Paradox Receives Backlash on Price Hikes
A recent move by Paradox Interactive to raise prices on their games has been met with backlash and criticism from users. These price adjustments have been made in select regions, with 26 countries including Russia, China, and UK having been affected by the new market price changes.
Paradox discusses the reasons behind the increased price adjustments below...
"This is something we've intentionally done. The reason for this is to make our prices match the purchasing power of those areas, as well as create a more equal price point for our products across the globe.
Our prices have remained pretty much the same for several years and it's only natural for us to re-evaluate price points at regular intervals based on the strength of various currencies, fluctuations in world markets and many other factors. This is something that all publishers do and we are no exception."
Consumers were understandably not happy with the higher price points, and took to Steam to boycott and downvote Paradox's titles. CEO Fredrik Wester later issued an apology for the "poor timing and poor communication" over the pricing situation, but maintained that the new prices had been "planned for some time" and that Paradox will be standing by their new decision.
While Wester initially doubled-down on the company's new price adjustments, Paradox has since decided to completely rollback the price changes. Wester stressed in his announcement that the new decision to reverse the price changes was based on a change of heart after discussing with "people who have been active in our community for 10+ years", and not pressures resulting from "mob mentality".
"You deserve more transparency and better communication from Paradox when it comes to changing of our prices and pricing policy. Therefore I have decided to roll back all price changes made; any price changes will have to be for future products well communicated in advance."
Refunds have been planned for those who purchased a Paradox game while the price hike was in place. However due to the ongoing Summer Steam Sale, the refund process may face some technical issues. In the case that not all users can be refunded, Wester has promised to donate the difference in funds to charity.
"If none of this is possible (I do not in detail know the limits to the Steam platform) we will internally calculate the difference in revenue before and after the price change, double the value, and donate the money to the UNHCR."
Paradox has had some missteps and the situation has been a learning experience for them, hopefully they have weathered it for the better and have earned back the trust of their userbase. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how Paradox and other companies will be handling issues relating to the quagmire of regional pricing.