Responding to a post in the Rock Band forums, Harmonix development manager Greg LoPiccolo has said that the European version of the rhythm action game would “not magically get cheaper because you wish it to be so.”
“We are strongly motivated to keep the price as low as possible,” he said. “That said, we don’t propose to lose money on it. The fact of the matter is, the costs of releasing in Europe are far higher than in the US, in some ways uniquely so for Rock Band compared to other game titles, because of the size of the peripherals.”
LoPiccolo refused to reveal details of the European pricing structure as that “would get me fired”. However, he did reveal that shipping the rather large Rock Band box from the States to Europe was one of the presiding factors.
“Seriously, I was shocked to learn how much it costs us to ship an RB peripherals box to Europe. It’s way more than you’d expect.”
LoPiccolo continued, going to great lengths to assure the community that Harmonix wasn’t out to exploit.
“We’re not gouging you, primarily because doing so doesn’t serve our interests,” he said. “We can only build our franchise if you buy our games. You may conclude that Rock Band isn’t worth the price charged, and that is your prerogative. But it’s not magically going to get cheaper because you wish it to be so.
“We’ve sold a ton of these in the US at a far higher price point than people are used to paying for a videogame, because it really is a new and different experience.”
In case you hadn’t heard, people had a minor aneurysm a few days ago when EA confirmed that the European version of Rock Band would cost £180/224EU in its entirety.
However, Greg LoPiccolo reassures us all by saying, “Once you get a crack at it, you’ll know whether or not it’s worth the money. We think you might decide that it is.”
By Mike Bowden