"You may conclude that Rock Band isn't worth the price charged, and that is your prerogative. But it's not magically going to get cheaper because you wish it to be so," said product development manager, Greg LoPiccolo, posting on the official Rock Band forums. He explained that shocking shipping costs (all the peripherals are manufactured in China, natch) contributed to the price hike, as did the UK's longtime scapegoat, VAT. LoPiccolo went on to insist that the company was not "gouging" consumers. "We can only build our franchise if you buy our games."
While it's up to European gamers to accept this as reason or excuse, it does appear to signal the arrival at an impasse. Somebody has to budge -- be it EA finding cheaper distribution methods or consumers convincing themselves that a set of delayed peripherals is worth more than a Wii or the Xbox 360 Arcade. If the game's sales are severely hampered when it releases on May 23rd, however, you can be sure a price drop will "magically" arrive to save the day.