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Submitted by Fullish 2188d ago | article

Steam implies: Americans Gamer 40% poorer than Australians.

Hard Line writes "I find this quite un-American that our own local companies deem our country in such poor finical disrepair that they have to charge us 40% less than other Countries." (BioShock 2, PC)

R_1993  +   2188d ago
I doubt many Americans would prefer it the other way around. Why would anyone want to pay 40% more?
kwyjibo  +   2188d ago
He's joking
Don't take the title too literally. He's clearly making the case that the Australian's are getting ripped off.

But they get continually ripped off by the games industry anyway. Given the low costs of digital distribution, the publishers should just reduce the prices, but they need to keep their pathetically antiquated retail partners happy.
-Alpha  +   2188d ago
I thought Australians had higher living standards...
Anyways, consider the limited games that get approved I have no doubt that Australians save more money on games than they spend.
MAR-TYR-DOM  +   2188d ago
or you can look at it that Americans are 40% smarter than Australians for charging more for a game. :p If any 40% is true, its that > 40% of Americans are obese.
IdleLeeSiuLung  +   2188d ago
.... or local taxes caused the price to hike. Thanks to the social mecca over there!
Darkstorn  +   2188d ago
We Americans have a lower standard of living, so it makes sense for us to take advantage of the deals more readily. Gaming in Australia is extremely expensive already...don't games cost upwards of $100 (converted currency) over there?

Oh yeah, and the Aussies have free healthcare.
PrimordialSoupBase  +   2188d ago
My you are thick. It's a joke.
snp  +   2188d ago
.... or local taxes caused the price to hike. Thanks to the social mecca over there!

Actually Steam games don't attract any tax. Puzzling that you've got 2 agree's on something you've pulled out of your.. well.
ikkokucrisis  +   2188d ago
It's also important to note that almost all foreign imported electronics are more expensive by around 40% there.

One big reason for the price hike there is the foreign exchange rate of the Australian dollar, which puts it about 25% weaker than the US dollar.
kwicksandz  +   2188d ago
Whats sad is that most games on Australian steam dont have a jacked up price. Only 2k, Activision and Sega games it seems.

Mass effect 2 on the Aussie steam store is $50 US which converts to $56 AU. which is about half the price of a store copy if you went into an Australian EB games. Since i primarlily game on PC now Steam most of the time is a godsend because games can be gotten from 1/2 to a 1/3 as much as a retail copy some of the time

Examples of price gouging: (all prices in US dollars)
Bioshock 2 $79.99
MW2 $89.99
AVP $64.99

Examples of parity
Star trek online $49.99
Bad co 2 $49.99
Dragon age $49.99

The price differences have nothing to do with our free health care or our current exchange rate. There was a time when the $AU dropped to 50c to the US dollar, and game prices where raised to compensate. now we are at $90c to the dollar and there was no price drop. This is pure publisher based price gouging in an attempt to match retail pricing.
snp  +   2188d ago
It's also important to note that almost all foreign imported electronics are more expensive by around 40% there.

One big reason for the price hike there is the foreign exchange rate of the Australian dollar, which puts it about 25% weaker than the US dollar.

They're more expensive sold 'directly' here, though; they are not jacked up to a higher versus price where no extra costs are entailed. There's a big difference you're not spotting there.

Part of the 40% mark up is smaller territory (for physical distribution of goods). Part of it is taxes - which is incurred on land based goods with Australian distribution channels, but is not incurred on Steam (an internationally based online service).

Part of the mark up on goods (electronics) 'is' a lower dollar (though on average the last couple of years (barring a couple of peaks and troughs) it's been closer to 85 cents than 75 cents - and indeed many products have much more par prices during times of higher dollar value (eg. large screen tv's here last Christmas)).

However, that's a mark up on a '_converted to Australian dollars price_'. Steam doesn't even use 'converted prices'. It uses US dollars. When an extra '$30' is charged for this or that product - it's purely an extra '$30 US' over and above what "$US" US customers are asked to pay.

It's a cynical attempt to extort more on the excuse of box prices. It has nothing to do with making up some extra amount in conversion. They'd get exactly the same US dollars (after conversion) from Australian customers as they would US customers by charging the same price (that's what a currency conversion 'means').

This is about asking for (in some cases considerably) 'more' US dollars for a product bought off an Australian than for the identical product and service off an American customer.

ed: kwicksandz; here's a bubble. Well explained (and it's nice to see an actual 'informed' comment in amongst all this puzzling dross (why speak about something you haven't the foggiest regarding - i don't understand that impulse...)
#1.10 (Edited 2188d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
omicron009  +   2188d ago
I don't mind if we're poorer, we get better sales :)
themizarkshow  +   2188d ago
That's a ridiculous price jump. I could understand if it took extra shipping or time to get there for the physical product, but this is all digital! That's just aussie extortion.
StartWars  +   2188d ago
This makes no logical sense.
cupogoodness  +   2188d ago
If it's a joke it probably shouldn't be as misleading as it seems to be.
#5 (Edited 2188d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
emkize  +   2188d ago
I think this author took one too many tokes off his crack pipe before writing this article.

The pricing for Australia has nothing to do with Steam and everything to do with their country and government.

If the author was trying to be sarcastic or ironic he failed horribly.
snp  +   2188d ago
The pricing for Australia has nothing to do with Steam and everything to do with their country and government.

What on Earth are you, and the four who agreed with that nonsense, on about?

Steam games attract no tax. Publishers - internationally based - set the price. Where on Earth are you getting that "their country and government" is the reason for nearly doubling the price (and then having the cheek to non even convert it from a foreign currency charge)?

It always astounds me how quick people are to speak about things... they know nothing about...
#6.1 (Edited 2188d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
darkmurder  +   2188d ago
It does, sure our dollar isn't exactly 1:1 but that doesn't mean we should pay an extra $50, maybe an extra $20 at most.
snp  +   2188d ago
It does, sure our dollar isn't exactly 1:1 but that doesn't mean we should pay an extra $50, maybe an extra $20 at most.

I'm confused about that 'it does'. If you mean it 'does attract tax' (in reply to my comment), no it doesn't. Any foreign based import products sold at an individual level from an overseas base (providing they are within a fairly generous $ range) pay no 'per item' tax in Australia.

Just as you remove VAT from products bought from Amazon UK, and pay no tax on products from Amazon US, there is no tax paid on products bought from (US based) Steam online.

As for 'it should be dearer' - all prices to Australian's are charged in US dollars. If our dollar is lower at the time you buy something, naturally you'll pay more Aus Dollars to buy it. Anything charged above and beyond natural fluctuations (ie. different pricing - all kept in US dollars - between the areas, is purely gouging.

PS: There 'is' GST charged on boxed OZ distributed products 'within Australia', but that's a whole other ballgame. It's disingenuous for international publishers to jack prices up to equalise higher prices on alternate versions when - for online products - they don't incur these costs.
#6.3 (Edited 2188d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
HighDefinition  +   2188d ago
ashodd  +   2188d ago
i just wrote this on there site aswell.

its called interest rate differentional and real exchange rate vs exchange rate.

if a country has a different interest rate than another thats factored into the cost e.g. US interest is at what 0.25% and Aus interest rate is 3.75% meaning Aus dollar is worth more than Aus dollar.. there is also a difference between exchange rate and real exchange rate.

exchange rate e.g = £/$
real exchange rate e.g = (US price/Aus price) x (us$/aus$)

that means (50/75)x(1/0.8748) = 0.76
0.76% of 50 = 38 Aus $

so doing a real exchange rate conversion the US$ price is actually $88Aus

they actually have it cheaper than the US.

so with all due respect – they dont know what they are talking about.
RedSky  +   2188d ago
Interest rate differentials are already factored into the nominal exchange rate.

Wait a second, you're proving that AUS games are not overpriced, by factoring them into your calculations of a real exchange rate and then saying "hah, look at how large the exchange rate is!" Do you not realise you've proven nothing other than you can multiply here? Also even if you were saying something of value, you should be doing:

50/0.76 = 65.79 not, 50 + 50*0.76 = 88

Anyway nothing here has anything to do with anything. The price difference is because the AUS/US exchange rate used to be at 0.5. At that point the pricing was right. Then when US dollar started losing value over time, AUS retailers realised they could simply price discriminate and keep prices as they were. Other countries do the same.

I routinely buy legitimate PC games that work online from South East Asia because unlike even US prices, they tend to be in the $30-40 range even for new titles.
Gish  +   2188d ago
It's the shipping costs down to Oz. Shipping kills ya every time! :)
Letros  +   2188d ago
shipping charge on 1's and 0's?
don't inform Activision about this!
kwicksandz  +   2188d ago
activision already heard about it. MW2 on the aussie steam store is $89US dollars
Gish  +   2188d ago
ouch got a disagree on my sarcasm... painful.
bunfighterii  +   2188d ago
I think in Australia, (not so much for steam, a service I don't use), but if your buying a physical medium, like a PS3 or 360 game, you just have to be a smart consumer.

I've lived overseas (in Japan and Europe), and while gaming software is definately cheaper in those places, if you shop around here you an find huge price differences between retailers.

The last game I bought was Assassin's Creed II, when it came out a couple months back. I shopped around a little, just stores in my area, and the price differences were huge- I got it for $88 at one store (JB HiFi), while another (EB Games) was asking $120! Most chain, specialist stores like GAME and EB take their consumers for granted and charge way above everyone else.
pixelsword  +   2188d ago
"Maybe the Dingo Ate your game".

The dingo... ate you game.
Kalowest  +   2188d ago
I love being poor, thanks Stream for the charity.
djfullshred  +   2188d ago
All I know is that Americans are 40% poorer than Americans were a few years ago.

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