- English players of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery see wildly different pricing for the game’s microtransactions.
- It appears from this evidence that Warner Bros. Interactive is testing out different new pricing structures.
- This is most likely a response to the backlash the game received upon release for its aggressive microtransaction push.
When Warner Bros. Interactive announced the mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, we knew it would likely be free-to-play and feature some form of microtransactions. However, we had no idea how brazen the game would be in requiring real-life money to advance the game’s plot.
Perhaps in response to the backlash, including from here at Android Authority, it appears that Warner Bros. Interactive is testing out different pricing structures for the gems you need to buy in Hogwarts Mystery. So far, we have anecdotal data from users in England, via Eurogamer, who are reporting much different pricing for the same products.
For example, some users are reporting that 130 gems cost £0.99, a hefty discount off the original £4.99. However, others say that the same amount of gems costs £0.79 for them, down from an entirely different price of £2.99. Others report no discounts.
Judging from this, it appears Warner Bros. Interactive is doing some A/B testing of its pricing model. In other words, the company is testing different pricing structures for different users to see which model makes the most sense for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
A/B testing isn’t unusual, but the massive discrepancy between the pricing that specific users see seems to point to Warner Bros. Interactive having a tenuous grasp of what a “fair” microtransaction policy should be for a game as popular as Hogwarts Mystery. This is quite perplexing, as Harry Potter is one of the most popular franchises in history, and Hogwarts Mystery is an officially-licensed product. How can the company be this ill-prepared?
This also doesn’t touch on the controversy that a game which is clearly geared towards children having so much of a dependency on microtransactions. It seems highly irresponsible to force children to beg their parents for money so that they can advance from one part of the game to another.
Warner Bros. Interactive has yet to speak on the matter. We’ll update this article should the company release a statement.