
      I woul really like to buy this game on d2d: Sorry, region lock.

      So, am I forced to buy this game for €60,- in germany?

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Since this applies to you, too:

      1. Aquire friend in Netherlands or anywhere else that isn’t censored.
      2. Have him gift the game to you.
      3. Repay him via free SEPA wire.
      4. Many many uncensored profits.

      I know for sure that this would have also gotten you an uncensored L4D2 in Germany.

  36. vanilla bear says:

    It’s a complicated one from a competition law perspective – it’s clearly against the principle of free movement of goods within the Common Market, but it’s done in quite a subtle way – by actually doctoring the goods themselves. Amazon.co.uk are still free to sell the boxed copy to someone in France, but the goods will be worthless to the buyer

    Nevertheless I’m pretty sure it would be found illegal, and the punishments can be severe: fines of up to 10% of worldwide turnover on the offending parties. This would include Steam, I think.

    • CMaster says:

      It strikes me if the issue is cloudy legally, the best approach for us is to report it to the commission, and let them work out if there is a case or not.

    • vanilla bear says:

      The root of the problem is Steam, since if Steam didn’t support this “region-locking”, then it most likely wouldn’t be included on the retail copies.

      The agreements that publishers have with Steam are very likely to infringe European competition law, as they include price-fixing within different European areas.

      Sadly if Steam are forced to mend their ways, they’ll probably charge UK customers the same as other EU customers, rather than the other way round. Better to keep prices high in the EU and sacrifice your UK customers than the alternative.

    • Gundrea says:

      If amazon are selling software that does not work then it is still a violation of domestic retail law. The software is “not fit for purpose” and the retailer is obligated to offer either a replacement or full refund.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “The agreements that publishers have with Steam are very likely to infringe European competition law, as they include price-fixing within different European areas.”

      DVD’s have been breaking world trade laws for about 10 years now and NO-ONE has done anythign about it (region locking is against trade laws as it restricts trade)

      This is happening for lots of games , unfortantly until governments stop sucking c….. up to the entertainment industry and do there sodding job and stand up for the poeple they are meant to represent this will carry on happening, cause the money rules.

      Not sure its a square enix own thing here, think its a steam code issue with retail games.

      Also as i worked in retial I must say it is assumed that if you are buying a UK game you have a UK account, this woudl be accurate for 99% of consumors and would also confuse said 99% if you started asking em questions :/ This same thing happened with WOW Burning crusade (i know, had to refuse a refund because a guy got a UK version of the expansion but his account was US) , UK games would not register on US accounts, another exmaple of blizzard trend setting!

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      “World trade law” is only worth what a country is willing to go to the WTO over, I’m afraid. And nobody in power cares about the entertainment industry region locking product – in fact, politicians generally overwhelmingly support it because it “protects local jobs”.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I’d specifically mention the price differential in any letters you write. It’s normal (and right) for different shops to charge different prices for the same thing in different places around the EU. Fixing a price in one area at a higher level than another is interfering with the market.

  37. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    You’ll apparently be able to play the game in any language after activation through downloading a patch. Still a shame though.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      “The CD Key / Serial is sent as a scan of the original retail box. This proves your 100% ownership of the product in any case. The scan is sent by email as well as kept in your orders archive so you can return to it anytime in the future. “

    • Delusibeta says:

      In other words, most likely region-locked.

    • Cinerama says:

      What i found on the forums :

      ” Again to be clear, only the russian and UK (english) steam codes for box copies are region locked, and ALL languages are available to ALL users once activated (may require language pack download if language is not on the disc version purchased)”

      So the asian version, which we buyers from g2play will get, should be regionfree

  38. Unrein says:

    So that’s why they were selling the strangely named “Nordic Edition” in Finland.

    Oh, and fuck Square Enix.

  39. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    What a shame.

    Not that I’d be particularly fussed about activating on Steam or getting the fancy shmancey augmented edition anyway (I bought the bog standard edition for 25 quid and I assume non UK dwelling Europeans who are more concerned with price can happily do the same) but it’s the principle of the thing. If someone wants all those extraneous gubbins they should be able to get them without being forced to pay an extra 5 quid or so.

  40. Nova says:

    Right… globalization is good for everyone, eh?
    Just canceled my UK preorder. I would have paid 25,66€. If I preorder it from the local Amazon -> 45,90€.
    Well anyway, thanks Lewie.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Umm…this is basically the opposite of globalisation.

    • Prime says:

      @Drewski – read the comment again with your irony/sarcasm sensors on this time. You should see his meaning.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Oh, I get his meaning fine. He’s just being silly. Globalisation, in this context, *would* be good for everyone – it’s the raising of artificial trade barriers that is causing this.

  41. kearneybobs says:

    As another person from Ireland who regularly buys games from the UK, I an rightly pissed off about this. Surely they could have told us earlier about this. No?

  42. mana says:

    Double f*ck off to SE for pulling more dickish moves. As a Brit living abroad, but who buys games from UK stores and gets friends to send keys, I am so sick of all the region locking, time delayed releases per region etc. Even if I buy a UK game and activate it on my UK steam account, often Steam will lock it until the localised version is out. WHY?! Angry internet man rage! Wish Steam would just abolish it’s whole region locking system.

    Anyway, I cancelled my preorder out of principle, and may only think about picking it up in the future when it is 10quid. A big feck you to all publisher that carry on this idiotic practise. Can’t we get some traction on this “no oceans” campaign?

  43. Stevostin says:

    Square Enix is playing by the rules they are given. It’s never a crime to play by the rule at your best interest and it neither make sense nor bring anything to blame anyone to do so IMHO. It is a crime, thus, to prevent the rules to be changed for the greater goods – and it’s unhealthy for any citizen not to pay attention to the constant evolutions of rules.

    So in that case the question is whether UK policy of letting a UK production unit become an “another country that is cheaper” production unit sell at the same taxe rates on UK soil before and after is something that shall be accepted or refused by UK citizens. (of course, it extends outside of UK and Eidos). But if you’re all in the “no rule no state” line, you have what you asked here.

  44. Schadenfreude says:

    They seem to have bundled Russia & Poland into the same region looking at that thread so they’ve turned the single EU Region into:

    UK
    Poland+Russia
    All of the EU except UK & Poland.

    Which seems to be illegal. Apple tried something similar and got put back in their place pretty sharpish. I suppose I’ll have to either VPN the activation or crack it but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You know they’re gonna do the same thing to Batman: Arkham City :/

  45. FieldOfTheBattle says:

    Why is UK version locked? I’m not gona support this kind of bullshit with my money, preorder canceled. Good job Square you make the experience for paying customers as miserable as possible and then you whine about piracy. And fuck Steam for allowing this shit, this is not how digital distribution should be, I hope people pirate it to hell and back I know I will.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      … and thus be contributing to what was the problem of stupid DRM “protections” in the first place. Why don’t you just send an email to SE or post on their forums and tell them directly about the issue? You can always pick up the game at a cheaper price later on or get it gifted to you, if need be.

      Pirating out of protest doesn’t help anybody.

  46. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    I live in Poland and I preordered a steam key from some shady guy on local ebay equivalent, and now I don’t even know if I’m fucked!

  47. razzafazza says:

    what a shame.

    keeping my augmented edition pre-order though. when i pre-ordered in april there wasnt any info on region lock and since i never read rockpapershotgun or other sites where this info might have been broadcasted i wouldnt know about the whole region lock thing , demand a working code or a full return of my money or raise them hell.

    hoping the whole legal mumbo jumbo also turns the whole thing against square enix, not only so i can enjoy the game (if not, f… it, there are more good games comming out and my time is limited anyhow, see you at bargain bin then Deus Ex… ) but also to put off different publishers from trying this crap in the future

  48. BreadBitten says:

    Okay so I live in the far off country of ‘Bangladesh’, which version of the game Am I supposed to be playing?

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Deshi manush! :D

      Never thought I would see one ‘ere!

    • BreadBitten says:

      Yeah pretty unlikely, I know.

      I’d still like to know which edition of the game we are supposed to get since this is the last multiplatform title I would even think of buying for my console…

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      From what I gather, it’s only the three European versions which are region locked. Avoid them and you should be fine.

    • BreadBitten says:

      Drats, I was actually about have it ordered from the UK…

  49. kikito says:

    The pirated version, on the other hand, will be region-free.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oozo says:

      I know, we should not have to discuss this each and every time, but still:

      Does the pirated version come with the box, or the all the trinkety extra mumbo jumbo that comes with one of the collector’s edition? If this is not what you are after, you are not really affected by this dickish move.

      Edit: Oh, hadn’t seen Pinor’s post below that explains that yes, thanks to this move, you are indeed deprived of some of the game’s content, even if you buy it digitally. I still don’t think that this is a free pass to piracy (I mean, if you really wanted to pay for the game, go and do so, and download the missing level somewhere illegally, not the whole game). But it certainly adds to the stupidness of it all.

      What a bloody shame.

    • povu says:

      Solution: Don’t cancel your useless region locked box with all the physical extras, and pirate the game? :P