Thursday, July 06, 2017

Riot Responds to "Brexit" with Digital Price Increase

Yes; politics can affect your video games. Whether it's censorship or outright bans, citizens of any nation are subject to the whims of their government. So when the "Brexit" was confirmed last year with a majority of votes in favor for it, a number of gaming companies were on edge. How would this affect tax incentives? Would companies need to move to avoid new fees and taxes? Will there be a price increase on games made in the UK, or anything that is exported/imported?

After a year of waiting, Riot Games is making a move that will not please any UK League of Legends players. With the announcement of the "Brexit," the value of the pound (the UK currency) dropped. It hasn't fully recovered since then. Riot recently decided to adjust their digital pricing system to accommodate:

"Last June, the UK voted to leave the European Union, triggering a drop in the value of the pound relative to other global currencies, particularly the US dollar. This change meant that while UK players were spending the same number of pounds on RP as before, players elsewhere in the world were paying a lot more in comparison."

Essentially, for the past year if you lived in the UK, you were getting the same items as someone else, anywhere in the year, for a better value. Riot wants to adjust this to ensure that payments are equal across the board. UK residents, you'll have to pay more. Riot is also dropping the £2.50 option for RP and adding a £15 version to better fit the exchange rate. They've made it clear that if users purchased any RP prior to this announcement, or before the change takes place July 25th at 23:59 BST, gamers won't be expected to pay extra for past purchases. This only applies to new purchases after the 25th.

What happens if the pound recovers or if other currencies fall in the upcoming months? Riot will monitor and make decisions if/when it happens. It's difficult to predict the markets. Being too eager can easily bite them in the butt. Just as waiting too long could come off as dismissive to their consumers concerns. This is just the start of the fallout for other gaming devs.

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