Electronic Arts Halts Game Distribution in South Africa
After much consideration, Electronic Arts has decided to cease the distribution of hardcopy video games in South Africa. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which was scheduled for release on April 28 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, is likely to be the first game canceled as a result of this decision.
After 9 years of service to the South African gaming community, Electronic Arts has decided to end direct distribution, as announced in a letter delivered to shops by Prima Interactive, a former distributor of EA Games.
According to the letter, EA announced massive layoffs and cost reductions on March 29. Because of this, the firm relies heavily on a select group of mega-partners for distribution. Because of these reductions, EA is no longer active in the South African market.
UAE The New Headquarters
The announcement states that the United Arab Emirates would be the new headquarters for Electronic Arts’ South African activities. It is, however, yet unclear what this means for South African players. Since Electronic Arts doesn’t have a physical presence in the United Arab Emirates, it has apparently assigned an agency there to manage local game launches while focusing instead on digital platforms.
The letter also reveals that EA hasn’t alerted local shops of the company’s upcoming changes, suggesting that they abruptly abandoned them. Prima Interactive claims to have gotten in touch with EA about the drawbacks of this decision. Unfortunately, Electronic Arts is not currently considering reversing the termination.
Game Pricing in South Africa
The decision is hardly shocking. Electronic Arts’ recent game releases have commanded South Africa’s highest retail prices for new video games. Need for Speed Unbound and the Dead Space remake both launched in South Africa at the same R1,499 price point last year. Pre-orders and sales in the country were negatively impacted by the fact that these titles were less expensive on digital platforms.
- Need for Speed Unbound
- Dead Space Remake
The future physical release of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor in South Africa is uncertain at this time. The game is scheduled to be released on April 28th, and we will make an official statement about its release date closer to that date.
For gamers in South Africa who prefer physical copies, today is a sad day. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that some enterprising shop owner can sneak a few copies in on the side for the collectors.