Harmonix has told the Internet there's no point going bonkers over the European price of Rock Band, saying the game is "not magically going to get cheaper because you wish it to be so".
In a post on the Rock Band forums product development manager Greg LoPiccolo wrote, "We're not making a killing on Rock Band in Europe. We are incredibly sensitive to pricing issues. We are painfully aware that the higher the price we charge, the less copies we'll sell.
"We are strongly motivated to keep the price as low as possible. That said, we don't propose to lose money on it. The fact of the matter is, the costs of releasing in Europe are far higher than in the US, in some ways uniquely so for Rock Band compared to other game titles, because of the size of the peripherals."
LoPiccolo declined to reveal cost structure details - "That would probably get me fired, and rightly so." Instead he highlighted the extra cost involved with shipping a larger product box and doing so outside the US: "Seriously, I was shocked to learn how much it costs us to ship an RB peripherals box to Europe. It's way more than you'd expect."
According to LoPiccolo it doesn't make sense to compare the manufacturer-recommended US and UK prices for Rock Band. He wheeled out the old VAT line, stating, "That’s not the whole discrepancy, but it’s a big chunk of it." LoPiccolo also observed that European retailers are free to cut the price of games, unlike their US counterparts. "So a reasonable price comparison is what you actually pay, not just the SRP, which means two different things in the two territories.
"We’re not gouging you, primarily because doing so doesn’t serve our interests," LoPiccolo continued. "We can only build our franchise if you buy our games. You may conclude that Rock Band isn’t worth the price charged, and that is your prerogative. But it’s not magically going to get cheaper because you wish it to be so.
"We’ve sold a ton of these in the US at a far higher price point than people are used to paying for a videogame, because it really is a new and different experience... Once you get a crack at it, you’ll know whether or not it’s worth the money. We think you might decide that it is."
Earlier this week, EA announced that the full Rock Band set-up - game, drum kit, guitar and microphone - will cost GBP 180 / EUR 240, compared to USD 169 (GBP 85 / EUR 107) in the US. Harmonix's Rob Kay defended the higher price point during a chat with Eurogamer - read the full interview to find out what he had to say.
Or for a real laugh, why not read this story from May last year.
Thanks to reader Machetazo for pointing us in the direction of Greg LoPiccolo's post.