GRAND Theft Auto V (GTA V) may have had record-breaking sales in its first week, but there were few winners among Irish gamers who had to pay almost 30% more than their UK peers.
Gamestop, a video-game outlet with 57 stores across the British Isles, is charging Irish gamers up to 27% more. The game was selling at €47 online in the UK, but €59.97 online in Ireland. Meanwhile Dublin stores were charging as much as €64.99.
Niall Kitson, editor of Techcentral.ie, an online technology news portal, said companies tend to hike up prices because of a lack of competition in the market. “Pricing in Ireland relative to the UK has always been an issue, and not just in technology,” he said.
“One trend I am seeing is a straight dollar to euro conversion rate, which represents terrible value for consumers here given the weakness of the dollar. Later this year we have the release of the Xbox One and PS4 [consoles], which will sell for $499 and €499 and $399 and €399 respectively.
“A check on US prices on GTA V shows the conversion rate is a straight one-for-one. In the UK, GTA V goes for about £40 (€47), in America it sells for $60 (€44). There are always other factors in play that can keep prices high, such as lack of competition in the gaming space, especially since Game closed down and HMV downsized.”
Gamers took to online forums last week to complain about the price in Irish outlets, after some ordered the GTA V for €41, inclusive of delivery charges, from Amazon.
Seamus Kavanagh, from GamersIreland website, found a €10 difference in price across outlets. “Argos were selling the game for €57.49, Tesco for €55, and HMV for €60, so you had to shop around,” he said.
Gamestop had a €9.99 offer price on GTA V, but this was dependent on the customer trading in two other “select” games. By last Friday many outlets were sold out of stock.