Borderlands 2 Russian Edition is Region-Locked

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Borderlands 2 Russian Edition is Region-Locked

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Players who bought the Russian version of Borderlands 2 from Steam can only play against players with the same version.

So, Borderlands 2 just came out and the first reviews are trickling in. The initial response to the game has been positive and there's been no glaring technical screw-ups thus far, so everyone is happy, right? Wrong. The Russians aren't happy. Neither are players in the Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

It turns that anyone with a Russian IP address who buys the game from Steam is given, unsurprisingly, a Russian version of the game. The thing is, the Russian version of the game is notably inferior to those of other regions, and users in the aforementioned Commonwealth countries are often assigned Russian IP addresses.

The main problem is that the Russian version's multiplayer is region-locked. Gearbox has confirmed that players with the RU version of BL2 will only be allowed to play with those with the same version of the game. Some RU players are reporting they can't activate their Season Passes, giving rise to speculation that their copies of the game may not be compatible with the upcoming DLC.

There's also some concern that the RU version of the game won't support multiple languages. Most users outside of Russia don't - surprise surprise - speak Russian.

Players with Russian IP addresses paid full price for the game, and the region-locking wasn't mentioned in the pre-sale and pre-order information on Steam. Boxed copies of the game appear to be unaffected, despite the fact they still require Steam.

Publisher, 2K, has since confirmed that the game is region-locked and apologized for the "incorrect information" on the title's Steam page. The company is currently setting up a system to allow customers who pre-purchased or pre-ordered the game to obtain refunds. It also promises to look into adding support for additional languages, but adds that they won't be available during the game's launch window.

Source: Reddit

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Maybe Mr. Carter would clarify why the "Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia" players are upset. Were they lock them into the Russian region?
From what I recall of my European History, they would not like that at all.

Who-ho-hooa:
"Notice: Purchases of Borderlands 2 made in Ukraine/Lithuania/Latvia/Estonia will be playable in Russian language only." - from the respective localized steam pages.
They are not going to like this at all.

Luckily people have found ways around this, namely buying boxed copies of international versions.

When do publishers will learn?

I had similar experience with TES5:Skyrim (and still have)
Was unable to find it on Steam, was forced to search for a game key in a local shop (well there was also disc in box, but I never used it)
That's why I got it like a 6 months later, despite the fact that I was all over Bethesda forum with ideas and generating hype a year before game was released (one of my ideas that was implemented in the game- bookshelves that actually displays books placed in them)
And now I can't get DLCs via Steam, but instead will be forced to wait till it is physically released.
Publisher apparently forgot what DL in DLC stands for :(
(the bright side is that there was option to choose preferable language on Steam- when it comes to mods you want your game to be in english)

And now another publisher also have region issues
Why paying the full price result in having inferior edition?
Is it so difficult to give the same deal to anyone?
And isn't 2K also publishing XCOM:Enemy Unknown? I really hope they won't fuck release of that game too :(

Kellogs Fried Chickn:
Maybe Mr. Carter would clarify why the "Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia" players are upset. Did they lock them into the Russian region? That sound vaguely familiar from my European History course.

I believe so.

NLS:
They should perhaps have kept the region-locking to where you can use and activate it, and not who you can play with. I can understand that you don't want people importing/steamgifting cheap Russian copies that have been regionally priced to mirror the situation in Russia, especially when they live in a country that can afford the original price. But potentially not being able to play with my eastern european/russian friends is a bit of a bummer.

On the matter of price.
How much Borderland2 costs in US and western Europe?
It costs 49.99Eur (65.5 USD) here
Is it cheaper?

They should perhaps have kept the region-locking to where you can use and activate it, and not who you can play with. I can understand that you don't want people importing/steamgifting cheap Russian copies that have been regionally priced to mirror the situation in Russia, especially when they live in a country that can afford the original price. But potentially not being able to play with my eastern european/russian friends is a bit of a bummer.

I don't quite understand how they are "looking into adding support for additional languages", don't they already HAVE an English version of the game? How much trouble could patching in the language files be?

Also, I'd really like to see what massive moron decided that non-russian countries should only have access to the russian-only version of the game...

im not sure how anybody at 2k could not see that coming, that is region lockig a game and forving people to play n a language they do not understand, this has to have been a mistake, nobody could honestly think this is a good idea.

The situation has three problems going for it:

1. The restricted RU version has a different App ID. This means that it will not be compatible with the global version. It has a separate multiplayer pool, it requires its own patches and its own DLC.

2. The restricted version states that "Purchases of Borderlands 2 made in <country> will be playable in Russian language only.", where country includes (besides Russia) many countries where Russian isn't even a national language. The situation is especially hilarious dire for Baltic countries, where you pay the regular EU price of EUR 50, but you still get the restricted version in a language you don't even know.

3. The restricted version appeared suddenly after the game has been open for pre-purchase for over 1.5 months. Originally, the version in the RU & Co countries was just activation- and purchase-restricted geologically, but one day the game just switched its App ID from the global version into the restricted RU version with just RU language and RU-only multiplayer. Call it "false advertising" or "bait and switch", but it still sucks.

Here's the latest official statement by 2K. The solution proposed seems to be "get a refund".

Edit: Oh, and you can't preload the RU version. It just downloads about 40 megabytes and that's it until release. The normal version is 4.8 GB.

blackrave:

NLS:
They should perhaps have kept the region-locking to where you can use and activate it, and not who you can play with. I can understand that you don't want people importing/steamgifting cheap Russian copies that have been regionally priced to mirror the situation in Russia, especially when they live in a country that can afford the original price. But potentially not being able to play with my eastern european/russian friends is a bit of a bummer.

On the matter of price.
How much Borderland2 costs in US and western Europe?
It costs 49.99Eur (65.5 USD) here
Is it cheaper?

Dunno where you're from (it said Antarctica), but here in Norway the price on Steam is 49.99€. Retail is roughly the same price.
I just figured the prices were lower in the CIS region due to the high piracy rate. Through my recent journeys to Lithuania, Belarus and Russia I've mostly just encountered cheap pirate copies instead of proper retail copies in stores. To compete with that you have to offer a lower price and provide other "bonuses" like online play and DLC.

Incorrect information is correct. Also can be described as complete bullshit.

What company could possibly think its a good idea to charge people for a game, then region lock the game without any warnin and even worse region lock the game with the only supported language bein one that you likely wouldn't even know?

How big of a fuck up do you have to be to pull that one off?

NLS:
Dunno where you're from (it said Antarctica), but here in Norway the price on Steam is 49.99€. Retail is roughly the same price.
I just figured the prices were lower in the CIS region due to the high piracy rate. Through my recent journeys to Lithuania, Belarus and Russia I've mostly just encountered cheap pirate copies instead of proper retail copies in stores. To compete with that you have to offer a lower price and provide other "bonuses" like online play and DLC.

We are talking about Steam here, not about "Nicolay's cheap catfood and game shop"
Why exactly it is so impossible to offer both versions?

And besides in this case in E-Europe we are paying the full price so why don't we get the full deal?
And while there are plenty of people who actually can speak russian, not all do.
I personally speak russian, but I prefer my gaming (and other software) in english (started as a way to improve my english, but now I simply feel more comfortable with that)
With such attitude, piracy actually seems as better deal.

P.S. Regarding Antarctica, it is a decade old tradition, that started as a joke, but now I'm using it whenever it is possible.

shintakie10:
Incorrect information is correct. Also can be described as complete bullshit.

What company could possibly think its a good idea to charge people for a game, then region lock the game without any warnin and even worse region lock the game with the only supported language bein one that you likely wouldn't even know?

How big of a fuck up do you have to be to pull that one off?

Seems like Terry and Gonad have started working for 2K.

Honestly what the fuck? You are going to sell a game in a region of Eastern Europe known for poverty and piracy, I can see how DRM seems like a good idea (if you're still so stupid to believe that DRM does anything useful), but region locking it like this to make a huge inconvenience for everyone who bought the game?

Welp, I sense a lot of angry people pirating the game and telling others to do so as well. Bit of a stuff up there :/

blackrave:

NLS:
Dunno where you're from (it said Antarctica), but here in Norway the price on Steam is 49.99€. Retail is roughly the same price.
I just figured the prices were lower in the CIS region due to the high piracy rate. Through my recent journeys to Lithuania, Belarus and Russia I've mostly just encountered cheap pirate copies instead of proper retail copies in stores. To compete with that you have to offer a lower price and provide other "bonuses" like online play and DLC.

We are talking about Steam here, not about "Nicolay's cheap catfood and game shop"
Why exactly it is so impossible to offer both versions?

And besides in this case in E-Europe we are paying the full price so why don't we get the full deal?
And while there are plenty of people who actually can speak russian, not all do.
I personally speak russian, but I prefer my gaming (and other software) in english (started as a way to improve my english, but now I simply feel more comfortable with that)
With such attitude, piracy actually seems as better deal.

P.S. Regarding Antarctica, it is a decade old tradition, that started as a joke, but now I'm using it whenever it is possible.

Exactly, if they want to compete with Nicolay's shit shop, they need to offer games on Steam at a lower price (which I thought they did, but as you've pointed out, they apparently don't, which is a shame). And yeah, I'd be angry as hell if all my games were forced in Norwegian. (always used facebook and steam in english). What they're doing now is providing an inferior product for the same price as everyone else, and that's just a bad strategy. It should be cheaper and with an English option.

However, if they're going to offer it for a cheaper price and in english, then they need to make sure that us western-europeans don't make a cheap grab by importing the eastern european version. Which is why region locking the purchases "may" be a "good idea", but in this case they fucked it up so badly for those of you who buy the game at full price and are unfortunate to live in a region K2 doesn't approve of.

Indeed piracy is a very, very big thing here, but still, damn does this piss me off. In Estonia, there`s a lot of people who speak Russian, especially the older generations. However, not so much the younger ones. Yes, we`ve got a lot of Russian lessons in school, but... still, i like English a lot more. And Im pretty sure a lot of the people who are the same age as me think so, as well. So, yeah. Not cool at all.

And basically were getting an inferior game, at the same price as the people who get the good stuff? Lovely, just lovely.

Still, they did the same thing with Call of Duty: black ops, and after a bit of messing around, it was possible to play the English version on Steam. So not all hope is lost.

So what the hell does 'Notably inferior' actually mean?

The writer doesn't go into any detail about why the Russian version would be inferior to everyone elses. Is the Russian version bugged?, worse graphics?, no sound?, ironic?, WTF?!

This article, is notably inferior in the field of actual facts, but then this post is notably inferior compared to the other posts, so I'm off to have a notably inferior cup of coffee and see if I can't wrap my head around it. Notably inferior? - well fucking NOTE the inferior aspects. Region locking is not a degredation of product.

NLS:
Exactly, if they want to compete with Nicolay's shit shop, they need to offer games on Steam at a lower price (which I thought they did, but as you've pointed out, they apparently don't, which is a shame). And yeah, I'd be angry as hell if all my games were forced in Norwegian. (always used facebook and steam in english). What they're doing now is providing an inferior product for the same price as everyone else, and that's just a bad strategy. It should be cheaper and with an English option.

However, if they're going to offer it for a cheaper price and in english, then they need to make sure that us western-europeans don't make a cheap grab by importing the eastern european version. Which is why region locking the purchases "may" be a "good idea", but in this case they fucked it up so badly for those of you who buy the game at full price and are unfortunate to live in a region K2 doesn't approve of.

True, but like I said Steam have a means to provide both, international and local versions (local version could be cheaper and locked in one language, but with option to upgrade to international version, for a price of course)
So why it isn't done? I sent couple of emails to valve regarding issues with my TES5:Skyrim, but so far I got one of their standard issue "it is a publishers responsibility (so you can go fuck yourself)" responses :(

surg3n:
So what the hell does 'Notably inferior' actually mean?

The writer doesn't go into any detail about why the Russian version would be inferior to everyone elses. Is the Russian version bugged?, worse graphics?, no sound?, ironic?, WTF?!

This article, is notably inferior in the field of actual facts, but then this post is notably inferior compared to the other posts, so I'm off to have a notably inferior cup of coffee and see if I can't wrap my head around it. Notably inferior? - well fucking NOTE the inferior aspects. Region locking is not a degredation of product.

If you would pay more attention, you would notice that article actually explains, why it is inferior version
But let me summarize it for the ones with short attention span
1.Game is locked in russian language (and if you've never heard/read russian localization you're one lucky man/woman)
2.You can play multiplayer only with other players who have same game version as you (not with all other Borderlands2 players)
and these 2 points makes localized version of Borderlands2 inferior

Hey is anyone else having problems activating the shift code or downloading anything?

I've played nearly every online FPS since quake1. If it was my choice I'd lock every gamer from that region to their own turf too. You ever gone to PBbans and checked where all the worlds cheaters are coming from?

The thing that gets me is that they don't give any reasoning for this strange decision. At least it would quell the masses.

blackrave:

NLS:
Exactly, if they want to compete with Nicolay's shit shop, they need to offer games on Steam at a lower price (which I thought they did, but as you've pointed out, they apparently don't, which is a shame). And yeah, I'd be angry as hell if all my games were forced in Norwegian. (always used facebook and steam in english). What they're doing now is providing an inferior product for the same price as everyone else, and that's just a bad strategy. It should be cheaper and with an English option.

However, if they're going to offer it for a cheaper price and in english, then they need to make sure that us western-europeans don't make a cheap grab by importing the eastern european version. Which is why region locking the purchases "may" be a "good idea", but in this case they fucked it up so badly for those of you who buy the game at full price and are unfortunate to live in a region K2 doesn't approve of.

True, but like I said Steam have a means to provide both, international and local versions (local version could be cheaper and locked in one language, but with option to upgrade to international version, for a price of course)
So why it isn't done? I sent couple of emails to valve regarding issues with my TES5:Skyrim, but so far I got one of their standard issue "it is a publishers responsibility (so you can go fuck yourself)" responses :(

Yeah, the problem lies with K2 in this case, as Steam has the tools and capability to release two different versions in the same region, but K2 apparently isn't into that kind of business. I suggest you send an angry email to K2, as Steam is only selling the game but not deciding who gets what. (it would be like complaining to Nicolay why he only sells you pirated copies when he simply can't get his hands on legal copies because the publisher won't let him)

you don't give us what we want we will take it anyway through other means. eff you 2K.

blackrave:

surg3n:
So what the hell does 'Notably inferior' actually mean?

The writer doesn't go into any detail about why the Russian version would be inferior to everyone elses. Is the Russian version bugged?, worse graphics?, no sound?, ironic?, WTF?!

This article, is notably inferior in the field of actual facts, but then this post is notably inferior compared to the other posts, so I'm off to have a notably inferior cup of coffee and see if I can't wrap my head around it. Notably inferior? - well fucking NOTE the inferior aspects. Region locking is not a degredation of product.

If you would pay more attention, you would notice that article actually explains, why it is inferior version
But let me summarize it for the ones with short attention span
1.Game is locked in russian language (and if you've never heard/read russian localization you're one lucky man/woman)
2.You can play multiplayer only with other players who have same game version as you (not with all other Borderlands2 players)
and these 2 points makes localized version of Borderlands2 inferior

Yes I get that - Russian version can only play with Russian versions. That's not a case of the game being notably inferior is it? - It's not like Russia is somehow getting a degraded product, it's more that it's limited... Limits which could be addressed in future.
If I have 2 iPads, and one is Wifi, and one is 3G - is the Wifi one notably inferior?
Know what I mean? - I think it's a bad choice of words is all.

Arina Love:
you don't give us what we want we will take it anyway through other means. eff you 2K.

Thats precisely the reason why the Russian version is region locked is because of thieves like you.

albino boo:

Arina Love:
you don't give us what we want we will take it anyway through other means. eff you 2K.

Thats precisely the reason why the Russian version is region locked is because of thieves like you.

Nope, majority of people will not pirate if they receive quality service, people will pirate because they get fucked with.
and where in my post i wrote that i will pirate this game. learn to read honey.

Dawn of War 2 has paired me WAY TO MANY times with fucking Australians and and Indonesians.

Does borderlands 2 have host lists with latency showing or does it have a matchmaking service? (Not getting the game till Friday)

If it is the the former then this is a dumb decision. If it is the latter then this is a good decision. More games have been ruined for me with a automatic match making system dropping me in a game with a ping of 2000+ and a full foreign language flooding the chat. It is getting in the way of my fun.

if we have server lists, then this should be a non-issue and it was a dumb publisher decision. Otherwise this is a + for me.

surg3n:

Yes I get that - Russian version can only play with Russian versions. That's not a case of the game being notably inferior is it? - It's not like Russia is somehow getting a degraded product, it's more that it's limited... Limits which could be addressed in future.
If I have 2 iPads, and one is Wifi, and one is 3G - is the Wifi one notably inferior?
Know what I mean? - I think it's a bad choice of words is all.

No, because multiplayer is integral part of Borderlands2
My brother lives in Norway, so if I ever wanted to play Borderlands2 with him, I couldn't
That's makes it inferior
Also the horrors of russian translation also make this game inferior (I don't think you have any slightest idea of how bad localizations usually are)
While you call it limitation, it actually makes product inferior, because localized version is worse than international one.

Jandau:

Also, I'd really like to see what massive moron decided that non-russian countries should only have access to the russian-only version of the game...

I would assume management looked at a small-scale map of Eastern Europe and thought "eh, that's all former Soviet Russia anyway, it'll be fine".

surg3n:

Yes I get that - Russian version can only play with Russian versions. That's not a case of the game being notably inferior is it? - It's not like Russia is somehow getting a degraded product, it's more that it's limited... Limits which could be addressed in future.
If I have 2 iPads, and one is Wifi, and one is 3G - is the Wifi one notably inferior?
Know what I mean? - I think it's a bad choice of words is all.

I would describe a badly localised copy as "hugely inferior", actually. Bad translations are a thing of horror, while good translations are merely annoying as hell. Personally I probably wouldn't even play it if my only choice was a localised Dutch version - and that's before realising that for Eastern European countries it's not even their own language.

And that's not even mentioning the second aspect: restricted multiplayer. Russians have friends too, you know. Some of them even online, and in other countries. Just like, well, every single one of us.

They REALLY slipped up on this. Hopefully my boxed copy will not get locked with the Russian language.

This just gives me reasons NOT to learn russian in my school. This is the game I promissed not to pirate, and I will uphold that promise. Modders better find a way past this.

So, only digital steam PC version are affected, or console ones too?

That's...really hopeless, I feel for the Russians. Having seen first hand what region locking can do to a game (Armored Core V), I think it's a practice that belongs where other things you don't like belong, and can see no reason apart from profit and possibly lag to do it.

Well as a native Russian speaker I can tell you it's not even an issue of whether I understand the language or not. Since I know English I want to play the original not a translation. DVDs have original language options, games should have too.

Arina Love:

albino boo:

Arina Love:
you don't give us what we want we will take it anyway through other means. eff you 2K.

Thats precisely the reason why the Russian version is region locked is because of thieves like you.

Nope, majority of people will not pirate if they receive quality service, people will pirate because they get fucked with.
and where in my post i wrote that i will pirate this game. learn to read honey.

Of course all bank robbers are poeple who didn't get an overdraft and all burglars are people complaining about the noise. If you are not happy with customer service you don't get to steal from a bank or shop, why its ok to steal a game? If you don't like don't buy it, anything else means your just a plain old simple thief.

Ahem... having been born in a Russian speaking part of Ukraine that half of the Ukrainian population won't have any problems understanding the game(for the most part, as the Russian that was spoken there, was a mix of the two languages), and i can bet that the same goes for any other part of the countries that are in close proximity to Russia(i hear Estonia have a nice amount of Russian speakers), so that should not be a problem, for the most part, in single player...

What i see as the problem here is the fact that MP is not global! i'd be pissed too if i could not play with a friend, who is half way around the world!

I can see Piracy going really high for that game :(

Blizzard wishes they'd screwed over this few players :P

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