News: This weekend there has been reports of serious problems with the Russian, CIS and FSU countries versions of Borderlands 2. It turns out their version is unexpectedly region-locked.
Before you go raising your pitchforks at Gearbox Software, the developers of Borderlands 2, take a look at the whole situation and see what is all about. 1C, Softclub, and 2k are the companies responsible for publishing and distributing Borderlands 2 in Russia, the CIS, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the FSU, former Soviet Union countries (like Latvia or Ukraine). There are a great many problems with the version of Borderlands 2 everyone is receiving over there and it is something I wouldn’t expect to see in 2012.
First up, when people pre-ordered Borderlands 2 it wasn’t listed as anything other Borderlands 2, nor was there anything that implied they will be getting their own version that won’t be compatible with the rest of the world, but alas everyone in these areas will be getting Borderlands 2 – RU. It is a version that is only in Russian, allows you to only play multiplayer with people who have the RU version and it will not be compatible with the Borderlands 2 Season Pass.
If only that wasn’t all of the issues with this. There is also the threat of delayed DLC, something that happened with the Russian version of Borderlands 1, no pre-loading and if you live in these areas you don’t have the option of buying a digital version of the game that isn’t the Russian version. On top of all of this, people who bought the game in the FSU paid about 20 euros more than those in the CIS or Russia, but they all get the same RU version.
This is all an issue of region-lock and it is punishing gamers in these areas for not purchasing the game from third party websites, like Green Man Gaming, which sells an international version of Borderlands 2 that isn’t region locked. Because of all this people in Russian, the CSI and the FSU have been rushing to get refunds of the game on Steam and Steam Support has responded by saying,
We have contacted the publisher about the issue and are discussing possible solutions. Unfortunately, we don’t have information on probability of changing or removing the region restrictions yet. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
So, Steam can and will give refunds, but they don’t have anyway to fix it at the moment. There has also been response by 1C, which is in Russian but with the power of Google translate it says,
Regional limitation imposed Company 2K Games. Unfortunately, we are not in power to influence the decision.
One of the biggest problems with all of this is that the Russian version is being forced upon areas that aren’t Russian, like the CIS, where many people speak English or other languages. They are being given only the option of the Borderlands 2 – RU version, regardless of whether or not they speak Russian. It wouldn’t be so bad if people could play the game in English and have subtitles for whatever their language is, but many people are reporting that this RU version does not have that option.
Currently many people are waiting for an official word from 2k, 1C or Gearbox, but since it is the weekend that may not happen until Monday. If you live in one of these areas and you want to get a refund you have to do it before the game is officially released there, at least if you are trying to get a refund on Steam. Like I mentioned earlier, you can purchase the game fairly cheap, with this discount code (GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G), over at Green Man Gaming and it will give you a non-region locked version of Borderlands 2. People are also reporting that hardcopy version of Borderlands 2 isn’t the RU version. There are many different discussions going on about this problem right now, but the two main places you can find out more information are on Gearbox’s forums or this Reddit post that has been gaining a lot of attention.
Thanks for checking it out and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for our fellow gamers in Russia and the CIS, I hope you all can get the same version as the rest of us. If all this post did was make you want to read about Borderlands 2 then check out why Simon believes it will be excellent.