(This is the first one of a series. I'd like to show you how... different gaming in germany is and what we have to face)
It seems to me that Germany has always been treated "special" when it comes to video games. And i don't mean the "you're my valentine, here are some roses"-special, more like in the "they look like the guy from goonies, i think we can rip them off pretty easy!"-way.
"Haha! Ze stupid americans hav to pey 56.99, but we get it vor 54,99!"
And one major difference between America and the land of Beer
(which isn't really that popular as one might think) is the price of games. As a little example i'd like to show you how much you have to pay for some of the newest games here and there:
(prices taken from Amazon.com / Amazon.de)
Dragon Age Origins Xbox360
Germany: $81.20 (EUR 54,99)
DJ Hero Bundle with Turntable Xbox360
Germany: $162.39 (EUR 109,95)
Assassins Creed II Xbox360
Germany: $77,46 (EUR 52,45)
And it's not just the Xbox360 Games, all the other consoles and PC games have the same price differences. Okay, so you have to translate the games into german, switch to european standards and even change the whole game to remove all the offensive stuff (more on that in part II), so the gamers can get "the full experience", just with more or less crappy translations, less blood and most of the time no chance to play the games in english. I can see why that leads to a higher price.
But one question remains: who said that we want that?
Believe me, every video game that isn't a AAA title sounds like a unwillingly funny B-movie if you play the german version. The dialogue is cheesy and the voice acting boring - if you're lucky.
"Mommy, why does Shepard talk like a gay Nick Carter? Make it stooop!"
But there is no cheap alternative for german console gamers, if they don't want to mod or crack their expensive hardware (and therefore loose their warranty). Or is there?
Ever wonder why Valve spent most of their marketing dollars for the UK
Let me answer that with a quick calculation:
Left 4 Dead 2 PC
German Version (less blood, less violence): Amazon.de -> $65 (EUR 43,95)
UK Version (uncut incl. shipping!): Amazon.co.uk -> $46.70 (£28.48)
So you see, any german gamer who can understand enough english for a video game would be downright stupid to buy the german version - except he is willing to pay for seeing less violence and (most of the time) experiencing less atmosphere.