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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Will Game Services Ever Think Globally?

Does anyone else find it strange that big global companies like Amazon, Sony, Microsoft, etc. don’t think globally?  As a game developer you move a lot and not necessarily within your country.  Very often people move to different countries to work in the field. 

So let’s say you move from the US to Canada.  When you moved you certainly aren’t going to buy all new consoles, & why would you?  Maybe you will when you find your Sony and Microsoft accounts don’t transfer across borders.  You can no longer add money to the accounts to buy games because you have a US account and you can't use your new credit card with a Canadian billing address.  Calling them for help you’re told nothing they can do.  And don't think buying a points card will work, codes only work in the country of the account. Meaning if you have your US Sony account and you buy a points card at a Canadian Best Buy the code won't work.

Blizzard is the same, if you made a US account you cannot change the address to Canada to buy loot crates or items in your Blizzard games.  Steam allows you to change countries but recently changed their policy so you cannot gift games to other countries because of “regional restrictions."  So forget buying that game to your relative back in the States over Steam.  It’s not just game services.  Most online stores will only allow you to ship to the same country as your credit card’s billing address.  This makes holiday gift giving a nightmare every year.

Ironically the companies blocking you from using things across borders hire game developers from all over the world.   They will come and encounter these limitations on the very systems they are developing games for.

As the world get smaller and smaller game services should change to meet the needs of people that don't stay in their hometowns their entire lives.

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