Well it seems that equality is a relative thing. On one hand the Chinese are just now getting Shadows of Angmar, which is two years old, on the other hand, they get to pay less for it too. I don't know whether to be jealous or pity them. Anyways here's the readout from CDC: "The company will charge gamers in all server farms either RMB 0.45 per hour or allow unlimited play for RMB 60 per month." source here
So in American dollars that's 8.78143 dollars every month or 0.0658709 dollars per hour. You'd have to play 133 hours in order to break even on that monthly deal. .... I'll read that again, 133 hours. I don't even know how you'd accomplish that. I play maybe 4 hours a week tops. And in order to get changed American prices you'd have to play 227.71~ hours. Whew! I'm generally awake between 7 am. and 10:30p.m. That's 15.5 hours. That means you'd have to do nothing but Lotro for 14.78 days to break even. No eating or going to the bathroom for you!
So how does that compare to their wages? Well the average wage from the top 7 cities' regions is 29,638 yuan(source here) which translates to 4,337.73, keep the change. That is about 361.50~ US dollars a month. So Turbine is only asking for less because the Chinese are able to pay less right? Let's say they take the 8.78 dollars a month deal. Is it more or less expensive for your average Chinese person to play Lotro (or Wow I wonder) on a monthly rate when measured as a percentage of their income? Let's see.
The 8.78 dollars a month deal is 2.4% of their entire monthly income.
The average American income in 2007 when Lotro launched was $50,233 per year or $4,186 per month so 15 bucks a month is .36% of our income. In other words the Chinese are getting the raw deal here and appearances are deceiving. Incidentally, if I was a Chinese person, I would recommend to them to always do the hourly deal unless they are total addicts or rich kids.