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Because of the Euro exchange rate – at least, that’s the excuse Minecraft is using.
If you attempt to buy a month’s access to Minecraft Realms – the online server operated by Minecraft-owner Mojang, which is ultimately owned by Microsoft – you’re told you will be charged £6.99, as you can see below.
But when you actually go to pay for the subscription at the checkout, using PayPal, the price is hiked:
€8.99 converts to £7.90 at today’s exchange rates, almost a quid more than the stated price.
I asked Mojang to explain themselves on Twitter. They replied:
This price difference is due to the exchange rate. ^EA
— Mojang Support (@MojangSupport) July 7, 2017
This is, not to put too finer point on it, utter cock. Mojang can set the price of Realms at whatever level it likes. This isn’t an app store tier where it has to make prices fit into a certain band, you’re buying this direct from Mojang.
If it’s determined to price everything in Euros, the very least it could do is update the prices you’re first shown on the website to accurately reflect the actual price. As it stands, this Citizens Advice page suggests that Microsoft/Mojang can be forced to refund you the difference. But good luck with that.
So if your kids beg you to buy them a Minecraft Realms subscription, just beware you’re going to end up paying more than you think.