Good job screwing over former Soviet Union, 2K!

#1 Edited by dudeglove (8273 posts) -

Update:

http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread.php?135486-Russian-Lockdown&p=1855406#post1855406

Hi, guys. As promised, here's an update on the situation:

2K Games and 1C Company have updated the PC versions of Borderlands 2 that are purchased from both retail locations and via digital distribution in Russia, the Baltic states, and CIS territories. Consumers in these countries will now receive a bundle that contains both the 1C Russian language version of Borderlands 2, as well as the 2K Games worldwide (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese) version of the game. This gives consumers in these countries the widest range of options to both choose their preferred language and play with their friends across the world.

Though the 1C and 2K versions do not support cross-version play, consumers can install both versions and have the option to play each. Additionally, Borderlands 2 Season Pass and DLC content purchased in these territories will contain this bundled format content. We thank customers for their feedback as we continue to work to provide the best products we can offer worldwide.

TL;DR - 2K and 1C are now giving us both versions (Russian & Worldwide), but cross version support between these two still gets it in the ass, so choose your poison.

Via the most excellent Rock Paper Shotgun

=====

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/19/russian-borderlands-2-region-locked-affects-cis/

Something seems to have gone terribly amiss with the Russian version of Borderlands 2. For reasons that are so far unknown, 2K have released a version of game that’s Russian language only, and only playable with others with the same version. And they’ve released it to, er, the former USSR.

People living in, say, Estonia, aren’t too impressed just now. Not just because declaring them still part of Russia does somewhat ignore a couple of moments in history, but because only 10% of the country speaks Russian. The same is true for the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Baltic states, who are more than a little unimpressed at the peculiarity. Then of course there’s people who actually are in Russia, locked down to not being able to play with friends from the rest of the world. The game, distributed through Steam, doesn’t seem to want to play nicely with others.

Even more peculiar, the game is apparently much cheaper to buy if you’re in Russia, while players in Lithuania and Estonia are having to pay the full price, while still getting a version of the game designed for a country they don’t live in. CIS/Baltic/Russian readers are informing us that this was not made known when people were pre-ordering the game, meaning they’ve been surprised by an extremely locked down version of the game, often in a language they don’t speak. We’re also hearing rumours that pre-purchased season passes are now incompatible with the RU release.

A hefty Reddit thread, and a lively discussion on the Gearbox forums, have finally garnered the attention of 2K themselves. They have said on their own forum,

“2K Games and 1C are aware that digital distribution pages for the Russian, CIS and Baltic States versions of Borderlands 2 contained incorrect information regarding the language and cross territory compatibility support. We apologize that this information was incorrect during the pre-sale and pre-order period for these territories. We are working with our partners to update those pages, and offer any customers who pre-ordered or pre-purchased the game the opportunity to cancel their order and receive a refund.

Additionally, we are working with our product development teams to investigate potential support for additional languages and options for our customers in these territories. While this was and is not possible for launch, we will provide an update this week on our progress.”

Which raises a few issues. Firstly, while people are certainly annoyed that the pre-order information was somewhat lacking, that’s perhaps not the issue they were hoping to see corrected. Also, it seems a little peculiar that it was not possible to include other languages, since they were obviously all in place for non-Russian versions of the game. But most of all, it doesn’t address the rather larger question: why? Why lock down a region in the first place? And why are former Soviet nations being included in this? The statement doesn’t suggest that this issue is being taken into account at all.

Another reader informs us they received a reply from 2K’s support explaining that this is an issue that affects those with a Russian IP. If that is such an inexact method, it doesn’t seem appropriate to be using it at all.

We’ve contacted 2K to try to find some answers to what’s going on. Meanwhile, if you’re affected,the Reddit thread begins with a method you can use to access the UK version of the game.

====

TL;DR, people in Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the CIS (Ukraine, the 'stans, etc.), and Russia (the biggest fucking country in the world) cannot play with bros beyond their borders because Fuck You That's Why. Topping things off, we're ALL getting the Russian language only version, and that means I can only play with assholes in my immediate vicinity. The Baltic States aren't best pleased, because most of them don't even speak Russian (nor do they want to for historical reasons too numerous to detail here).

So thanks, Gabe, for letting this shit past muster. After all that boasting about the Eastern European market, you go and let 2K pull a dick move, perpetuating and supporting the opinion of those companies that whine about Eastern European piracy and won't bother to localize and release the game for months because of said piracy, and then everyone acts surprised that they've just gone and pirated the game already by the time you do.

Or maybe they'll all sort things out and things will be rosy. Whatcha think, Vlad?

Rockin'. Anyway, you may now commence Soviet puns.

#2 Posted by Ben_H (3429 posts) -

They need to quit Stalin and get a different version there. 
 
Sorry, I just came here to make a crappy pun. Hey, you asked for them.

#3 Posted by takayamasama (440 posts) -

People in Russia are allowed to play games? Huh, you learn something every day.

#4 Posted by dudeglove (8273 posts) -

@Ben_H: Updated the first post; they're now giving out the worldwide version to 'Russia' customers.

@takayamasama:

Rage message after an SSFIV match.

#5 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1602 posts) -

@takayamasama said:

People in Russia are allowed to play games? Huh, you learn something every day.

#6 Posted by JoeyRavn (4983 posts) -

I don't want to sound like the devil's advocate, but I think I understand why 2K and many other publishers do this: online stores. Russia and Eastern Europe are some of those places where games are extremely cheap compared to prices all around the world. Anauthorized online resellers buy these games in bulk and sell the CD-Keys online. Of course, publishers don't see as big a cut from the sale as they would if you bought the game on Steam or another authorized store.

Limiting Russian CD-Keys activation to Russian IPs, putting only Russian in the Russian version of the game and blocking Russian games from playing with the rest of the world are all common methods used by publishers to detract people from buying cheap Russian CD-Keys instead of the version distributed in their region.

I know it's fucked up and, in the end, Russian gamers have to pay for sins of others... but this is the only explanation I can come up with.

#7 Posted by ShaggE (6699 posts) -

In Soviet Russia, the thing you said, but reversed for comedic value.

#8 Posted by august (3866 posts) -

@Ben_H said:

They need to quit Stalin and get a different version there. Sorry, I just came here to make a crappy pun. Hey, you asked for them.

I'm sure they're Russian to fix it.

#9 Posted by dudeglove (8273 posts) -

@JoeyRavn: True, but even if it were just big bad bogeyman Russia ripping off the publishers, that doesn't excuse the fact that they've decided to lump in about a dozen other countries (including Turkey allegedly) whose first language isn't even Russian. No surprises that such behavior is then perceived as veiled nationalism.

#10 Posted by konig_kei (668 posts) -
#11 Posted by EvilKatarn (465 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

Russia and Eastern Europe are some of those places where games are extremely cheap compared to prices all around the world.

The games that are sold here in Estonia are the very same retail boxes that you get everywhere else, just a lot more expensive (50-69€).

You can sometimes see the odd jewel case of the russian version of Max Payne 3, Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3, but those are rather rare. Now I won't go and say I haven't bought some of those. Asking like 60€ for the PC version of Battlefield 3 is fucking nuts considering the average wage and other things. Still, the vast majority of my games are imported from the UK and bought from Steam.

Instead of selling us off to the Russians, the publishers should regulate the prices of games sold here by themselves. At the moment the retailers add so much on top of the actual price of the game that it's ridiculous.

#12 Posted by Butano (1788 posts) -

@august said:

@Ben_H said:

They need to quit Stalin and get a different version there. Sorry, I just came here to make a crappy pun. Hey, you asked for them.

I'm sure they're Russian to fix it.

They're Putin their patience to the test!

#13 Posted by JoeyRavn (4983 posts) -

@dudeglove said:

@JoeyRavn: True, but even if it were just big bad bogeyman Russia ripping off the publishers, that doesn't excuse the fact that they've decided to lump in about a dozen other countries (including Turkey allegedly) whose first language isn't even Russian. No surprises that such behavior is then perceived as veiled nationalism.

No, that's not what I said. The ones at fault here are unauthorized online shops that take advantage of Russia's cheaper prices, not Russia itself and Russian gamers. If I'm not mistaken, games in Russia are cheaper than in the rest of the world to combat piracy, right? At least, I think that was the case with Steam games.

But then again, I'm not justifying 2K's approach. Just giving a possible explanation to why they decided to proceed this way.

@EvilKatarn said:

@JoeyRavn said:

Russia and Eastern Europe are some of those places where games are extremely cheap compared to prices all around the world.

The games that are sold here in Estonia are the very same retail boxes that you get everywhere else, just a lot more expensive (50-69€).

You can sometimes see the odd jewel case of the russian version of Max Payne 3, Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3, but those are rather rare. Now I won't go and say I haven't bought some of those. Asking like 60€ for the PC version of Battlefield 3 is fucking nuts considering the average wage and other things. Still, the vast majority of my games are imported from the UK and bought from Steam.

Instead of selling us off to the Russians, the publishers should regulate the prices of games sold here by themselves. At the moment the retailers add so much on top of the actual price of the game that it's ridiculous.

Well, of course, Eastern Europe is a big region, so not everything will apply to every single country. Maybe Estonia is not affected by the reduced price applied to Russia. I'll take your word for it. And an average €60 for a PC game is not unheard of, nor that much higher than in the rest of Europe. The average price for Battlefield 3 PC in Spain is between €50-55, depending on where you buy it.

I won't deny that the distribution and pricing model of video games across Europe is completely fucked up, though.

#14 Posted by dudeglove (8273 posts) -

@JoeyRavn: There might be some pricing issues regarding Estonia vs. Russia, because the former is technically in the Eurozone and subject to different trade laws that I have absolutely no knowledge of. And yes, it's true that Steam games sold in rubles (was dollars until about a year ago) are mostly cheaper across the board (half price almost). Certainly cheaper than regular-ass retail in Russia too.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.