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UK Rip-off Starlink: Battle for Tactless – Ubisoft Aims for your Wallet

Starlink has been on my watch list for a long time. From glowing previews to the reveal of Starfox content, I felt ready to dive in long before launch.

After reading a few reviews (including this excellent one), I want in. The obvious drawback to any toys-to-life offering is, if you’re not interested in the figures, you still have to buy them to access content.

Not so with Starlink, in light of the collective train wreck that was the last wave of Disney Infinity, Skylanders and Lego Dimensions, Ubisoft took the wise move and made sure to provide a range of options, including a toyless-to-life (sorry) digital option. It’s cool they added the means to play without the plastic and, as much as the draw of a plastic Arwing tempts me, the price is just too much to take the plunge. The two digital options seem the way to go then you’d think. Well, sort of.

Don’t get too Cocky, Ubisoft

The digital entry point is £69.99 (UK Switch eShop) and the Deluxe Edition come in at an eye-watering £89.99 (UK Switch eShop). Compare this to the physical starter pack offering at £62.86 (on Amazon.co.uk at the time of writing). Now this isn’t a 1:1 comparison as the digital version adds far more content, where the physical gives you the Arwing and… stuff. Still, all a bit expensive for someone likely to treat this as Starfox game. However expensive though, this isn’t new or necessarily in need of outrage. Hold up, that comes soon.

Starlink2

I Guess I Should be Thankful

Thanks to a tip off from yer man Chris Scullion, it seems there is a more affordable solution! Yes, by using an easily created US Switch account, you can buy the game for $59.99 (US Switch eShop). My immediate reaction? NICE!

Then, you stop and think. The current exchange rate puts this at circa £45. Let’s get this out of the way; UK and US tax is handled differently and, certainly the 20% VAT we pay goes some way to creating a divide in respective prices. But here’s the thing; there’s a £25 price gap here. If you blindly whack the 20% on the to the US list price it’s still £16 more. Seriously, this takes rip-off 16 steps too far. Sammy States gets the Baby Born Interactive Doll for working hard. Brother Britain works even harder and gets a Wilko Sweet Dreams Baby Sophia Doll. Ubi is treating the UK like an unwanted step-child.

Ubisoft has shown near-unparalleled skills for ripping people off in the past but their recent history has been a tad more reserved, even occasionally winning back favour. Perhaps this is, in part, due to the industry’s well-publicised loot box problems. Remember when EA screwed up the Battlefront 2 launch? People listened. Let’s make them listen again.

Starlink3

Do a Barrel Roll

I’ll wait Ubi, for now, I’m not buying your game. Sort it out.

 

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for raising awareness on this topic! I didn’t even know how bad this situation was until I read this. The game itself actually looks interesting, and the developers have clearly shown much excitement in working on the Switch version (what with the addition of the Star Fox material). That being said, the financial and business element of this project are just so awful, to the point that it can be compared to EA.

    I completely agree with you. People need to hear this before they buy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading!

      I really want the game and want to support the devs – between this and Rabbids they’ve been on a roll with Nintendo cross-overs but why, as a publisher, do they do this?

      If it’s more than plain greed, I’d love to hear it but honestly, with no physical goods and no amount of OTT taxation to apply, where is this massive gap coming from?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries! I love reading the articles. Keep it up. 🙂

        Definitely. The Rabbids crossover was really solid, and it appears to be the case that Ubisoft want to continue these crossovers with Nintendo’s intellectual properties so it comes as a surprise to see them make this blunder.

        Yeah, it’s honestly just ridiculous. We’d only get a PR statement, with “business” talk that does nothing more than lie to our faces. But I’d love to know where the difference in cost comes from. The physical cartridges are more expensive to produce, as well, right? It just doesn’t make any sense.

        Anyway, Ubisoft aside, I look forward to reading more of your work in the future!

        Liked by 1 person

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