Star Citizen is selling a $50 gift card for $60... why not spend it on the new $420 Endeavor space ship? | PCGamesN

Star Citizen is selling a $50 gift card for $60... why not spend it on the new $420 Endeavor space ship?

Star Citizen $50 gift card

Update: Cloud Imperium's head of communications David Swofford got in touch to clarify a few points. As various readers have pointed out, the reason for the higher prices is because of VAT laws within the EU:

"Euro laws mandate that VAT is included in the price. If Phil had his monitor turned on to US$ currency, then it will show up just as he depicted in his screen capture (assuming he had UK listed as his country). In the US, you aren’t mandated to include sales tax in the selling price, but you can bet that when you get to check-out, that tax will be added (depending on the state where you are purchasing)."

In response to our comments that gift cards having VAT included on them meant that buyers were paying double VAT if they used the gift card - once for the gift card, then again on the items they purchased with the gift card - David explained CIG's fix:

"The system is engineered explicitly so that you don’t pay double tax. If you apply store credit to an item in your shopping cart, we decrease the base price of the package by that amount.

"If I buy a $100 gift card and my country is in the EU then I will be charged VAT. It is the law that we must display all prices inclusive of VAT.

"If I go back to the storefront and my country is in the EU I will see ships with VAT values displayed (as per the law). If I put a $100 ship in my cart (which is displayed as $120 inclusive of VAT), then go to checkout and apply $100 in store credit from my gift card, then you are done, you don’t owe anything. If you put $50 in store credit then you’d owe $50+$10 in this example, and so forth.

"In short, we don’t double charge VAT. And you’re not going to be taxed on anything but new money."

Original story: I'm going to come right out and say it: I think $60 is too much to charge for a $50 gift card. Star Citizen looks like it will one day be an incredible, all-encompassing space sim, but looking at the game's 'extras' store page feels like I'm actually gazing at a work of fiction, meant to depict the hyper-capitalist dystopia in which the game's set.

There's no meta-fiction in the Roberts Space Industries store, though. Star Citizen's in-game dollar value really is significantly more expensive than real world money. Current pricings are as follows:

$10 gift card - $12USD
$25 gift card - $30USD
$50 gift card - $60USD
$100 gift card - $120USD

All gift cards are currently in stock. What luck!

Today marks the arrival of a new spaceship - the Endeavour research vessel. It's "a fully modular space platform designed to be adapted for a variety of scientific and medical tasks," according to its store page. "Initially developed as a floating laboratory, the MISC Endeavor can be outfitted for everything from spatial telescopy to use as mobile hospital." The basic model costs $420. Or, if you were to pay for it using gift cards, $504.

Star Citizen Endeavour

The master set (above), which includes features such as lifetime insurance, a poster, a med bay, a supercollider and a hangar, totals $1080, which strikes me as a bit expensive for an imaginary spacecraft for a game that isn't out yet. 

 

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KeefBaker avatarunwanted avatarTecnoleg avatarZeroderp avatardvergar avatarMrAptronym avatar+19
dvergar Avatar
21
2 Years ago

The reason for the higher price is due to the extra European tax that was enforced on CIG if they wanted to sell pledges in the EU countries. The tax is 21% and is also mentioned when hovering over the info icon next to the price.

Because of this, people in the US will see the correct price (just checked with a proxy) and people inside the EU will see the 21% higher prices.

Can't really blame CIG for something beyond their control. Whether you like the pledge prices for the ships is a different matter.

Edit: I appreciate the relatively quick edit of the original article. Good job pcgamesn :)

9
dvergar Avatar
21
2 Years ago

@philiwaniuk I know this isn't a newspaper or anything like that, but would be nice if you did a tiny bit of research before posting an article like this. Especially when said research literally only consists of moving your mouse to the info icon shown next to the price. Anyway, pcgamesn is still my go-to source for gaming news :)

6
Max Bacon Avatar
65
2 Years ago

Yeah the lack of professionalism on this article is absurd, not only leads people wrongly into thinking they are selling gift cards for more money to everybody.... It also simply ignores the fact EU do pay VAT, even if you are buying a Gift Card.

I'm just... *Poker Face* PCGamesN!

5
Tim Edwards Avatar
521
2 Years ago

This argument would only work if only the gift vouchers were subject to the mark up. Unfortunately, every single item in the CI store has a 20% mark up.

So: I spend $120 to buy a voucher that is worth $100 in the CI store. I then have $100 to spend on a spaceship/merch that has been marked up by an extra 20%.

Real world example:

In the US, I buy a $100 voucher. I could then spend that on 10 lots of 10$ official Star Citizen playing cards and notepad.

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/Sc-Notepad/Star-Citizen

In the UK, I spend 120$ to buy a $100 voucher. I now have $100 to spend on 8.33 versions of the official Star Citizen playing cards and notepad available to you at the bargain price of $12.

That is a bad deal.

2
panbient Avatar
242
2 Years ago

Gotta love double taxation. Real question is, who's getting the overage?

1
Krystal Avatar
5
2 Years ago

There is no double VAT dip. If you buy a ship with store credit (which is what you are given with the gift card), there is no VAT charge for the purchase.

1
woodkami Avatar
37
2 Years ago

Is the $420 spaceship cheaper as well?

2
Krystal Avatar
5
2 Years ago

This article goes beyond unprofessionalism, by suggesting that a company violates VAT legislation by underpricing products to avoid the VAT price increase. Congratulations!

4
AnAuldWolf Avatar
872
2 Years ago

Do we really need so many comments saying the same thing, though? I mean, I'm not one to say 'brainwashed sheeple herd' but that's exactly what this bleating is sounding like. I can understand agreeing with the person who posted it originally, but to make new posts just to repeat it??

1
Rampheus Avatar
66
2 Years ago

This "game" has become nothing more than a digital goods Ponzi scheme. There I said it. Anyone who thinks otherwise or disagrees just isn't following the details and reality of it closely enough. Basically this "product" has become nothing more than zero liability investor bait, promising future features to current investors, when past investors still haven't been delivered what was promised, and the fulfillment of those promises are seemingly tied to the constant inflow of future investing. When will the bubble pop and which tier of "investors, backers or suckers" (choose your pick) will be left with a version of the game (when it releases) that does not deliver on what was promised at the time of their investing? Use your brains people. All of you throwing away money at this "investment" black hole should be ashamed of yourselves, and for every dollar you've wasted thus far you should donate at least two to a legitimate charity that does something real for the world such as feeding the poor, treating sick children, preventing cruelty to animals, etc. Thinking about all of this and watching it unfold just makes me feel sad to even be a PC gamer anymore.

3
FamousBwD Avatar
2 Years ago

Your argument about "feeding the poor" is ridiculous, it could be said about any hobby. There has been parts of the game released. Do you really think most AAA titles only take 3 years to make? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about and why do you care what people spend their money on? How about we wait and see if it fails. Seems to me a lot of people just want to see this project fail out of some pathetic childish schadenfreude.

-2
KeefBaker Avatar
393
2 Years ago

I'm fairly convinced that the whole Star Citizen saga so far has been filmed as a drama and will be cut down into a single episode of Black Mirror.

2
unwanted Avatar
788
2 Years ago

Look at all those bargains.

2
hahnchen Avatar
97
2 Years ago

"an imaginary spacecraft for a game that isn't out yet."

The game is out, you're playing it now through macro-payments. Buying space-hats is the game.

2
MrAptronym Avatar
361
2 Years ago

The best thing about star citizen is that you don't have to pay to enjoy it. I've gotten hours of laughs just reading news articles on it. (Funny as this is though, yeah its a region thing.)

How have we come to a world where there are thousand dollar in-game purchase for an unfinished game? What the heck is a "supercollider" and what does it even do? Why do I want one? Why would I pay 900USD for a ship in a game, that is equivalent of 15 full price AAA games. I remember when people were angry over $2 Horse Armor, now its okay to charge a month's rent for the promise of a future virtual item.

1
QDP2 Avatar
961
2 Years ago

I agree that the amounts they are asking for are a small fortune to get each ship, and I worry people will use there lifetime insurance ship replacement to cause havoc with all those who do not own unlimited ship replacements.

That being said, $1000 in-game items aren't unheard off, just look at CS:Go's, knife industry. Steam restrict sales on there website to £300 ($500) so instead people trade for many hundreds of keys (~£3 per key) or a large stack of other expensive skins. I believe one FN Crimson Red Bayonet (StatTrak) sold for $22k net value. That being said this is the crazy side of the market, where some start as cheap as 3p. I also think Star Citizen are ripping people off with these prices for items not even released yet, with no way to look into what your purchasing other than there sales page (they're still to reach open world sandbox mode, where any of these ships would actually come into use...)

2
unwanted Avatar
788
2 Years ago

You're paying to fund the game....you know, the one with millions of dollars already. The $900 ship is for funding.

1
tooterfish Avatar
3
2 Years ago

You're not buying ships, you're funding the game and getting a ship as thanks. The Lifetime Insurance, which guarantees the ship's replacement if you lose it in the game, is considered a collector's item to the Star Citizen community.

I'm sure you know know this already, but the statement that ships in Star Citizen will cost hundreds of dollars is false, and the media is playing guys like you who want to believe that. The game will cost as much as any other game, and the ships will be earned for a grand total of zero dollars afterwards.

-3
mark1 Avatar
2
2 Years ago

So if CIG said:

"You're not getting a special ship, our thanks and us providing this awesome game is all you need. So thank you for your donation."

You'd still be happy?

2
MrAptronym Avatar
361
2 Years ago

I have to disagree. You cannot just declare something is a pledge and not a purchase and make it so. They are charging $900 to get a ship. That is a purchase.

Yes, the money goes to the company which will further develop the game, but the same could be said of any in game purchases. Buying hats in TF2 helps valve continue to support their game just as much. They are advertising the ship and people buy and talk about those ships and the Lifetime Insurance. The black market where people buy and sell these things certainly isn't a pledge. When I go to a charity auction and bid on a sculpture, I am still buying something, and that is for a legit non-profit, not a corporation. Does CIG even have any kind of assurance in place that your purchase money goes towards making the game?

I am not getting played by the media, if someone wants to spend $900 on a ship then that is their prerogative I guess, but don't tell me its somehow not a $900 virtual space-ship. People would not be donating $900 for nothing. The black market alone proves that it is the virtual items that are where the money is.

2
Monkeyware Avatar
2
2 Years ago

So yeah this if you were buying with $ in the UK so paying 20% VAT.

If you then bought something using the Credit the Gift Card then you wouldn't have to pay the VAT again either. So that Basic Model that you state is $420 is actually only $350 + VAT.

A Better Article might of been, why pay VAT when you can get buy Gift Cards from someone else.....

1
NihlusGreen Avatar
657
2 Years ago

I truly hope this game succeeds, but dam that is an expensive game

1
Shriven Avatar
3486
2 Years ago

Star Citizen. The Best, and worst, £80 I've ever spent.

1
Realo Foxtrot: Kitten Avatar
120
2 Years ago

Hmm.... doesn't look right. "You find a $120 ship, but the card you have shows $100. You Look elsewhere"

Almost seems like trickery

1
Zeroderp Avatar
40
2 Years ago

I'm seeing the price at their designated amounts now (50 for 50, 25 for 25). Looks like it was a pricing error.

0
Tecnoleg Avatar
9
2 Years ago

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/extras?product_id=60 look again

2
dvergar Avatar
21
2 Years ago

You are probably living in different countries and therefore seeing different prices.

2
Zeroderp Avatar
40
2 Years ago

Currently on my phone and I still see them as their designated prices. Checked on chrome and firefox.

0
Tecnoleg Avatar
9
2 Years ago

depends where you are. you must be in america

2
Zeroderp Avatar
40
Zeroderp replied to Tecnoleg
2 Years ago

That is correct. Belive I got the wrong impression of what the article was impling.

3
The1njZ Avatar
17
2 Years ago

At least do a 5 minute google search before writing this dis-informed article!! the difference in price is because of Europe's VAT law ,you have to pay tax for every online transaction and that's why your seeing a 50$ gift card costing 60$ ... it seems there's cool factor these days on gaming sites if you bash starcitizen

0
neo606 Avatar
90
2 Years ago

Too many fanbois downvoting proper comments: this has become the biggest milking cow game of all time. That's a FACT. Now shoo.

-1
Max Bacon Avatar
65
2 Years ago

If proper comments is blaming CIG for following the EU Law of VAT, then i'm to be poker face the rest of the day. --'

A different story is the pledge prices for the ships. I'm not to buy them, however, over price them greatly during pledge period is decent enough to avoid getting too many people with the shiny big ships.

4
neo606 Avatar
90
2 Years ago

Over priced digital crap. It's just silly, NO game has EVER charged these insane prices for their digital items, none. Google it. Use your brain. And this is just another way of showing how silly it is.

Don't buy their logic, but question it. You are the fucking consumer ffs... you should DEMAND a lesser price. Yet here you are arguing why it's ok for them to charge more.

Tell me another company that sells game cards of amounts for MORE than they list them because of "VAT" and other crap like that? If I buy a card for 20 euro, I expect 20 euro.

You are a perfect example of why marketing works, and why people are just stupid for buying companies' shit.

0
QDP2 Avatar
961
2 Years ago

Neo606, I'm completely on your side, but please do some research before saying the words 'never', and insisting that we '' google it'.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive. A country-sized marketplace, trading skins from between 3p and £300+. These trades are all for virtual skins (with no effect on the game play whatsoever). I note that all of these trades (happening thousands of times every second) are having 20% taken as profit, 10% for Steam and 10% for Valve :')

Then of course there are the skins that are worth more than Streams £300 limit, which are then traded for many hundreds of keys (bought for just under £3 each, directly from Valve as a virtual item) to then be traded with for the weapons value.

I admit these trading costs are not orchestrated by Valve themselves, but the high prices are highly manipulated by them, the extreme trades being pushed towards investing by trading to get keys (at 20% profit) and buying more for pure profit to the company.

As for expensive single items, if you were lucky enough to open a StatTrak Factory New Bayonet: Crimson Web, then you'd be in for a fortune. 3 have been opened in the games history, the first of which traded for $22k. The second and third were never listed online for sale.

1
neo606 Avatar
90
neo606 replied to QDP2
2 Years ago

Yes, you have a point, Valve does not set prices but regulates them. However, I agree, we're both on the same side.

I find what Valve has done to the CS franchise (which remember was a mod, and the original, is probably still better than CSGO gameplay wise, but never the less) despicable!!! Utter shame, and Valve has lost all of it's respect from my side that it might have EVER built up.

I bought their stupid "mission packs" unknowing what kind of crap it was for what was it at that time 15-20 euro or so. Full of restrictions on missions, and at the end of the day all you get is crap skins. Look at BF3/4, ALL skins FREE and unlocked within the game. That's how it should be. I'm all for unlocking and progression, but never should we have to pay more than the average price of a AAA game for basically F2P games with a cash shop or B2P games... 50-70 euro max + collectors edition, etc.

There should be a law imposed that you cannot charge more than 50-100 euro for a digital good for entertainment... or something similar, I believe you get the point.

Oh and while there have been INSANE sales of in game items as you mentioned. I was more referring to the collective milking done... reached 90m yet? It got silly after the first few...

0
ArcusTenshi Avatar
73
2 Years ago

PCGamesN is out of ideas to post, is this like the second post of the week against Star Citizen..?

Have more integrity.

-1
Tecnoleg Avatar
9
2 Years ago

yay, chris roberts is milking more idiots.

-3