The Canadian currency market is probably not something most gamers pay attention to but it might be something that will concern Canadian gamers if what EB Games is doing becomes an industry-wide trend.
The Canadian arm of GameStop has very quietly raised the prices of some much-anticipated upcoming games. Rather than being $60 as it was for new games in previous years, EB Games is charging up to $70 for new games that are available for pre-order.
The change in prices at EB Games was first noted by Reddit users. A day before this post saying that pre-orders had gone up to $70, they found that EB Games was charging $65 for some of the same games.
At first glance, this could be put down to EB Games trying to insulate itself from the changing value of the Canadian dollar. The Canadian dollar was close to being at an exchange rate of $1.10 CAD to $1.00 USD as of writing. The average exchange rate for 2013, according to the Bank of Canada, was about $1.03 CAD to $1.00 USD with the exchange rate being more favourable to the US dollar at the end of the year than the start.
However, apart from a few isolated games, like Final Fantasy XIII, I don’t recall games being priced at more than $60. And GameStop, EB Games’ parent company, does have foreign currency forwards to insulate itself from large fluctuations in currency values. Therefore, I’m inclined to think that it’s not the dollar that’s causing price changes.
What really exposes EB Games is the fact that Canadian electronics store Future Shop (owned by Best Buy) isn’t increasing any of the pre-order prices for the games it’s selling.
For example, EB Games is selling Watch Dogs, Destiny, The Evil Within, and Dying Light for $70. Thief, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII are available for the low price of $65. Future Shop is selling each of those for $60. The only elevated game price that the two share (apart from Collectors Editions) is South Park: The Stick of Truth at $65.
So buyer beware when shopping at EB Games. It’s entirely possible that you’re paying more than you have to.