Hot on the heels of the drama and issues surrounding the discrepancies in pricing for the Lure Module bundle currently in the store, the Johto Tour announcement has brought with it fresh controversy.
Price Differences Across App Stores
Trainers are reporting different prices across different downloaded versions of the app, in the same country, town, or even on the same phone with the same account! I asked my local group chat for some help to clarify the differences and looked on my own account and was baffled to find even on my own account, I had two different prices.
I have two Pokémon GO apps downloaded onto my phone, one from the Google Play store, the other from the Samsung store. Both will run different offers at different times, so before I purchase anything in game I always check both. This morning I discovered that the Google Play download had the Johto Tour ticket for £10.99, whereas the Samsung Store download had it listed for £11.99.
I mentioned this in my local group chat here in the UK and to my surprise, Apple users mentioned that they had paid £9.99 for their ticket, and my friend Amoret kindly sent me a screenshot of this on her account.
How in the same town are we seeing three different prices? Heck, I’m seeing two different prices on the same account, on the same phone?
Niantic usually include the disclaimer ‘Tickets will be available for purchase in the in-app shop for USD $11.99 (or the equivalent pricing tier in your local currency, plus any applicable taxes and fees). Tickets cannot be purchased with PokéCoins. Tickets to this event are nonrefundable (subject to applicable law and the exceptions set forth in the Terms of Service).’ when they announce their tickets. All three of the prices I’ve reported are in the UK, so are we to understand that the app stores have such drastically different fees, and that Niantic can’t do anything about it?
Dennis on Twitter reported that he and his son faced different prices in the Netherlands, ‘my Johto Tour ticket is 12,99 while his is 11,99. Both in The Netherlands on the same couch. I’ve downloaded the game via the Samsung Store, my son via the Play Store.’
Have your local chats and groups reported any price differences between store downloads? It seems to be related to fees charged by the app stores, with the fees being passed onto us, rather than being absorbed by Niantic. £2 difference between stores is quite hefty, and with terrible conversion rates for other countries, this should be even higher elsewhere in the world.
Once again, there are drastic price differences based on conversion rates across the world, with Brazil reporting costs of 79R$ for their tickets. I’ve discussed this in detail previously after the Kanto Tour, but I’ll quote from that article to show how dramatic this difference really is.
‘The monthly minimum wage in Brazil is (approximately) R$1039. This means that this event costs over 7% of the minimum wage earnings for a whole month! If you consider the normal working week to be 5 days a week, approximately 20 days in a month, in Brazil this ticket takes 1.5 days to earn, whereas in the US or UK, it takes 2 hours or less to earn’.
This flat out isn’t fair, and it discriminates against trainers in South American countries in particular in a major way. It isn’t fair that because of exchange rates players are punished with seriously higher costs for an event. I know if players I know in the UK (including myself) had to pay 1.5 days wages to play this event, it wouldn’t even be a question, we just wouldn’t take part. Trainers worldwide are being left out because of this and Niantic need to do more to be more inclusive of countries outside of the USA.
Our writer MeteorAsh15 reports that in India ‘It’s supposed to be 904 INR but the price here is 1050 INR’, so they are being charged well over the apparent exchange rate!
There needs to be more clarity on this subject, and generic messages about fees, conversion rates and taxes don’t help players understand why this is happening, or why Niantic is choosing not to do anything about it. When prices are supposed to be the equivalent of $11.99USD, Niantic know that conversion rates are going to wreak havoc in some parts of the world, and when we are seeing price disparity even within one country, something is really going wrong here.
Have you noticed any of these price differences in your local area? What are your feelings on this controversial subject?