Is changing the country for cheaper purchases legal?

Hi guys, I’ve got a question about making purchases with other countries’ stores.
My friend keeps telling me that I can change my android account’s location from Germany to some other country (e.g. USA) and make in-games purchases cheaper.

I’m a bit confused here.
The practice itself looks quite fishy, though it doesn’t formally contradict with the Terms of Services.

So please clarify the following:

  1. Is this practice formally legal?
  2. If it’s not - which point of Terms of Services does it violate?
  3. Will you ban the account for usage of that practice? (Assuming you have rock solid proof).

It’s obvious to me that it’s immoral and… well… wrong. I’m asking about legal stuff and consequences to the players who may practice that.
Thanks.

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Tough question. I haven’t read the terms so don’t know if it’s illegal or a breach of terms - maybe someone else will know on here.

However the first (sort of obvious and probably unhelpful) thing I’ll say is, and you’ve probably realised this yourself, by asking about this practice you’ve pretty much alerted the devs to this if they didn’t know already…

I can’t say one way or another but my guess is you probably shouldn’t do it if you value your account and want to stay on the safe side.

The fact that you have asked suggests you doubt whether it’s a proper thing to do so I would wager that you should go with your instincts.

Of course, if someone confirms otherwise go ahead and ignore what I’ve said.

As a side note it reminds me of different DVD or game regions - there’s a reason why the big companies remove the ability to play DVDs or games on certain region locked consoles (maybe DVDs aren’t a great example with region free DVDs). Perhaps a similar concept applies here

Dunno if that helps. That was pretty much a long answer for: I don’t know but maybe not a good idea if you don’t want to risk your E&P account.

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Here are the Terms of Service:

http://info.smallgiantgames.com/terms-of-service/


I would ask:

  • What country am I in?

And put that country. Anything else is a lie. :slight_smile:

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Don’t believe it’s illegal, however is close to impossible. I was checking how to do it, and noticed couple of things

  • according to google play/pay if you purchased the game as German, the prices there will be German for the time being, even if you move to USA for example. Don’t ask me where I red that, it’s there.
  • Changing the region is not simple. Even when I was in USA, with US number and address, I was unable to change the region for my google play account and I was unable to install android auto on my phone (android auto is not available in Bulgaria). Might be due to the fact that my credit card was still a Bulgarian one.

At the end, the only option for me was to make brand new account, lose the progress on all my games and lose all my purchased apps, and ask friend to purchase google play cards from USA and to send me codes. My decision was that it’s not worth it.
If you find a way, please let me know!

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Thanks for your answer.
I don’t risk anything since I’m not using this trick.
That “friend” I mentioned is not me =))

Devs are aware of that.
There’s been a similar stuff with Egypt region, which ended up with raising prices for Egypt.
Not sure if they know how to prove that, but I assume they do. Since I do, and I’m a mere programmer with some experience in IP addressing and geolocation principles.

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Rook, yeap, it’s clearly a lie.
Would SmallGiant ban my account if there would be proofs that I’m practicing that?

Sorry mate, no details. That would be a 100% violation of forum rules :))

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Thanks, sharp as usual @Rook

These Terms govern your use of our games provided on a mobile platform (for example, iOS and Android), online discussion board related to the games, websites (including www.smallgiantgames.com) and other related services (collectively the “ Service “).

You agree that you are responsible for your own conduct and User Content (as defined below in Section 4) while using the Service, and for any consequences thereof. You agree that you will not:

  • use our Service to engage in illegal, abusive, harmful, offensive or otherwise toxic behavior, such as by repeatedly posting content on unsolicited basis or otherwise encumbering the Service, our customer service or other users;

  • use cheats, exploits, automation software, bots, hacks, mods or any unauthorized third-party software designed to modify or interfere with the Service;

  • intentionally exploit any in-game bugs (for example, to gain advantage for yourself or harm other users or otherwise interfere with intended gameplay);
  • disrupt or otherwise adversely affect the normal flow of the Service or act in a manner that may negatively affect other users’ experience when using the Service;
  • attempt to decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble or modify any part of our Service; and/or
  • use our Service in any other way not permitted by these Terms or in conflict with the spirit or intent of these Terms.

Is it an exploit designed to modify or interfere with the Service? Maybe, sounds like it. Because it says “other related services”, “Service” is pretty broadly defined and may include the medium for purchasing stuff from the game.

Will it disrupt or adversely affect the normal flow of Service? Maybe.

Will it negatively affect other users’ experience when using the Service? Possibly, because others might complain that they aren’t being treated the same.

If you get around all that, are you going against the spirit of the terms? Maybe because the method seeks an advantage over others in the same region.

A lot of maybes, but I wouldn’t want to walk down this path.

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(You ask would SG ban you for this…) Would IOS? Would Android?

I wouldn’t do it! Read the T.O.S. and come back with any questions. :slight_smile:

EDIT: Frenzied Eye brings up some good points, and Go_Panch brings up some practical objections. I’m sure you are not the first player to ask the question.

The prices set by country include, for example, VAT taxes in some regions, so by trying to enter a different country you would be practicing tax evasion which is illegal in your home country. You know, stuff like that.

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I’ve been through T.O.S. :slight_smile:
My personal verdict was that it may be interpreted as illegal activity.
Many thumbs up to Frenzied Eye’s analysis above!

What I’m looking for is an OFFICIAL position of game devs on this matter.

Basically, who’s gonna be after my head? Game devs? It surely can be clarified here, for it’s an official game’s forum :slight_smile: That’s basically one central question - Will I be banned?

P.S. State police officials I can deal with ))

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I have asked. We shall see. Until you hear something official, I would consider it verboten (forbidden), just to be safe.

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Thanks, looking forward to your answer!

SG’s answer if any apart from the TOS. I’m just a volunteer player here. :wink:

I’m closing this thread as discussing any possible disciplinary actions or moderation issues is prohibited (as defined in the forum rules). Google and Apple handle all transactions towards the game, so I would advice to consult their help articles as well.

If there are any further questions related to in-game purchasing. please contact our support.

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