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Horizon Zero Dawn’s PC release version gets a price hike globally, due to people misusing VPNs

Guerilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn releases on the PC next month, bringing Sony’s PlayStation 4 title to gamers on this platform. The game is available to pre-order on Steam, and some gamers have just now noticed that the game’s pricing has changed in a lot of regions, and countries.

This has caused much unrest for some of the gamers around the world. Since making its way on to digital distribution platforms Steam and Epic Games Store for pre-orders, Horizon Zero Dawn has gotten a price hike on both storefronts.

The price hike is due to a result of people abusing VPNs and attempting to purchase the game from different regions. A significant amount of people have taken to ResetEra and Reddit as a means of communicating this issue.

When Sony announced Horizon’s 7th August release date for the PC, the game was listed on the Epic Games Store for £39.99, if we take UK’s pricing as an example. Now, the new Steam price is in-line with Epic Games Store, a price increase that’s roughly equivalent to UK’s 20% VAT costs.

VPN use is against Valve’s terms and conditions for Steam, and can result in a ban, so this could explain the price hike in most of the regions. According to PCGamer, ‘using a VPN to get a game for a lower price is against Steam’s terms of service, though people still take the chance. With some games, Valve and the publisher use geoblocking to stop the codes from working in other regions, though the European Commission considers that a breach of the EU’s antitrust rules. Valve is currently contesting this’.

“I know there’s a thread about HZD coming to Steam, but this is more about regional pricing and how people from rich countries can screw over poor countries by taking advantages of it,” wrote one poster on ResetEra. So, when Steam open[ed] up preorders on HZD, the price of the game in Argentina was 539 pesos (about 7 dollars). Overnight, that price went up 2100 pesos. This is because of the amount of people buying the game using a VPN to get [the] game cheap.

“In the end, I just wanted to vent a little and bring awareness that if you’re in a first world country and abuse regional pricing to get games cheap you’re actively hunting people that most likely have a lot less income than you,” the post concludes.

Here are some of the big price differences, courtesy of Redditor voidox:

  • Argentine Peso 539.99 -> 2100 – 389%
  • Turkish Lira 77 -> 275 – 357%
  • Russian Ruble 930 -> 2800 – 301%
  • South African Rand 269 -> 680 – 253%
  • Colombian Peso 68500 -> 146000 – 213%
  • Brazilian Real 93.99 -> 200 – 213%
  • Chinese Yuan Renminbi 138 -> 193 – 140%
  • South Asia – U.S. Dollar 15.99 -> 19.99 – 125%
  • Ukrainian Hryvnia 579 -> 709 – 122%
  • British Pound 32.99 -> 39.99- 121%
  • CIS – U.S. Dollar 22.99 -> 25.99 – 113%
  • Australian Dollar 69.95 -> 74.99 – 107%
  • Canadian Dollar 56.99 -> 59.99 – 105%

Argentina seems to be hit the hardest with the price hike, with a price increase from 539.99 Argentine Pesos up to 2,100 Argentine Pesos. Turkey is not far behind, having been hit with a 357% increase, while Russia has the third-most drastic inflation at 301%.

Interestingly enough, as a result of this, the game can now be cheaper on EGS than Steam despite EGS prices being a bit higher than Steam’s when the game was listed on the stores, concludes one poster. This is because EGS has not seen any price increase.