The huge increase in video game prices in South Africa: 2003–2016

When news broke last year that Microsoft would sell Quantum Break in South Africa for almost R1,200, it raised concerns about impending game price increases.

Fears that the price of games would skyrocket have been realised, with AAA PC releases selling for between R600 and R900.

New PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles now sell for between R800 and R1,000.

Although most games have not reached the price of Quantum Break, the pre-order prices for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare are close.

To understand the sudden increase in the price of games in South Africa, we compared Call of Duty prices since 2003 against the US dollar exchange rate and inflation.

The graph below shows how the PC and console prices of Call of Duty games have changed compared to inflation.

Call of Duty prices - 2003 to 2016
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ZAR-USD exchange rate: 2003 to 2016

The graph above shows that between 2010 and 2014, the price of a new Call of Duty game tracked below inflation.

As the rand steadily weakened, and then dropped to new lows last year, the price of new games spiked – resulting in locals paying more for the latest titles.

ZAR-USD exchange rate from 29 October 2003 to June 2016

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The huge increase in video game prices in South Africa: 2003–2016