Microsoft Jacks Up Some Activision Game Prices As Much As 2402% On Steam

xbox plus activision games
Well, the Microsoft purchase of Activision-Blizzard-King has finally closed, and we're now observing what may well be the the first knock-on effect of the acquisition. Anyone who didn't expect major ripple effects from the purchase hasn't been paying attention to the actions of Microsoft's previous acquisitions, like Bethesda Game Studios.

In this case, what's happened is that on October 16th (Monday), many games on Steam had their prices increased considerably in regions around the world. Most US, Canada, and UK prices were unaffected, but almost everywhere else saw price jumps ranging from 6% all the way up to 2402%. In case you're really bad at basic arithmetic, that's a 24x increase in the price.

codblops3 prices argentina
Even a 50% off sale becomes a blip compared to a 24x price increase.

The hardest-hit areas by the price changes seem to be Argentina and Turkey, although countries seeing price increases include many other places, like Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, and Ukraine. This list is by no means comprehensive, as the price changes do seem to vary a lot by game and region, but Argentina and Turkey are consistently among the most-affected.

Some of the most egregious price increases include older games in the Call of Duty series, as well as classic PC titles from ten or twenty years ago. Black Ops II and III increased in price by a factor of 24x, from 999 ARS all the way up to 24,000 Argentinian Pesos. Incredibly, that makes these games even more expensive in Argentina ($68.57 USD) than they are currently in the US ($59.99) despite that the median yearly income in .AR is less than one-seventh that of the United States.

sekiro turkish price
Activision published Sekiro outside Japan; the price jumped 5.5x in Turkey.

Other notable titles seeing huge price increases include the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the Crash Bandicoot series, the two Prototype games, Geometry Wars, the King's Quest Collection, overlooked shooter TimeShift, and the Zeus + Poseidon bundle that includes classic city builders Master of Olympus and Master of Atlantis. Those games originally released in the year 2000 and are just $10 in the US, but now cost $11.43 to buy them in Argentina.

These price increases aren't strictly limited to Activision games, actually. Microsoft's own Halo: The Master Chief Collection has also seen huge price jumps in many territories, like the Philippines where it went from ₱898 to ₱2190, a 2.4x increase. Of course, the price went up by 4x in Argentina.

zeus master of olympus
This classic game from 2000 went up from 173 ARS to 4,000 overnight.

Historically, the cheap game prices in poor regions have been a boon for key resellers who will buy games in places like Ukraine and Indonesia and then re-sell the keys for a tidy profit to American and European gamers looking for a discount on their local pricing. Valve attempted to crack down on this somewhat last year, and regional pricing for many other games has already increased, but not nearly to this degree.

We've reached out to Microsoft for comment on these price changes and will update this post if we hear back. We hope the mega-publisher reconsiders, though. These high prices are not tenable for the majority of these markets, and they're only going to lead to increased piracy in these regions.