Last year, one of the pioneers in providing legit game titles to Malaysian gamers, The Software Boutique (TSB) announced its closure after 12 years in business. It was a sad occasion for plenty of gamers but given the current gaming climate, it is not hard to see why TSB is having a hard time to cope especially with the emergence of digital distribution services such as Steam and Origin.
However, the game store has suddenly come alive once again earlier this week but somehow, the new TSB doesn’t feel like the TSB we know before.
Why, you ask? Well, first of all, the new TSB has decided to go almost completely digital. By digital, we mean offering digitally distributed games. In other words, the store is now selling game codes for Origin and Steam instead of boxed games as what it used to do previously. In addition, the shop also offers a number of gaming peripherals on its site.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, what concerned us the most is that the store’s pricing seemed to be converted directly from an unknown foreign currency. Not only that, the pricing is way more expensive than what are being listed on Steam or Origin.
Even the gaming peripherals listed on the site were not spared from the price differences although it might not be as obvious as the game titles. Here are some of the examples:
Counter-Strike Global Offensive: TSB Price – RM 67 / Steam Price – USD 14.99 (RM 48).
Razer Abyssus: TSB Price – RM 167.17 / Razer Online Store – RM 129.
As you can see, why would you purchase digitally distributed games at the newly-revived TSB store if it is cheaper to get it directly from Steam or Origin? That’s not even counting the discount that these existing online stores offer from time to time.
All thing said though, we are not sure at the moment whether these prices are permanent or they are just there for display while the people responsible for reviving TSB sorts them out. Nevertheless, we don’t think TSB will be alive for much longer if it decides to stick with these prices.