Riot Announces Regional Price Changes for Valorant, League of Legends, Other Titles
Riot Games announced that they plan to change their in-game items for Valorant, League of Legends, and other titles in countries in South America, Turkey, and Russia. This announcement will affect the ability of players in these regions to make in-game purchases. With Riot making over $100 million with their mobile titles alone, it’s challenging to see why Riot wouldn’t take the hit on international purchases so that their games remain accessible to fans across the globe.
No Skin in the Game
According to blog posts on both the Valorant and League of Legends websites, Riot is instituting percentage-based price changes to several countries to anticipate “changes in currency fluctuations, taxation, and regional discrepancies.” Riot does not state which discrepancies these changes are meant to address.
The changes to in-game pricing are as follows:
Brazil: +15% average increase
- Colombia: +11% average increase
- Costa Rica: +16% average increase
- Mexico: +17% average increase
- Chile: +16% average increase
- Uruguay: +17% average increase
- Peru: +15% average increase
- Russia: +6% average increase
- Turkey: +17% average increase
Meanwhile, prices in the EU will lower by 5% for EUR, GBP, and HUF currencies only.
Riot is quick to note that before these regional price changes for Valorant and other games, they will be doubling the bonus currency received with each purchase between Aug. 23-Sept. 8, regardless of whether the user will be affected by the changes or not.
Purchasing Power Play
Many have been quick to decry the changes to regional prices on both Reddit and Twitter. According to one redditor posting on r/Valorant: Prices were already way too high here in Brazil and they want to increase it even more? Some skin collections already cost as much as a complete AAA game on Steam. There is no justification for such prices. At least the battle pass price isn’t overpriced.
Edit: As a reference, the monthly minimum wage here is 1100 BRL. 1100 VP costs 30 BRL and 13000 VP is at 300 BRL. That is a lot of money for most people around here. I know Riot is no charity, but their attitude still sucks.
In a tweet responding to the news posted on Twitter, one Brazilian user tagged the Riot Games Brazil account and stated that “it wasn’t enough for one skin bundle to cost a 1/3rd of the minimum wage here?”
For South America, Riot may be making these price adjustments to deal with political upheaval and instability in the South American region.
According to an article in the Financial Times, after a series of protests in Chile regarding the government’s response to the epidemic, several leftists in Congress have discussed tax initiatives that would seek to increase taxes on the top 1% of earners in the country.
Countries like Peru and Bolivia have elected left-wing presidents who have promised to crack down on obscene wealth and institute wealth reform. Protests in Colombia this summer were sparked by tax reform discussions that sought to squeeze small businesses and limit job opportunities for Colombian youth.
Riot’s opinion of South America could be informed by these events leading them to see the region as too unstable to reliably profit on, thus justifying the regional price changes in Valorant and League of Legends, as they expect purchases in those games to drop due to these “regional discrepancies.”
We’ll see how Riot and its regional offices address these community concerns.