Starcraft II Local Retail Copy S$109 Vs US Digital Download US$59.99

Take today’s exchange rate as an example.  1 US dollar is just below 1.36 Singapore dollar.  You can do the maths and work out how much more gamers in Singapore are paying for a local copy of Starcraft II (35% extra).  I have pre-downloaded my US version directly days before the game was launched and have paid US$59.99 this morning instead of S$109.  And this is the first installment out of three.  No way I am going to get ripped off three times in a row.

Are you?

Note: You must select the US version before you begin the download. See screenshots at below.

When I first log into us.battle.net, my region is always being default to Asia. You can change it to US North America (note: Do not visit the SEA Battle.net website).

As you can see, although I am from Asia, I own a US copy.

When I first heard that Starcraft II costs S$109, I said no way.  It is selling at Amazon.com for US$59.99 (S$81).  That is a rip off.  Besides, no PC games cost that much so far in Singapore.  There is indeed another way.  Days before the July 27 launch, Starcraft II was opened for pre-download directly from Blizzard’s online store.  It took me around 7 hours to download the 7 GB game client via SingTel broadband (one reported that it would take 72 days on a StarHub network).  Blizzard has kept mummed on the price of the digital copy prior to the launch.  After the digital copy was launched on July 27 (10 am PDT), I have purchased the game key at US$59.99.

I suppose there are pros and cons of not getting a local copy.  Here is a laundry list for your consideration.

  • Digital copy does not come with a box.  I am OK not to have a box.  It takes up space and I am used to purchasing digital copies online via Steam.  If I was willing to pay more for a box, I would have imported the Collector’s Edition instead.  Besides, I am reducing the carbon footprint of PC gaming.  Good, yes?
  • US digital copy only allows you to play with the gamers within North America.  And I suppose there is a higher latency compares to logging directly onto the Singapore server.  As for me, I seldom choose the multi-player option.  I buy Starcraft II for the campaigns.  If I do want to experience playing with others, I still can.  And if I want to play with someone who has bought the Southeast Asia version, I still can.  It is because SEA gamers, as of now, are allowed to log into the US server (but not the other way round).  Why would I want to pay extra?
  • Some say support the local industry and give IAHGames the support.  I remember how they screwed up the hosting of Hellgate:London couple of years ago.  Be it as their fault or not, gamers don’t forget.  I still have the bitter taste.  If the local copy of Starcraft II was to cost the same as in America, I would not mind getting one.  Paying so much more to support a company that has failed me before?  I think not.  Some say we should be glad that Blizzard Entertainment has set up an office in Singapore and helped training the folks in IAHGames.  I have played Blizzard’s World of Warcraft on a US server for years with zero local support.  Besides the Tuesday server maintenance that happens during our prime time, I have no complain.  Donating money to IAHGames?  I think not.  But if they manage to build up a good reputation through the hosting of Battle.Net, I may re-evaluate the situation when Diablo III comes.

If you are still uncertain if Starcraft II is for you, read the game review here as I have completed the game.  Meanwhile, here is a fantastic trailer.  See it for yourself.

24 thoughts on “Starcraft II Local Retail Copy S$109 Vs US Digital Download US$59.99”

    1. Shyue Chou – I read the news. So many people queued up for the local copy! Unless they are all hardcore multiplayer fans who need very low latency, it is really a rip off.

        1. Shyue Chou – Perhaps. But if I was a collector, I would have imported the Collector’s Edition.

          And I do have quite a few Collector’s Edition versions for a few games. Looking back, they are stored inside some boxes like the rest of the normal editions.

            1. Shyue Chou – Blizzard does sell art books of the World of Warcraft series. I am pretty sure they will sell art books for Starcraft.

  1. Support the local game company who is ripping us off?

    This will set a bad precedent like how the Singtel and Starhub did with the World Cup, passing the buck to the consumers knowing how local suckers will lap it up and pay through the nose.

    Time to make a stand and be a hero.

    1. Shyue Chou – It is interesting that you mention World Cup.

      By the way, in this region, the Australians pay the highest. And the Koreans play for free, if they are WoW subscribers. After all, Koreans support the Starcraft franchise with the most passion.

        1. Shyue Chou – I have yet to try the multiplayer mode on my US copy though. I manage to play WoW with the US servers. I doubt if the latency would kill the game play.

            1. Shyue Chou – I had lunch with one of my gamer friends. Perhaps the latency requirement could be more for Starcraft because each unit matters. And when you have 4 players having a massive show hand with their troops in one location, that could be quite taxing.

              Too bad, I am just not that into multi-player. Otherwise I would have tried it out, right now … ha ha ha.

    1. Blah – No, it is not region locked. You have to go to the US Battle.net and in your account setting, before you start the download, you have to change the setting to US (and you will receive a warning saying that it will affect multi-player but it doesn’t for me).

      When the download start, you have to make sure that the file name is not “sea-something” but “us-something”. If you try to download the US version from the SEA Battle.net, you will get an authentication error. My friends from Singapore are now playing the US version, paying only US$59.99. It is a bit of a hassle to download the US version but once you log into the right US Battle.net server, you are fine.

      Yes, if you go to SEA Battle.net, you will only get the Singapore SEA download version of S$109.

  2. Hey, chanced upon ur website via google search. Just wanna check with you are u playing the US version in Singapore? Is the game playable though it is in different region?

    1. XY – Yes, we can play US version of Starcraft in Singapore. I have a US account for World of Warcraft. Only makes sense if I have the US version of Starcraft as well.

      The only draw back is the latency for multi-player option. Having said that, my friend and I both in Singapore have tried multi-player option versus other players. Latency is not too big a deal, unless you intend to climb up the ladder.

      Now, the US version is on sales. Half price!

      1. Hey thanks alot for the info. I wants to get 2 copies of the retail version (one for me and one for my friend) just to save on the delivery charge. Any idea Bnet allows that (using one bnet account to buy and for 2 to play)?

        1. XY – Have you considered digital download version? It is about 7GB. But you save on the delivery charges. Unless of course you collect the package. All Blizzard game clients can be downloaded via the Internet into any machine once you register with them.

          I have not heard that you can register two Starcraft games into one Battle.net account. I know some do that for World of Warcraft because they want to have more than 10 character slots in one realm (or server). What you can do is to buy one as gift and your friend can also create a Battle.net account with your product ID.

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