The internet has got in knickers in a twist as it spotted that sales of the Overwatch Pink Mercy Skin, which raises funds for Breast Cancer Research Foundation, seems to be generating different amounts of cash depending if you buy the DLC on Xbox on PlayStation.
The wording on the Xbox DLC states that “Blizzard Entertainment will donate 100% of the purchase price for your purchase of the Pink Mercy skin on Xbox”, but the PlayStation Store states “Blizzard Entertainment will donate £10.12, or local currency equivalent, that it receives from PlayStation for your purchase of the Pink Mercy skin to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”
“We are not making any profit from sales of the Overwatch Pink Mercy Skin,” a representative of SIEE commented to VG247.
So why the difference? VAT is the obvious answer and at the UK tax rate that is £2.16 of the price. However, you may have spotted that £10.12 plus £2.16 does not equal £12.99, we’re still missing 71 pence.
There’s a couple of possibilities for that, the promotion is by Blizzard and not Sony so Sony will be still be charging a fee to cover the costs of hosting and listing the product. There’s also the possibility of currency conversion, Blizzard will be paying in Dollars, Sony are collecting the money in Pounds, if they are converting to Dollars before handing the cash to Blizzard there is a charge.
I’ve checked the French PlayStation Store where the DLC is on sale for €14.99, with Sony donating €11.68, French VAT is also 20%, so again there’s a small discrepancy of €0.81. A further check on the German PlayStation store reveals the DLC is on sale for €14.99 but this time Sony is donating €11.78, a little higher as German VAT is 19%, but still a small discrepancy.
It does look like Sony are not profiting from the sale but they may be covering their costs, Microsoft seem to be reimbursing the VAT and distribution fees to Blizzard. Whether or not that makes Sony the bad guys is up to you to decide.