June 27th, 2016

Bethesda inflated the price of Skyrim Legendary Edition prior to Steam sale

Bethesda inflated the price of Skyrim Legendary Edition prior to Steam sale

In what appears to be a blatant effort to take advantage of people looking for a cheap version of Skyrim: Legendary Edition on PC (and qualifying for a ‘free’ upgrade to the Special Edition), Bethesda inflated the price ahead of the Steam sale.

Technically speaking, it was even more devious than that. Perhaps in an effort to avoid another run-in with the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (which eventually cleared Bethesda of similar shenanigans with Wolfenstein: The New Order in the 2015 Steam summer sale), the version of Skyrim: Legendary Edition currently on sale through Steam is (semantically speaking) a different one.

The prior version, listed in this pricing database for $40.00 USD (some $25.00 cheaper than the pre-discount listing for the present version) actually no longer exists on Steam. Bethesda’s current version of Skyrim: Legendary Edition is now a ‘bundle’ of the regular game and the individual DLCs, rather than a single title.

It’s exactly the same, content-wise, but it allows the publisher to re-list the game at an inflated price, and exploit those who want to get in on the Legendary Edition before the Special Edition update shows up. So, rather than the Legendary Edition being on sale for $10.00 as it was just six months ago on Steam, it’ll instead cost you almost $27.00; and no doubt more in Europe.

All (probably) nice and legal, thanks to the “no no, it’s a bundle now” dodge. But all rather unpleasant from a customer’s point of view.

Update: It’s been noted that the $65.00 price listing is the cost for buying everything individually before the new ‘bundle’ discount, so the total price under this new format would presumably be $43.71 outside of a sale (assuming you always get the bundle discount for buying in bulk). That’s worth making clear. But that would still represent a near 10% base mark-up over the prior Legendary Edition; even though the ‘double’ percentage reduction tries to make it look like an amazing deal. The real discount here is closer to 33%, but the price shenanigans means it can be shown as both 39 and 59%.

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Thanks to reader DrearierSpider for initially bringing this to our attention.



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