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Written in context of : http://www.gameffine.com/blizzard-comes-to-india-thanks-to-e-xpress-interactive/

Are you one of the tons of people interested to buy Blizzard games, but don’t have credit facilities to do it? Are you one of the people who can’t afford the high exchange rates and the exhorbitant amount of gateway fees charged after each transaction on the Battle.net client? Are you a collector of physical editions of games, and feel that having a physical copy is better than having a virtual copy? There is good news if you belong to either of those categories, and if not, its good news for you anyways. Blizzard Entertainment has decided to pair up with E-xpress Interactive, for the distribution of physical copies of Blizzard games all over India.

Till now, most people used to import physical copies of games from foreign retailers, or to simply use a credit card online to buy a game in a jiffy, without any hassle. The currency problem was still an issue, as regional pricing was never introduced by Blizzard Entertainment for India. Now, thanks to a business deal struck by Blizzard Entertainment with E-xpress Interactive, all Blizzard games will be available in India at retail outlets, and even through e-commerce websites like Flipkart , Amazon, Games The Shop, etc.

The pricing announced by E-xpress Interactive when distribution of copies start officially have been given as below:

  • World of Warcraft (PC) Rs. 699
  • World of Warcraft: Legion (PC) Rs. 1,999
  • Warcraft 3 – Gold Edition (PC) Rs. 999
  • Diablo 2 Gold (PC) Rs. 999
  • Diablo 3 (PC) Rs. 1,299
  • Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls (PC) Rs. 1,299
  • Diablo 3 Battle Chest (PC) Rs. 1,999
  • Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4) Rs. 1,999
  • Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (Xbox One) Rs. 1,999
  • Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (PS3) Rs. 1,499
  • Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (Xbox 360) Rs. 1,499
  • Overwatch Origin Edition (PC) Rs. 3,299
  • Overwatch Origin Edition (PS4) Rs. 3,999
  • Overwatch Origin Edition (Xbox One) Rs. 3,999
  • StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty (PC) Rs. 999
  • Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void (PC) Rs. 999
  • Starcraft 2: Battle Chest (PC) Rs. 1,999

The prices are good for the most part, but the pricing of Overwatch was a bit sore. This is considering the fact that one shells out nearly the same amount, and only slightly more using Battle.net. The concept of ‘regional pricing’ is a bit skewed here, since the prices aren’t really low enough to fit the everyday gamer in India. However,World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are available in a much lower price that in Battle.net. Moreover, the physical copies of the games enable one to collect the boxes, beside eliminating the problem of a lack of proper credit facilities, which prevents many a gamer from buying games in India.

While E-xpress did announce video games, they did not mention whether physical copies of Blizzard gift cards would be available. Most Blizzard video games have microtransactions, and paying for them from account balance is hassle-free as compared to using a credit/debit card or Paypal. If physical Blizzard gift cards are also sold, it would be a huge benefit for the gamers at large. Also, they did not mention whether stuff like World of Warcraft game time, Hearthstone packs or Heroes of the Storm heroes would be sold separately. Selling in-game services like these also helps the many gamers hooked into Blizzard games.

However, there are certain questions arising about the absolute dominance of E-xpress in the field of Blizzard games, which would mean abrupt change of pricing and other shitty corporate decisions that affect the Indian consumer heavily. Retailers in India have a history of taking bad calls in order to increase profits, without caring about the impact on the market at large. What E-xpress does in the future remains to be seen, but the absolute elimination of the requirement of credit facilities means that the takers for Blizzard games in the subcontinent will increase. Which is definitely a step ahead for Blizzard.



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