Friday, April 20, 2012

Why are there Pricing Differences for Wizard101 in Other Countries?

I received a nice email the other day from Diana Lotus, and I thought I'd share it here:

Hello Friendly Necromancer!

My name's Ewa and I'm 42. I'm from Poland. I play Wizard101 with my children on U.S.A server for 3 years. We love that game! Since December 2011 there is a polish Wizard (Gameforge), so i thought that we will play that one. I write to you, because i wanted to show you the prizes. People sometimes write, that things for crowns on US server are too expensive, but these are just shocking! (I'm attaching some screens).

I had to stay on american Wizard, cause we can't play when everything costs so much (for example 6000 crowns costs 10 euro). I don't get why the game makers get less money than someone who's just translating. Maybe KI can do something with that, or you know something about it? We're looking forward to hear from you.
Greets, Ewa (Diana Lotus).

P.S. I hope you will understand my English, sorry for the mistakes :)

Thanks for the note, Diana! I really have limited experience in this area. I know that a lot of bloggers are very interested in the UK version of Wizard101, but I tend to turn a blind eye to the other versions of Wizard101 because I just don't have time for it. However, I found your question and screenshots compelling, so thank you for reaching out to me! Don't worry about your English. I understood what you were saying. :)

I asked my contacts at KingsIsle this question and received two different responses. They both were very to the point.

The first response was, "GameForge is responsible for determining pricing."

The second response was, "Jeśli jesteś graczem z Polski, możesz się również zwrócić do naszego partnera Gameforge: Odpowiedzialny jest on za europejskie serwery w różnych wersjach językowych Wizard101, między innymi również za polską wersję." Which, when run through a translator at basically says . . . GameForge is responsible for determining pricing . . .

Let's see if we can do some math here.

Um, currently the exchange rate between Euro and US dollars is €1 = $1.32.

So (roughly) €10 = $13.20, which nets you 6,000 Korony (That's Polish for Crowns).

A $10 USA pre-paid card can be redeemed for 1 month of Prepaid time or 5,000 Crowns (and a pet).

$1 = 500 crowns on the USA servers.
$1 = 455 Korony on the Polish servers.

So right off the bat we have a difference in exchange rates. Next, just going off the pictures that Diana sent me:

Polish Dragon's Hoard Pack is 750 Korony vs. 399 Crowns.
Polish Wyvern's Hoard Pack is 990 Korony vs. 399 Crowns.

So, wow, yeah, those are quite a markup aren't they? Interesting. I'm really not sure I would be able to get any details on the Gameforge/KingsIsle contract of agreement for porting Wizard101 over to these different localizations, but obviously both companies are taking their cut of the profits.

I think it's important to note that when it comes to Hoard packs, we are truly talking vanity items. There isn't anything in those packs that you absolutely NEED to have a good time playing Wizard101. I think it does kind of say that a Wyvern or a Bone Dragon mount on the Polish server is a rarer and more valuable sight though! If that means anything. /shrug

If it was me and the English text and voice-overs weren't too cumbersome, I'd be playing the US version as well. I think you've made a good choice. On the other hand, perhaps these alternate foreign versions of Wizard101 would make great learning tools for parents who wanted to teach their children a second language or perhaps reconnect their children to their original heritage? I love when people use games to enhance learning. I think it's a very smart way to approach teaching. GAMIFY as they say. :)

For me personally the awesome thing about this whole correspondence was that I went ahead and downloaded the Polish version of Wizard101! :) Check out my WWW named Śmierci wizard (Necromancer):

I have no idea what that means . . . I just liked the WWW vibe going on there. I also dug how I got to start out with a free 7-day mount! WOOT!

WOOT! Dark Pixies are HOT!

Fortunately the voice-overs are all still in English, so I could understand what was going on, and I've played the game enough that I could play it blindfolded and still know what's going on as well, but the same magic was there. At least there's that!


Thanks for the email, Diana! I don't know if anything will come of it, but at least I'm more informed of our wizards over in Poland. :)

Happy dueling!


Sierra Starsong said...

This gives me a "spell of the week" sort of idea - ask readers to send in screen shots of a specific interface, like the Bazaar or the random name chooser or the Arena, or of NPCs like Professor Ambrose or Zeke & Eloise with overhead names turned on, in different languages so we can see how they look.

Diana Wildheart said...

It is same cost as UK as Dragon pack 750 crowns and 990 crowns for wyvern pack. They can use stuff to be sell as alone. Not just pack but they do sell mounts, pets, house items, and other stuff out of that packs. Your choice to buy items or pack..... Good Luck!

Agente Fuego said...

Hi there!That is interesting! I know other interesting difference at pricing.

Well, I am a mexican, but since I like things better in their original lenguage, I started to enter in the Wizard101 USA version.

Later, I learned that you have to paid for the areas, and since I can't get dollars, I stopped there.

But then, I tried the Wizard101 Spanish version and i had a very interesting surprise!

In this version,from Wizard City to Dragonspyre the worlds are free! The only areas that have a prize are the side worlds,Celestia and some special areas like Crab Alley (There is no Zafaria, and of course, not Avalon yet, but probably those'll have a prize too)

5 free worlds! thanks to that (and the option to pay with mexican pesos) I can enter now.

-Agente Fuego / Alexander Fuego Audaz / Alexander Fire Blade

Mason Swiftblade said...

This is a compelling post. Very interesting!

Like I've put in my other posts, GameForge has an interesting way of managing the crowns shop and how much prices are and what is available.

Now, usually most items are on depending on the event. At the moment, we are having a Myth school celebration so it's all myth items on shop!

GameForge usually adds something new on shop for quite alot, then lots people buy it. Then when people stop buying, they lower price to drag people back in, then when the sales are down again, they take that item off the shop till it's high demand (which it usually will be again) so they put it back on for a high price!

Very good marketing strategy and it does work for them! Interesting marketing strategy which really interests me and I like it!

Diana Lotus said...

Hi! Thank you for so fast response!
I thought that you probably can't do anything with that, but I wanted to let you know how is that in Europe. We have the first worlds for free too, but maybe they shouldn't be, so then the prizes of other stuff would be lower? We all know that the children like the items from packs, and to get anything good you have to buy a lot. It's true that you can buy things from packs "without packs", but for example bone dragon was for 25000 crowns!

My children started playing W101 to learn English, so yes, that's a great idea to play on other ones.

Well, you chose a really hard name on polish Wizard! I'll be looking for you, my name's Aria Promień there. :)


P.S. word "KUP" that you can see on screen means "BUY" :-)

Stingite said...

@Diana: You're Welcome! We'll see. Thanks for letting me know about Kup. I edited the post and put Korony wherever I had said Kup. LOL. Thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

How did you download the polish version? I want to find out how to download the french version :)

Diana Lotus said...

Hi :);jsessionid=4d62e906b722688c745d5971c569

Anonymous said...

ficHi friendly! I'm from POLAND as well ive been in england for 5 years! Your character WYSZEMIR WLOCZNIAWLIKOLAK means WILBERT SPEARWOLF (wilkolak means werewolf,wlocznia means spear)
yes i downloaded the UK version and it's better :)