Increasing prices was a Paradox
Paradox Interactive may not be the most well known publisher around, but they have a pretty dedicated cult following of fans in the states. Their real prominence rests overseas, where they are providing games within a niche that more appeals to gamers in Europe. About a month back, the company announced it would be increasing the prices overseas on all of their games in an effort to “match the purchasing power of those areas.” This did not sit well with fans.
The main defense from Paradox was that, “Our prices have remained pretty much the same for several years,” which sounds a bit odd. Shouldn’t a product getting older face natural depreciation value over time? Regardless of whatever the real reason was (probably that everyone loves money), the company has now backpedaled entirely on that decision.
The boss of the company, Fredrik Wester, issued a statement on their official forums to apologize for the rash choice. He also stands committed to refunding anyone who purchased the games at a higher price point, is promising to get prices rolled back once the Steam summer sale ends (something about Steam’s policies prevents them from changing prices during a sale) and will communicate any future decisions “well in advance” of when they go live.
The man even refers to himself as a “pig-headed CEO” before claiming, “All problems/feedback can easily be sent my way, I will not always agree but I promise to listen.” He’s nothing if dedicated, that’s for sure.
As for how the aforementioned refunds will work, Wester states, “For anyone who bought any of the games during this time (including during the summer sale) we will try to refund (if possible in the Steam platform) or reimburse with games of a value exceeding the difference. If none of this is possible (I do not in detail know the limits to the Steam platform) we will internally calculate the difference in revenue before and after the price change, double the value, and donate the money to the UNHCR [the UN’s refugee programme].”
I don’t think anyone can be mad at that. This could have all been avoided in the first place, but at least the result isn’t a slap in the face to long time fans. It may also directly help a lot of people in need, so that is just plain great.